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Your restaurant’s dishes earn rave reviews, and your service is second to none. You monitor and respond to your online comments, and you don’t skimp on the small touches, like offering free bread and greeting regulars by name. So what else can you do to boost your restaurant customer satisfaction?

One answer, surprisingly, lies in your to-go business: Implementing your own online ordering system will improve your customer experience and strengthen loyalty.

While your diners undoubtedly enjoy coming in to your restaurant to eat, takeout is an easy option for occasions when customers are pressed for time or feel like staying in. When that’s the case, they want the convenience of ordering online.

In fact, 41% of adults of all ages (and 55% of millennials) say that the availability of online ordering makes them more likely to choose one restaurant over another. Even older demographic groups have embraced online ordering: 60% of baby boomers like to order online, and 40% want to order through restaurants’ mobile ordering apps. Here’s why customers love online ordering so much.

Online ordering increases restaurant customer satisfaction in 3 key ways. #1: Customers can order when it’s convenient for them.

Online ordering gives your customers the convenience of ordering when and how it’s easiest for them. Rather than waiting on hold, your diners can just go to your website, app, Facebook, or Google profile and place an order when they have the time.

If someone is in a rush and wants to pick up their favorite weeknight dinner on the way home from work, they can order ahead while they have a break at 3 and swing by your restaurant right at 6. Since everything is prepaid, all they have to do is dig in and enjoy.

#2: Customers have the time and ability to pick exactly what they want.

Without those rushed, noisy phone calls, your takeout customers can order out what they really want. Well-designed online menus that lay out modifiers and add-ons give them the ability to get specific. Meanwhile, the privacy of online ordering encourages customers to indulge a bit more.

A Duke University study found that when it comes to ordering takeout, online customers order larger, more complicated dishes than phone customers. The study’s author noted “We order very simple things when there are a lot of people around us, but then when it’s online, anonymous, we make different choices.” Good news for your restaurant, too: Online customers in this study spent 20% more than in-store diners.

Online ordering doesn’t just boost restaurant customer satisfaction—it also does wonders for your operations. Read our ebook, “The 6 Ways Online Ordering Will Transform Your Restaurant’s Efficiency,” to see how it makes your staff more productive and your business more profitable.

Read the eBook

 #3: With online ordering, there are fewer errors.

Online ordering also helps increase restaurant customer satisfaction simply by reducing errors. No one wants to open up a takeout bag to find the wrong sauce or a missing entrée, especially when they’re back at home and it’s too late to remedy the problem. When customers select and confirm their orders on-screen, and those instructions are clearly communicated to your kitchen, there’s just less room for misinterpretation.

Plus, customers want to order online directly from your restaurant.

It might seem like it’s just other restaurant owners and industry insiders who have opinions about online ordering providers, but your customers also care. They don’t just want to order online—they want to order online from you.

Most customers (158%, to be exact) already order straight from restaurants’ websites or apps instead of through third-party delivery apps, largely because it’s more convenient.  Moreover, when customers are educated about the destructive commissions that third-party delivery marketplaces charge, they strongly prefer to order direct from restaurants in order to support them.

It’s time to give your customers what they want by getting your own commission-free online ordering system with ChowNow. Schedule a demo with an online ordering specialist today to get started.

Schedule a Demo

The post Boost Restaurant Customer Satisfaction With Online Ordering appeared first on ChowNow.

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Every month, Google creates more than three billion direct connections between local businesses and customers across the US. As the most visited website in the world, we recognize the significant opportunity to monetize these Google searches and turn them into orders at your restaurant — in an instant.

That’s why we’re excited to share ChowNow’s newest ordering channel in partnership with Google. Food Ordering with Google allows customers searching Google for your restaurant by name, or even searching key terms like “pizza near me” or “Thai Kansas City,” to discover your restaurant and place an order in just a few taps.

Not only can these hungry customers discover and place orders from you on Google.com — they can also order from your restaurant when using Google Maps, or place a voice order using the widely popular Google Assistant.

Read through the FAQ below to learn more about Food Ordering with Google and how it works for your restaurant.


Frequently Asked Questions:
Food Ordering with Google, Powered by ChowNow
1. How do I get Food Ordering with Google for my restaurant?

