September 10, 2020

Automate your Online Delivery Business with the power of POS Integration

It’s no secret that the demand for online delivery is no longer reserved to fast food. From restaurants to convenience stores, it’s almost an unspoken rule for businesses to offer online delivery or risk getting left behind — especially when consumers are staying home now more than ever.

The popularity of online delivery is due in no small part to third-party ordering platforms. In the age of instant gratification, consumers are drawn to services that require minimal effort on their part. And there are only a few services more convenient than these platforms.

By integrating your partner stores and point of sale, your restaurant will not only keep up with the online delivery trend but reap its many benefits.

It’s likely that your restaurant is already partnered with one. And that you’re well aware of the potential challenges that come with managing partner orders, particularly with data integrity and resource allocation.

With the volume of partner orders expected to rise over the next few years, it’s crucial to meet the demand without compromising on time, effort, and money. And the best way to avoid the hassle of manual data reconciliation between your partner dashboards and point of sale? Integration.

By integrating your partner stores and point of sale, your restaurant will not only keep up with the online delivery trend but reap its many benefits.

What are online food delivery platforms and why partner with them?

Online food delivery platforms — also known as third-party food ordering platforms or food aggregators — give customers the convenience to browse through a plethora of restaurants all in one place. They offer a seamless order placement experience, the option between online payments or cash/card on delivery, and features such as scheduled and contactless deliveries.

Each restaurant listing contains rich information like operating hours, contact details, location, and menu, as well as customer ratings and reviews.

Whether you’re a new or established brand, partnering with a food aggregator platform maximizes your reach and boosts your profitability.

Moreover, they offer real-time tracking of delivery orders from order placement, preparation, and delivery. This not only makes them a one-stop convenient option for customers deciding on their next meal but also a lucrative sales-generating channel for your restaurant.

A partner store is a great way to earn revenue to supplement your restaurant’s dine-in operations. Whether you’re a new or established brand, partnering with an aggregator maximizes your reach and boosts your profitability.

Plus, if you don’t have the means to have your own delivery team, aggregators are a great way for your restaurant to serve your customers in the comforts of their homes.

Why integrate your partner store to your point-of-sale?

While partner stores add tremendous value to your business, the process of receiving an order and getting it delivered can be greatly enhanced by integrating your partner store with your point-of-sale (POS) which gives you better control over your online and delivery business.

By integrating your partner stores to your point-of-sale, the entire process from menu setup to delivery is automated, alleviating the problems that come with manual intervention.

Typically, you receive orders from a tablet displaying the aggregator dashboard. Then, you hire staff to manually accept the order and then punch the details from the tablet to your restaurant’s point-of-sale. With add-ons and special comments included, let’s say the process takes around a minute per order. Sounds easy enough, right?

But what happens if you’re partnered with multiple aggregators and have multiple tablets? What happens during peak hours? Suddenly, that one minute to punch a partner order adds up and you’re left with a huge backlog.

Thinking about punching orders faster? No problem. Except it leaves room for human error, such as accidentally missing a customer’s ‘absolutely no nuts!’ comment. Oops.

The manual process doesn’t end there. Or start. To set up a partner store, you must first manually add your restaurant’s menu — names, prices, images, descriptions, add-ons, and dietary symbols.

Have a new menu item? Offering a new promo? Want to track performance? All these actions require you to manually intervene. Not only does this take time and resources, but the manual process is susceptible to human error, leading to even more time wasted as you backtrack to identify the massive data accuracy issue.

Escaping the clutter is easily done with one simple action: integration. By integrating your partner stores to your point-of-sale, the entire process from menu setup to delivery is automated, alleviating the problems that come with manual intervention.

With an integrated solution, running your partner stores — from order placement to fulfillment — can all be done from the convenience of your POS.

How does a fully integrated solution work?

With an integrated solution, running your partner stores — from order placement to fulfillment — can all be done from the convenience of your POS. Most importantly, the integration automates your restaurant’s online and delivery business, giving you 100% automation and total delivery control.

