3 Pitfalls to Avoid when Launching Order Ahead

Adding order ahead to your mobile app is just a really good idea for your restaurant. Not only do customers love it (no more waiting in long lines for lunch or coffee), it also increases ticket prices and purchase frequency. Mix in the fact that it intensifies customer loyalty and it’s hard to see why a restaurant wouldn’t launch order ahead.

That being said, order ahead needs to be done right to be effective. Without proper planning, coordination, and execution you may run into some operational jams that end up hurting the customer experience rather than improving it. LevelUp has helped many top restaurant brands execute order ahead successfully. With that experience, we’ve identified three common mistakes that you should avoid when launching order ahead at your restaurant:

Your staff isn’t up to par

Your staff is the magic behind why order ahead works. Be sure that it is totally clear to your employees how to handle orders that are placed via mobile versus in-store orders. They should be fully up to speed on where to prepare the food, where to place it for pick up and how to track completed orders.

It’s a great idea to have separate preparation lines if possible, with some employees working exclusively on mobile orders. Some stores even designate an employee to help customers with pick up. All staff should also be prepared to answer questions and handle any issues that may arise (did you actually hit the “order” button in the app? Did you come in at the right time?”). With the right education and training, your staff will be able to help make things run smoothly.

Your restaurant set up is confusing

Skipping the line and picking up an order is a relatively new behavior for customers. It should be obvious where they should go to pick up so that they feel comfortable and sure of what to do – and willing to order ahead again. Many restaurants will have designated counters or shelving, with distinct signage indicating that it is pick up area. At the very least, there should be some type of signage that says “Mobile Orders” or “Online Orders” to direct people where to go.

You’re not using the right technology

Choosing a great online ordering provider is essential to the success of order ahead at your restaurant. A diligent provider will help you create accurate menus and pricing so that customers can easily choose and customize their meals. They will also be able to provide accurate wait times so that customers can time their pick up appropriately. Your online ordering provider will make sure that all orders connect seamlessly to your POS and make things run smoothly even during the busiest lunch hour.

With the right knowledge, you can make order ahead a go-to solution for your customers. To learn more about order ahead download LevelUp’s order ahead guide:

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Jackie Cooke

Jackie Cooke

Jacqueline Cooke is the Marketing Communications Manager at LevelUp. She's a firm believer in the power of avocado toast and chocolate chip banana pancakes. When she’s not trying out LevelUp partner restaurants (hello, Dig Inn!) you can find her dreaming up travel plans, trying out a new workout class or listening to her laundry list of podcasts.