If you’re currently a ChowNow restaurant partner in the US with a Google My Business Profile, your restaurant will be set up with Food Ordering with Google automatically this March, and there’s no additional action required by you.

For restaurants that are new to ChowNow: you’ll be set up with this ordering channel during onboarding as long as you have a Google My Business Profile. Your Google My Business Profile doesn’t need to be claimed. If you don’t use ChowNow yet, get started by scheduling a demo.

Here are two resources to help you get a Google My Business Profile set up for your restaurant: About Google My Business and Getting Started with Google My Business.

2. How much does Food Ordering with Google cost?

ChowNow is offering Food Ordering with Google completely free to restaurant partners at launch. We’ll provide you with advance notice when pricing for Food Ordering with Google will go into effect.

3. What’s the difference between the way I used to get orders from Google, and the new Food Ordering with Google?

A few years ago Google launched a program called Place Actions that allows customers searching on Google to place food orders from a restaurant’s Google Knowledge Panel. When customers click the ordering link, they’re taken to an external ordering site where they place the order. The restaurant pays fees in accordance with the linked online ordering company’s normal fee structure.

Food Ordering with Google is an entirely new experience — one that allows the customer to complete the transaction without ever having to leave Google. The blue ‘Order Online’ button is made prominent to customers in their Google Search results and when using Google Maps. Customers can also please repeat orders on voice command with Google Assistant.

4. How do I turn other online ordering services on or off to control which providers show up on Google?

Follow these steps to turn other online ordering services on or off:

  1. Search for your restaurant on Google.
  2. From the Search Results page, click the blue ‘Order Online’ button.
  3. From the Food Ordering page, tap the three dot icon on the right side of the screen and select “Send feedback.”
  4. Compose a message to Google’s support team and specify which online ordering services you’d like turned off or on. You can expect a timely response.


5. Can I opt out if I’m not ready for additional orders through Google?

No problem. Please email support@chownow.com and we’ll update your ChowNow account accordingly.

6. How do I opt back in when I’m ready to reach more customers through Food Ordering with Google?

Easy! Just email support@chownow.com and we’ll update your ChowNow account accordingly.

Enjoy the new customers and the additional orders with Food Ordering with Google. || Great food tells a story. We give it a mic.

The post Introducing Food Ordering with Google, Powered by ChowNow appeared first on ChowNow.

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If you haven’t started offering online ordering yet, you’re not alone. If you’re still trying to figure out how to give your customers a superior experience while growing your business and not breaking the bank—well, you’re not alone there either.

That said, it’s time for you to catch up and find the best online ordering system for your restaurant. 74% of consumers order food from restaurants via websites or mobile apps, and 41% of them say that they’re more likely to choose a restaurant if it offers online ordering. That’s why more than half of all restaurateurs are devoting more resources to customer-facing technology like online ordering this year.

While there are seemingly countless online ordering providers—ranging from third-party delivery apps to commission-free systems—they’re not all created equal. In order to find the best online ordering system for you, you’ll need to make sure that it aligns with your restaurant’s core requirements.

Get a condensed list of what you need in an online ordering system in our guide, “4 Steps for Choosing an Online Ordering Partner.”

Read the Guide

What does the best online ordering system look like for you and your restaurant? Identify Your Restaurant’s Needs Today

Ask yourself the following list of questions about you and your restaurant in order to start thinking about what’s right for you.

    • What does your takeout business look like? How many orders do you currently do per day? Is it an efficient process?
    • What about pricing? Are you comfortable paying a commission to a third-party food delivery app on every order, or would you rather pay a low, flat rate?
    • Do you market to your customers and value your restaurant’s brand?
    • Do you want to be able to take your customers’ orders across the internet through platforms like Facebook, Google, and custom mobile apps? Or would you be satisfied with only allowing them to order through one channel, like a third-party site?
    • Do you value dedicated support and consulting? Are you fine with a self-service online ordering system, or would you prefer one-on-one guidance and training?

Schedule a demo with a ChowNow online ordering specialist to talk about your options and find the right solution for your restaurant.

Schedule a Demo

Then, follow five simple steps to find the best online ordering system.

Now that you’ve identified your unique needs and goals, take a look at these industry best practices for identifying the right online ordering partner.

