Top UI/UX must-haves for online ordering websites for Restaurants

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Restaurant Technology

UI UX for restaurants tips | Restolabs
October 21, 2019

As a restaurant owner, what makes your heart sing? Good sales, good revenue! 

And for a hungry customer looking for online delivery? 

To begin with, they really don’t expect much -  just the basics, and if you can fulfill these basic, yet substantial requirements, you’ll never lose a single customer in life. Loyalty comes at a price, and when it comes to online ordering, that price needs to be paid in the form of an efficient website that creates a mouthwatering effect and satisfactory experience at the end of the ordering process. 

When it comes to designing the UI/UX of a food ordering website for restaurants and takeaways, it doesn’t always conclude with a list of features and functions. Tech-savvy customers are looking for real interactions in the virtual world and that’s exactly what a good restaurant website encases. 

Today, we’ll talk about UX necessities that will make your online food ordering website a magnet attracting new customers, as well as making the old ones come back over and over again - after all, loyalty is what we all need (rather have to earn) more than ever before pertaining to today’s rapidly changing ecosystems.

Make the Onboarding Process -  Simple and Quick

While designing a food ordering website, it's vital to take a variety of steps to ensure clarity in the navigation to enable users to move quickly from one page to another under diverse circumstances. But while doing so, the designer must also ensure that each and every step is intuitive. Since the first thing that an interested customer should encounter is sign up on the website, make sure that it's minimal and enticing at the same time 

Too complicated signup forms can turn off the customer and compel them to leave the site. Remember that your objective is to sell food and not insurance. It should not take more than a minute or two to activate an account

An ideal onboarding process for a food online ordering should only ask for the basics -  email address, delivery address and payment option at the end. The rest of the details can be updated by customers at their discretion by visiting the Profile/My Account section voluntarily. 

Most restaurant websites divide the steps into the selection of a food item, entering the email address and delivery address, and then the payment at the end. A lot of these websites also allow users to checkout as guests or perhaps make a profile automatically using the email address provided at the time of checkout. You can apply a couple of combinations to make onboarding quick and easy service. 

Efficient Search Option

Ryan in Philadelphia wanted to eat Honey Chilli Lotus Stem and decided to order it online from this new Asian Restaurant in town. He visits their website and uses its search tab to look for Lotus Stem dishes. The result said, “Not Found”. Disappointed Ryan left the website and used the UberEats app instead to order from another restaurant nearby. What a loss of sale. Isn’t it?

Having a search bar on the website is one thing, and having an efficient one is another. This small, yet very crucial feature of an online ordering website when works efficiently can make all the difference -  to the customer, as well as the restaurant. 

In addition to efficiency, web designers should also focus on providing categorization in search results. This is most useful for restaurants with the vast menu as it breaks down the menu into easy-to-find classifications that customers can navigate easily. 

Let them Rate your Dishes!

Wouldn’t it be nice if you could get to read a few reviews before trying out a new dish? A dozen people would nod on the idea of incorporating the rating system to the online ordering website. 

While providing a seamless online ordering and delivery experience, it pays to have a transparent rating system for customers -  for instance, using stars to thumbs-ups to translate customers’ opinions of a dish. 

Now where you place these stars is your designer’s prerogative. You can have these next to the product description or right under the thumbnail image of the dish. Either way, the rating system should be easily found. 

If you wish to make it more interactive, don’t shy away from adding an area for user comments. To make the food selection process a breeze for new customers, they should have the opportunity to see what other people feel about your food and services. 

Make life easier with "Locate Me"

How would you like if you spent half an hour browsing the dishes on the menu, adding them to the cart only to realize later that the restaurant doesn't deliver to your specified location? Such a Bummer! We all know it's not a good place to be in. 

Fortunately, restaurants listened to this problem and now most of them are using the "Locate Me" feature. As soon as the customer enters the website, the system locates the postal code and indicates whether the restaurant delivers to the location or not.  

Aside from this, locating the area of delivery also helps indicate delivery times and costs. That way, users can place their orders based on time restrictions and schedules. With integrated artificial intelligence (AI) the website can predict these things more accurately. 

Any online ordering website that hides these elements until the end has poor UX. Transparency is pivotal for good UX and makes the selection process more comfortable for customers. 

Curated Deals And Promotions

Who doesn’t want to save money? Customers are selective, but they can never let go of a good offer. In fact, studies suggest that 7 in 10 online users prefer to order from restaurants that offer enticing deals. Happy Hour Meals, Meal in a Box, Family Treats and BOGO are some of the most popular promotions for online ordering. If you serve good food with decent service and good bargains, your customers will definitely come back to you. 

The right placement of these banners on the website, as well as under the descriptions of each product would be beneficial in securing the projected sales for the month in question. This feature should be dynamic and ensure that your customers are able to locate them as soon as they enter the website. This will not only pique their interest in ordering from you but also increase the probability of successfully placed orders. Word of mouth will increase the retention and growth of customers.

Have a feedback submission option

Not everyone thinks about adding a Feedback submission on a restaurant’s website and we suggest you do. As a business owner, it’s important to predict the user’s flow. They will not always move in the way we intend them to. Many times they will do something they aren’t supposed to, always trying to break the “perfect flow” and in the end leave the cart abandoned for no reason at all. 

In such cases, always remember to add error messages wherever possible and help them navigate to the right page(s). If they make a mistake, let them know about it and if there's one on your side, let them inform you through feedback centers. Feedback centers help you learn about the small bugs that may be affecting the design flow or worse, affecting sale numbers. 

Working in tandem with your real users can help you identify the gaps, as well as improve customer UX experience drastically. 

The Takeaway...

With all restaurant online ordering websites, the one major takeaway is to make the order placement process the easiest for customers. Having a website won't cut it if you don't know how to prepare it for customer expectations. Continuous improvisation is what you must focus on to stay for a long time in this hyper-competitive market.

Now, after you’ve gone through all the above, you must be looking forward to hiring professional services that can help you launch your food online ordering website. 

Well, it never hurts to seek a professional solution to your problem. If you feel intrigued or need to know further about the website or app for the restaurant business then take a look at our long and happy list of clients and what they say about us.

We would suggest to drop us an inquiry to discuss your needs with our experts and get to know how Restolabs can help you kickstart your dream project. 

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