“… the integration between my POS and partner stores solves [our problems of manual entry and missed orders]. It’s a cost-effective and fool-proof way of operating.”

Plus, your data is seamlessly consolidated between platforms so you get a high-level snapshot of your in-house and online sales performance in one system, removing the need for end-of-day manual reconciliation.

Sophia Sleiman, founder and CEO of UAE-based Mantoushe shares the importance of integration in her operations. “Online ordering platforms drive a large majority of our orders. The manual reentry of every transaction is labour-intensive and comes with plenty of issues from errors to missed items. But the integration between my POS and partner stores solves all of these. It’s a cost-effective and fool-proof way of operating.”

The numerous benefits of an integrated solution can be summarized into four points: effortless store control, automated order flow, consolidated customer data, and multi-channel reporting.

Effortless store control

In some cases, connecting your partner store with your point-of-sale can be done within minutes. And syncing your POS menu to your partner store can be done even quicker.

From your POS, you can easily select which menu items you’d like to offer in your partner store and the menu — from images and descriptions to modifiers and food symbols — will instantly sync with one click.

When a customer places an order from your partner store, it automatically enters your POS system error-free.

Want to update a menu item or make it temporarily unavailable? No problem! This can easily be done from your POS system so your online store is always up to date.

Depending on the integration, additional store configurations — like availability, surcharges, and discounts — can also be done straight from your POS, meaning you no longer have to juggle multiple tablets to operate your physical and digital stores.

Automated Order Workflow

Arguably the biggest advantage of an integrated setup is the automated order flow. When a customer places an order from your partner store, it automatically enters your POS system error-free.

Depending on your POS setup, your integrated partner store will seamlessly work with other modules already in use to streamline operations — such as Kitchen Display Systems (KDS) and Delivery Management Systems.

After confirming an order, it is sent straight to your kitchen printer or KDS so your chefs can immediately begin preparing. Parallel to this, the order is also routed to your Delivery Management System or Delivery Manager.

With the integrated setup, online orders go from placement to delivery with minimal human intervention, freeing up your staff’s time for other tasks.

A Delivery Manager gives you LIVE insights into your entire order cycle as it happens – placement, preparation, pick-up, and delivery. Every detail about the order is visible at a glance, from menu items, special comments, and aggregator driver information.

Since data is seamlessly synced between your POS and partnered ordering platform, updates from aggregator drivers — from pick-up to delivery — are instantly reflected in your Delivery Manager.

With the integrated setup, online orders go from placement to delivery with minimal human intervention, freeing up your staff’s time for other tasks. In other words, you get total delivery control while saving valuable resources such as time and money.

Consolidated Customer Data

In some cases, customer data is also shared between platforms. Orders sent to your point-of-sale updates your in-built Customer Relationship Management (CRM) in two ways.

When a customer in your CRM orders through your partner store, the details are automatically added to their existing profile. Should a new customer order, a new profile is automatically created.

Information from online customers — which are typically more comprehensive than their in-house counterparts — can be used to improve customer satisfaction and, ultimately, retention.

Manuel Wazen, Marketing Director of UAE-based enterprise JJ Chicken, mentions the importance of utilizing customer data. “Data is now very valuable because it allows us to target customers and keep them within reach”.

Multi-Channel Reporting

Along with customer data, sales data from your partner store is consolidated in your POS. The extensive data and reports allow you to compare partner and physical store performances.

The sales data can also guide you with strategizing the next steps of your restaurant business. Bestselling delivery items, popular delivery areas, and top profitable items are just a few of the many insights you gain. “The ability to see what’s going on at any given time is a great added value for an owner,” Sleiman confided.

This high-level visibility into your partner stores can be used to analyze sales trends and effectively decide on which areas to optimize.

The future of restaurant dining is online

The demand for online ordering is undeniable. As instant gratification becomes a high selling point to consumers, restaurants that provide online delivery services will see their business grow.

With food ordering platforms leading the movement, integrating your partner stores to your POS is a great way to effortlessly meet the demand and grow your business to new heights.


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