1. Keep looking ahead.

Your online ordering provider should offer a diverse set of values that help you sustain your business in the long-term. Work with a company that helps you refine your online ordering marketing strategies and identify opportunities for growth. They should give you the customer data you need to make informed decisions about your restaurant’s strategy, menu, and promotions.

Find a vendor that invests in continual innovation. Look for a track record of enhancements and upgrades that benefit your customers and streamline your operations. Ask about what is in the pipeline for future upgrades as well. You’ll want to make sure you partner with a company that is going to stay ahead of the curve and bring new solutions to the table to keep you ahead of the competition.

2. Go mobile.

Today’s consumer has a craving for convenience, so having mobile ordering for your restaurant is a must if you want to compete. In fact, according to Business Insider, mobile order-ahead is projected to be a $38 billion industry by 2020.

The best online ordering system will allow you to take orders from popular apps like Facebook, and can build you a great mobile ordering app. An app just for your restaurant will boost loyalty by giving your customers a convenient and fast way to order on the go.

3. Avoid paying commission on every order.

If you plan on being able to support the volume that online ordering brings, the math needs to make sense. Many third-party food delivery apps will charge 15-40% on every order you receive. Avoid signing with these marketplace online ordering platforms that charge a percentage and choose one that charges a flat-monthly rate for unlimited orders. If your phone company took 15%-40% every time you took an order over the phone, you would have stopped taking phone orders a long time ago.

4. Keep your customers.

The ability to collect restaurant customer data (e.g., names, email addresses, and order history) from orders placed online gives you the insights needed to run promotions and campaigns to get hard-earned customers ordering again and again. While it may seem like a no-brainer that your restaurant should have full access to information about your customers, many vendors withhold this information from their restaurant partners.

5. Own your brand and prioritize marketing.

Look for a vendor that focuses on elevating your restaurant and helps you develop deeper connections with your customers. Your online ordering technology should look and feel polished and well-designed while letting your food, logo, and brand step to the front. Choose a partner that will develop custom marketing materials and digital campaigns that drive customer retention.

Ready to get started?

Schedule a demo with an online ordering specialist to discover why ChowNow is one of the best online ordering systems on the market. You’ll see how our innovative platform and award-winning team offer the tools and know-how needed to grow your takeout business.

The post How to Find the Best Online Ordering System for Your Restaurant appeared first on ChowNow.

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Just a few years ago, custom restaurant mobile apps may have seemed like a novelty, but today, they’re an indispensable part of a successful concept’s toolkit. With online ordering growing the efficiency of restaurants everywhere, it makes perfect sense that 33% of these businesses have already taken the next step by getting their own custom online food ordering apps.

Custom restaurant mobile apps differ from third-party delivery apps (like Grubhub and Uber Eats) in that they’re created exclusively for a single restaurant location or brand. Rather than offering consumers an overwhelming array of dining options, these branded online food ordering apps feature your food, menu, and logo—and don’t eat into your profits.

While it might seem like third-party food delivery apps are everywhere, the vast majority of consumers actually prefer to order straight from a restaurant. In practice, ordering directly through restaurant websites and custom apps is 158% more popular than online ordering through third-parties. Let’s take a closer look at why this is.

Restaurant mobile apps let you meet customers where they are.

Smartphone owners are constantly on their devices, spending three to four hours a day on mobile. Because of the frequency with which they use their phones, many consumers find mobile apps to be the most convenient way of doing business. It’s not surprising that 22% of customers of all ages (and 27% of millennials) would choose one restaurant over another due to the availability of an online food ordering app.

Find out if a custom restaurant mobile app is right for your business, and get the best practices for maximizing takeout sales through apps by reading “The Restaurateur’s Guide to Custom Mobile Apps.”

Read the Guide

Custom restaurant apps put your brand in the palms of your customers’ hands.

The amount of time that consumers spend on smartphones makes mobile real estate extremely valuable: If a customer has your restaurant’s online food ordering app on their phone, that means they spend hours seeing your logo every single day. Your app acts as a digital advertisement that follows them wherever they go, and they’re always just a few taps away from placing a commission-free order at your restaurant.

Custom restaurant apps from ChowNow do more than just keep you on top of your customers’ minds, though. Armed with push notifications and customer email addresses, you have the power to send timely, relevant communications that increase orders.

Mobile food ordering apps boost customer loyalty.

