Apr 22, 2024
 min read

9 Signs You’ve Outgrown Your Online Ordering Platform

This article outlines:

Why you should pressure test your restaurant tech stack

9 signs you’ve outgrown your restaurant’s online ordering platform

What to do when you’re ready for an upgrade


Online ordering has rapidly become table stakes for the restaurant industry. For many brands, it started as a make-or-break decision to weather pandemic shutdowns. The faster you got up and running, the smaller the blow to your bottom line.

Whether your restaurant adopted online ordering proactively or reactively, the system that worked for your brand at the beginning of your digital journey may no longer meet the needs of your guests or your business.

To help you determine if it’s time to transition to an enterprise-grade online ordering platform, we’ve compiled a list of telltale signs you’ve outgrown your current system.


1. Your menu is difficult for guests to navigate

Large, complex menus can be challenging for guests to navigate online. Salad and pizza brands, for example, often have unlimited combinations and modifiers—not to mention location-specific items, limited-time offers (LTOs), etc. The longer it takes for guests to build their carts, the higher the chance they’ll abandon their order or settle for a smaller basket—and perhaps even not return.

2. Inaccurate lead times are causing problems

When your restaurant is busy, inaccurate lead times can be catastrophic. If you can’t control how and when orders hit your restaurant, operational inefficiency will create a domino effect on your business. Guests will cancel online orders or request refunds because their food isn’t fresh. Delivery couriers will arrive too early or too late. Stressed-out employees will quit. And negative online reviews will hurt your brand’s reputation.

3. Your guests have limited payment options

91% of consumers say a satisfying checkout experience significantly influences the likelihood of returning to a merchant. If your guests can’t securely check out without a password, use their digital wallet, or pay with the card on file, you’re leaving dollars on the table. 

4. You’re adding more franchisees

As your restaurant brand expands and order volume increases, you need a reliable online ordering system that can keep up. Adding franchisees will be extremely difficult without multiple levels of permissions and controls, different data views, and various reports.

5. As your order volume rises, so do your transaction fees

Variable prices and transaction fees can make budgeting a challenge as you add more restaurant locations. If your brand aims to expand and order volume is rising, you’ll want simplified, scalable pricing to keep more profit and prevent high-volume locations from paying more than others.

6. You can’t customize your tech stack

Legacy systems and point solutions are inhibiting your restaurant’s growth. The needs of your guests and your business have likely changed since you launched online ordering, and they’ll continue to evolve. In the coming years, you’ll reevaluate solutions, want to add new partners, and identify opportunities to set apart your guest experience. But without a customizable and fully integrated tech stack, you’ll be stuck.

7. Your guest data lives in silos 

If your guest data is disjointed, stuck in legacy systems, or held hostage by a vendor, you’re not getting a comprehensive view of your guest journey. And you can’t leverage that intel across departments to make smarter business decisions.

8. You have limited marketing capabilities

Segmenting guests, personalizing and automating marketing communications, and maximizing campaign ROI is virtually impossible if your online ordering platform isn’t seamlessly sharing guest data with your restaurant marketing solution. Why? Because insights like purchase history, order frequency, and dietary preferences are essential for increasing repeat orders, basket size, and the lifetime value of your guests. 

9. You can’t easily launch additional channels

To diversify your revenue streams with cateringthe fastest-growing sales channel in the industry—or a virtual brand, you need an online ordering platform that supports multiple sales channels. Without a unified system, you can expect to juggle dashboards, tablets, and reports. It’s the perfect storm of inefficiency, human error, stressed employees, and unhappy guests.


Ready to upgrade your online ordering platform?

When it comes to your restaurant tech stack, the cost of complacency can be extremely high. If your online ordering platform isn’t meeting the needs of digital-first guests, your sales will reflect it. Expect abandoned carts, refund requests, negative reviews, and overwhelmed team members. 

As your restaurant brand grows, so should your capabilities. And with the right system, growth doesn’t have to be painful.

A restaurant-specific, enterprise-grade online ordering platform will enable you to

  • Optimize your menu for faster checkout, including showcasing seasonal items and LTOs
  • Increase basket size by offering personalized suggestions and relevant menu items/combinations to guests
  • Maximize efficiency and sales with built-in capacity management tools, like AI-assisted order throttling, that integrate POS and KDS data
  • Eliminate lead time guesswork, reduce courier wait time, ensure guests get the fresh food they paid for, and reduce the burden on team members during rushes
  • Reduce cart abandonment and boost repeat orders with convenient payment options and a seamless, secure checkout process
  • Collect more first-party data to better understand and serve guests, retain more revenue, and scale your business
  • Set your marketing team up for success with all the guest insights necessary to turn first-time visitors into loyal brand advocates
  • Easily add new sales channels, like catering and virtual concepts—and manage all orders from one dashboard
  • Remain agile and choose the best tools to scale your business with hundreds of potential integrations
  • Keep more profit as you grow with flat, subscription-style fees
  • Attract more franchisees

Time for an upgrade? Schedule your free consultation with an Olo expert to discover what Olo’s enterprise-grade solution can do for your restaurant.

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