Branded mobile apps give your restaurant a direct connection to your digital customers, rather than funneling them through a third-party. This is why ChowNow’s custom apps lead to a 300% increase in customer loyalty, sending repeat orders through the roof.

Want to know if an online food ordering app is right for your restaurant? Read our ebook, “The Restaurateur’s Guide to Custom Mobile Apps,” to evaluate your technological needs and learn essential best practices for maximizing your mobile investments.

Ready to get started now? Schedule a demo with an online ordering specialist today to get your very own commission-free custom mobile app.

The post Why Custom Restaurant Mobile Apps Are the New Normal appeared first on ChowNow.

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Restaurants have notoriously thin margins—the average net profit for full-service establishments is currently at a relative high of 6.1%. It makes perfect sense for restaurateurs to attempt to cut costs wherever they can, including on their technology budget. But, while signing up for a free online ordering system might sound like a good idea, unfortunately, you’ll get what you pay for.

What do you get with a free online ordering system?

Free online ordering systems—along with low-cost systems that might be thrown in at no extra charge with your POS package—have a very limited set of capabilities.

When you sign up for a free system like Gloria Food, you’ll simply get access to a widget that lets you take orders on your website. Want a custom mobile ordering app? Need help implementing the widget? Worried about support and security? It’ll cost you.

How to Set Up a Free Online Ordering System

Online ordering systems may seem straightforward, but there’s a lot that goes on behind the scenes, especially during implementation. If you don’t pay a trusted, expert company to do it the right way, you’ll end up wasting your time and money.

If you go the free route and decide to undertake the work on your own, you’ll have a lot to do. You’ll need to know how to correctly install the widget on your website before you can take online orders. You’ll also have to upload your menu into the software manually and make sure that all of your dishes (and modifiers) are properly configured.

Quality online ordering platforms help restaurants optimize their online menus in order to increase sales.

Accepting payments online—which is a key reason why online ordering increases your restaurant’s efficiency and profits—is yet another issue when it comes to free online ordering systems. Gloria Food, for example, charges restaurants $30 per month just to take credit cards online. Suddenly, free restaurant ordering apps aren’t quite so cost-effective.

Find out what you should look for in an online ordering system by getting our guide, “4 Steps for Choosing an Online Ordering Partner.”

Read the Guide

What happens when things go wrong?

Your restaurant’s online ordering provider should be dedicated to the long-term success of your restaurant and its takeout business. If you use a free online ordering system, you’ll miss out on critical support and security.

When things don’t go as planned, it’s crucial to have a well-trained customer support representative pick up your call. That representative should go above and beyond in helping you solve whatever issue is at hand, whether it’s mapping delivery zones or troubleshooting an error on your website. If you work with a free online ordering provider, this type of customer service certainly can’t be guaranteed.

It’s arguably even more important for your online ordering provider to have your back in case of fraud. Let’s say your restaurant gets hit with a chargeback—a reversal of a credit card payment due to a disputed credit card transaction. While software providers work hard to prevent fraud, a certain amount of chargebacks is inevitable, especially considering that fraud in the food and beverage industry has grown by 79% in the last year.

Free online ordering systems offer zero coverage when your restaurant is hit with a chargeback. You and your business will be on the hook for refunding credit card companies with money—potentially tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars—that you don’t have. In the online ordering industry, it’s rare for vendors to cover chargebacks. ChowNow is one of the very few that offers its restaurant partners 100% protection.

…And when things go right?

Even when it’s business as usual, add-on and free restaurant ordering apps fall short. You’ll be limited from the outset, since the majority of these providers only allow you to accept orders on your website—not though your own custom restaurant app, Facebook page, or Google My Business profile.

The right online ordering partner will help your restaurant increase loyalty with tools like custom ordering apps.

Free and add-on systems also lack the resources to help you expand your online ordering business. If there’s no single point of contact working with you, there’s probably no one helping you with strategic planning. Meanwhile, menu optimizations, , and promotional materials are all out of the question. Essentially, if you want to increase your customer base, repeat orders, or check sizes, you’re on your own.

The solution? Online ordering that supports your business.

While quality online ordering platforms are never free, the right one won’t be cost-prohibitive either.

In ChowNow’s case, restaurant partners pay a low, flat monthly fee in exchange for industry-leading technology, 24/7 support, consulting, valuable marketing data, and promotional materials. That type of partnership more than pays for itself: The typical restaurant on ChowNow recoups the cost of a year’s worth of service in their first month on our platform.

Interested in doing online ordering the right way? Read our four-step guide to finding the perfect online ordering partner, or go ahead and schedule a call with an online ordering specialist today.

The post The Truth About Free Online Ordering Systems for Restaurants appeared first on ChowNow.

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Restaurants have notoriously thin margins—the average net profit for full-service establishments is currently at a relative high of 6.1%. It makes perfect sense for restaurateurs to attempt to cut costs wherever they can, including on their technology budget. But, while signing up for a free online ordering system might sound like a good idea, unfortunately, you’ll get what you pay for.

What do you get with a free online ordering system?

Free online ordering systems—along with low-cost systems that might be thrown in at no extra charge with your POS package—have a very limited set of capabilities.

When you sign up for a free system like Gloria Food, you’ll simply get access to a widget that lets you take orders on your website. Want a custom mobile ordering app? Need help implementing the widget? Worried about support and security? It’ll cost you.

How to Set Up a Free Online Ordering System

Online ordering systems may seem straightforward, but there’s a lot that goes on behind the scenes, especially during implementation. If you don’t pay a trusted, expert company to do it the right way, you’ll end up wasting your time and money.

If you go the free route and decide to undertake the work on your own, you’ll have a lot to do. You’ll need to know how to correctly install the widget on your website before you can take online orders. You’ll also have to upload your menu into the software manually and make sure that all of your dishes (and modifiers) are properly configured.

Quality online ordering platforms help restaurants optimize their menus in order to increase sales.

Accepting payments online—which is a key reason why online ordering increases your restaurant’s efficiency and profits—is yet another issue when it comes to free online ordering systems. Gloria Food, for example, charges restaurants $30 per month just to take credit cards online. Suddenly, free restaurant ordering apps aren’t quite so cost-effective.

Find out what you should look for in an online ordering system by getting our guide, “4 Steps for Choosing an Online Ordering Partner.”

Read the Guide

What happens when things go wrong?

Your restaurant’s online ordering provider should be dedicated to the long-term success of your restaurant and its takeout business. If you use a free online ordering system, you’ll miss out on critical support and security.

When things don’t go as planned, it’s crucial to have a well-trained customer support representative pick up your call. That representative should go above and beyond in helping you solve whatever issue is at hand, whether it’s mapping delivery zones or troubleshooting an error on your website. If you work with a free online ordering provider, this type of customer service certainly can’t be guaranteed.

It’s arguably even more important for your online ordering provider to have your back in case of fraud. Let’s say your restaurant gets hit with a chargeback—a reversal of a credit card payment due to a disputed credit card transaction. While software providers work hard to prevent fraud, a certain amount of chargebacks is inevitable, especially considering that fraud in the food and beverage industry has grown by 79% in the last year.

Free online ordering systems offer zero coverage when your restaurant is hit with a chargeback. You and your business will be on the hook for refunding credit card companies with money—potentially tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars—that you don’t have. In the online ordering industry, it’s rare for vendors to cover chargebacks. ChowNow is one of the very few that offers its restaurant partners 100% protection.

…And when things go right?

Even when it’s business as usual, add-on and free restaurant ordering apps fall short. You’ll be limited from the outset, since the majority of these providers only allow you to accept orders on your website—not though your own custom restaurant app, Facebook page, or Google My Business profile.

The right online ordering partner will help your restaurant increase loyalty with tools like custom ordering apps.

Free and add-on systems also lack the resources to help you expand your online ordering business. If there’s no single point of contact working with you, there’s probably no one helping you with strategic planning. Meanwhile, menu optimizations, , and promotional materials are all out of the question. Essentially, if you want to increase your customer base, repeat orders, or check sizes, you’re on your own.

The solution? Online ordering that supports your business.

While quality online ordering platforms are never free, the right one won’t be cost-prohibitive either.

In ChowNow’s case, restaurant partners pay a low, flat monthly fee in exchange for industry-leading technology, 24/7 support, consulting, valuable marketing data, and promotional materials. That type of partnership more than pays for itself: The typical restaurant on ChowNow recoups the cost of a year’s worth of service in their first month on our platform.

Interested in doing online ordering the right way? Read our four-step guide to finding the perfect online ordering partner, or go ahead and schedule a call with an online ordering specialist today.

The post The Truth About Free Online Ordering Systems for Restaurants appeared first on ChowNow.

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On their surface, third-party marketplace online ordering services like Postmates, Grubhub, and Uber Eats may seem like a smart choice for your restaurant. After all, it pays to have online ordering, and these services can offer you a large audience of new customers. If you currently work with one of these delivery middlemen, you may very well have a steady stream of orders lighting up your tablet, announcing yet another customer hungry for your food.

The volume of orders, though, masks a sobering truth: these third-party marketplaces are eroding your margins and undermining your business.

How Much Are They Taking?

Third-party marketplace online ordering platforms charge commissions on each and every order, which can range between 15% to 40%.

Grubhub, for example, might charge you a base of 20% per order just to appear on their site and accept online orders. If your restaurant is in a competitive area and you’re eager for marketing help, though, you’ll want to opt for a sponsored listing, which would place your restaurant near the top of search results. That, though, might cost 30% of each order instead. Delivery is another 10% of your order. Even if you have your own delivery person and charge your customers a delivery fee, Grubhub will take 10% of that too. All in all, you could be paying out 40% of what you take in for each order.

It Adds Up

Perhaps you’re not paying anything close to 40% of each order—maybe your third-party marketplace charges you 15%, for now at least. Even then, these commissions can put a large dent in your profits.

Say your restaurant operates at a 10% profit margin. On a $50 ticket, you’d actually keep $5 in profit after accounting for your food, supplies, labor, rent, and all the rest. Even if you’re giving just 15% of each ticket to your marketplace, that equates to $7.50, which leaves you with a loss of $2.50.

That loss wouldn’t be significant if it only applied to a customer’s first order. After all, you’re using third-party marketplaces to reach a new audience, right? However, most third-party marketplaces charge the same take rates whether it’s a diner’s first or fifteenth order. That $2.50 loss gets multiplied, and you end up paying these marketplaces a massive sum of money to sell your food.

The Tide Is Turning

When orders are flowing in, it can be challenging to accurately assess your losses. However, some restaurateurs are waking up.

The New Yorker reported on this problem, interviewing a independent restaurant owner who states, “We know for a fact that as delivery increases, our profitability decreases.” Third-party marketplace ordering platforms, she continues, are “a far bigger problem than a lot of operators realize.” Another restaurateur admits, “Sometimes it seems like we’re making food to make Seamless profitable.”

Media outlets all over highlight similar stories about the problem with third-party marketplaces harming restaurants’ profits. Here are just a few examples:

These articles paint a vivid picture: It’s time for restauranteurs to fight back.   

At ChowNow, we believe that takeout shouldn’t take out the neighborhood. That’s why we put online ordering back in restaurants’ hands with flat monthly fees and valuable marketing and data provided at no extra cost. Learn more about escaping from unfair third-party marketplace fees by getting in touch with the ChowNow team.

The post How Marketplaces Are Eating Away at Your Restaurant’s Bottom Line appeared first on ChowNow.

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Eager to establish a stronger connection with your customers and increase repeat orders? Get your very own branded mobile app to put your menu in their hands, wherever they are.

After signing up with your Restaurant Success Manager or Account Coordinator, you can follow the guide below to get a branded iPhone app, built and developed by ChowNow.

Please Note: These instructions are specifically for Canadian restaurant partners. If your restaurant is located in the USA, please view the relevant guide here.

Additionally, if you already have an Apple Developer account linked to your restaurant brand, please skip to Step 5.

Step 1:  Prepare your business domain email and business’s DUNS number.

You should have already had a call with our in-house App Specialist before following the steps in this tutorial. If you haven’t scheduled a call, please refer to the email we sent you to schedule a phone appointment.

  • Have your restaurant domain email address ready: Use an email address you frequently access with a business domain (i.e. name@business.com). This cannot be a Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail, other domain. 
    • Please note: If you do not have a business domain email address, you cannot enroll in the Apple Developer Program until you create one.  If you do not have one, please contact your ChowNow App Specialist directly to provide you options on how to purchase one.

  • Look Up Your DUNS number: A DUNS number is a unique nine-digit identifier for businesses. Don’t know if you have a DUNS number? Simply search for it here by using your restaurant address or phone number. If you need to create one, it’s easy to do so and free of cost. Just click here to get started.
    • Please note: Please take the “registration name” your DUNS number is under (whether it’s your restaurant’s name or LLC name) and email it over to your App Specialist, as the ChowNow team will need it for their records.
Step 2: Create a business Apple ID.

Please note: If you already have an Apple ID using your business domain email, please skip to Step 3.

  • Create an Apple ID using your business domain email address (i.e. info@hudsonscafe.com).
  • Once you fill out the form to create an Apple ID, Apple will send a verification email to your Apple ID email address with a 6-digit confirmation code. Once you receive this email, enter this code into the web form.
  • Finally, click on ‘Verify’ to create your Apple ID.
    • Please note: If you are not able to create an Apple ID after inputting the verification code, it is most likely due to Apple’s hours of operation. If this occurs, please contact Apple Support directly at 1-800-275-2273 in order to resolve the problem.
Step 3: Using your newly created Apple ID, complete your Apple Developer form.
  • Sign in with your Apple ID onto the Apple Developer page.
  • Select “Company/Organization” from the Entity Type dropdown.
    • Please note: DO NOT select “Individual/Sole Proprietor/Single Person Business.”
  • Confirm that you have the authority to sign legal agreements on behalf of your organization.
  • When it asks for your organization’s phone number, we recommend inputting your cell phone number rather than the restaurant line, as this will be the easiest way for Apple to contact you.
  • Proceed to filling out the ‘Organization Information’ section. Here, you will input your restaurant’s DUNS number.
    • Please Note: After you input your DUNS number, there is a possibility that an error message will be prompted that states, “This organization could not be verified as a legal entity…” This is very common. If you experience this error message, please click “update your D&B profile” (image below).  After you submit this update, it normally takes D&B about 14 days to update the DUNS number. This developer form and process has to be put on hold at this point until the updated DUNS number is received—though please make sure to contact your App Specialist, letting them know this error was encountered and the update was submitted.

  • At the end of the developer form, you will notice a two-factor authentication box. Apple requires two-factor authentication to be turned on to enroll in the Apple Developer Program. It is important to point out that this is different from two-step authentication. In order to get past this step, you must use an Apple product—either an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch with iOS 9 and later, or a Mac with OS X El Capitan and later. We recommend using an iPhone if available.
    • Please Note: You can also use a co-worker’s Apple device to complete this step! If you cannot get access to an Apple device, please let your App Specialist know, and we can assist you with this step.
  • On your trusted device, please go to “Settings” and select on your name (the top box).  Scroll to the bottom of the Apple ID page and select “Log Out.” When it issues a prompt that says, “Merge Accounts,” we recommend selecting “Yes” to avoid losing your personal data.
  • Once you log out of your personal ID, sign in again using your business Apple ID.
  • After you’ve logged in with your business Apple ID, select “Password & Security” under the Apple ID tab.
  • Next, simply tap ‘Turn on Two-Factor Authentication’ and select continue.  A code will be displayed that you will then input into your Apple Developer form in order to complete this step.
Step 4: Verify your Apple Developer account.
  • Receive a phone call from Apple: Once you submit the enrollment form, an Apple representative will call the phone number you provided. While on that call, you will need to provide them with the following information:  
    • Your first and last name
    • Date of birth
    • A secondary contact person for this Apple Developer account
      • Please Note: If you do not hear from them within 24 hours, we recommend logging back into your Developer account and requesting a call from Apple in order to speed up this process. To do so, you can simply select the “contact us page, “development & technical,” “developer forum issue,” and select on request call.
  • Receive an email to accept terms: After the successful verification call, you will receive an email from Apple containing a license agreement. Select “Review Now” in the email and continue through the terms. After agreeing, you will automatically proceed to the payment page.
  • Complete your payment for the Apple Developer Program: You’ll see a final cost of $99 and have the option to select auto-renewal for this annual $99 fee for your developer account — we highly recommend choosing this option to ensure your app does not get removed from the App Store. Select “Purchase” and confirm your login information to submit your billing information and complete the developer process.
Step 5: Invite ChowNow as a contributor.
  • First, invite ChowNow to your new Apple Developer account.
    • Log in to your Apple Developer account.
    • Click “Invite People” and enter the ChowNow developer email address that your App Specialist sent you in your ChowNow purchase confirmation email.
      • Please note: Make sure to select the team member role “Admin” and click “Invite.”
  • Second, invite ChowNow to your App Store Connect account.
    • Log in to App Store Connect with your Apple ID.
    • Select “Users and Roles” and click the “+” symbol to add a user. Enter “ChowNow” in the “Name” field, and in the “Email Address” field, enter the ChowNow developer email address that your App Specialist provided you in your ChowNow purchase confirmation email.
  • Third, confirm with your App Specialist that the invitations were received.
    • At this point, please call or email your App Specialist in order to make sure both invites were received properly. Once we have received and accepted the invites, we will take it from here to build and publish your app.

That’s it! We will let you know as soon as the app has been published, within 2 weeks of receiving your invite via email. If you have any questions related to this process, please reach out to your App Specialist directly.

The post Tutorial: How to Enroll Your Restaurant in ChowNow’s Apple Developer Program (Canadian Version) appeared first on ChowNow.

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We know that saving money is the #1 concern for restaurant owners & managers everywhere. It’s easy to shy away from the idea of selling your food for a smaller profit. In reality, running a promotion can not only help you stand out and be memorable, but it can give your customers an incentive to purchase more than they would have normally! Take a look at some of our “do’s” and “don’ts” of running promotions, designed to help keep your customers coming back for more.

Do this:

Keep it simple

I don’t know about you, but the discount code “123get50percent0FF456” wouldn’t necessarily have me reaching for my phone to place an order. The key to promo codes is keeping it short, sweet, and relevant. Is there a holiday coming up? Think “GREEN” for St. Patrick’s Day. Running a percentage discount? Try “25OFF” to be specific. The easier the code is to type in, the more likely the customer will be to use it.

Stay current & on trend

In this day and age, there is always something “trending”. Remember Pokemon Go? Restaurants that advertised as a “PokeStop” were suddenly flooded with hungry gamers. Don’t let your promotions run stale. Stay in the know and act accordingly! If there is a popular event coming up in your community or a trending topic that relates to your business, jump on it before it’s too late.

Run an Instagram contest

An effective and creative way to market your restaurant is to run a contest on Instagram. Promoting a new dish? Try posting a photo of the item with clear & concise rules for the contest. Followers can compete with their own images and tag your restaurant to enter. The winner gets that new dish for free! The idea is to stay relevant and give your customers more of a reason to be excited about your brand.

Not this:

Don’t keep your promotion a secret

Make sure that no matter where your customers look, they are aware of the promotion going on. Add the details of the promotion to your voicemail message. Enter the promotion into your POS system so it prints out on all receipts. Do you provide table service? Add a promotional card to all of your checkbooks. Does your restaurant have a counter? Place a sign on the counter with the discount details. There are endless ways to inform your customers of great deals, it’s just a matter of you placing it there for them.

Don’t rush your customers

Time is of the essence! Promote your next special at least two weeks in advance, since future party plans could involve a huge order from your restaurant. Promoting a deal with short notice won’t capture the intended audience in time for you to see the expected results. Especially if it’s a holiday or big event (e.g., the Superbowl). If customers are planning to place a big takeout order for a party, more likely than not they already have a restaurant in mind.

Don’t devalue your menu

We understand! You want to save money by giving away something that doesn’t cost you much, but let’s face it – by offering promotions that aren’t attractive, you’re not only devaluing your menu items but you’re wasting your resources by offering something that customers won’t care about. Would a “5% Off” promotion excite you if you found out the order minimum was $300? Exactly.

There are many effective ways to promote your restaurant that will increase revenue and create loyal customers. If you’re doing some of the “Don’ts”, don’t sweat it! It’s never too late to change those into “Do’s”.

If you’re a ChowNow restaurant client and want some feedback on your upcoming promotion, schedule a call — we’re happy to help. If you don’t already have online ordering at your restaurant, 2017 is a great time to get started. Get a free ChowNow demo from one of our experts to get started today!

The post The Do’s and Don’ts of Running Restaurant Promotions appeared first on ChowNow.

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