How To Use Square Online Ordering To Boost Restaurant Sales
Square For Restaurants online ordering offers menu syncing, commision-free delivery, QR code ordering, and many other features that restaurants need to stay competitive.
Square online ordering is one of the more valuable tools that the popular point of sale and processing service offers. In today’s world, giving potential customers the ability to find your restaurant from the comfort of their homes or on their mobile devices is practically essential. The pandemic, coupled with technological advances in the restaurant industry, paved the way for a huge boom in online ordering and has given customers the ability to continue to eat their favorite foods more conveniently while providing restaurants with a lifeline of sorts during an incredibly difficult time of high restaurant turnover and low inventory.
Square already boasts one of the more user-friendly and affordable point of sale systems on the market for restaurants, so it’s not a surprise that its online ordering function is equally sleek and reliable. If you already use Square or are searching for new or different POS software, tapping into Square’s online ordering features can boost sales and help improve the efficacy of your inventory management — and ultimately your profitability.
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What Is Square Online Ordering?
Square online ordering is a feature of Square point of sale software that allows you to build your own website, sell your products, and accept payments, giving your restaurant access to a wider array of customers.
Square Online Ordering Features & Benefits
The Square order app is simple to set up, easy to navigate, and cost-effective. If used efficiently, it can help your restaurant find more customers and conveniently serve your existing customers by allowing them to buy items for pick-up or delivery. Obviously, allowing customers to make purchases while not even physically present in your restaurant can improve your profits enormously. And while it can also potentially make things more complicated for your staff, Square’s platform has plenty of features (like kitchen display screens) that can help ease those burdens as well.
How You Can Use Square Online Ordering For Your Restaurant
There are a number of features in Square’s online ordering platform that may be able to help your restaurant out tremendously. Here’s what you can find at a glance:
- Menu Syncing: You can have your items uploaded to your website and ready to sell within minutes of implementing online ordering.
- Commission-Free Delivery: While Square also integrates with popular third-party delivery services, Square online ordering can set you up with professional delivery that can earn you a higher percentage than other platforms.
- QR Code Ordering: QR codes are back and being used now more than ever. You can set up no-contact pick-ups through this feature.
- Order Scheduling: Allow customers to set up a pick-up or delivery time at any point during your hours of operations.
- Tipping: A signature of Square POS, its online ordering platform encourages customers to leave a gratuity for employees.
- Square Marketing: Store customer information to set up future email campaigns to encourage and reward repeat business.
- Square Loyalty: Incentivize customers to return and spend more while allowing them to check their points online.
- Instagram Integration: Add your Instagram feed to your site to post appetizing pictures and allow customers to order directly from the app.
How Much Is Square Online Ordering?
Square’s basic online ordering is completely free aside from payment processing fees. While the free plan is very generous, there are paid tiers that can give you access to more advanced features as well. Processing fees for most online payments are 2.9% + 30 cents. For Square’s most expensive Premium Plan, those fees drop to 2.6% + 30 cents. Here’s what you can expect from each plan:
- Free website
- Pickup, delivery & shipping
- Instagram and Facebook integrations
- Accept Afterpay
- Self-serve ordering
- Custom domain
- No Square ads
- Custom fonts
- Password-protected pages
- Accept PayPal
- Advanced reporting
- Product reviews
- Gifting options
- Lower processing rate
- Real-time shipping
Keep in mind that, if you set up in-house delivery, you don’t have to pay commissions and instead will pay a flat fee of 50 cents per order. You can choose to either cover that fee or pass it on to your customers. Square also integrates with numerous third-party delivery apps like DoorDash, Postmates and Caviar. Each of these apps charges businesses different amounts and you’ll want to make sure you understand the difference in fees to see if it’s cost-effective to use them.
How To Set Up Square Online Ordering For Your Restaurant
If you already have a Square account, you can activate the Square order manager in just a matter of minutes. Keep in mind that Square For Restaurants and Square online ordering both have free plans, so you can be up and ready to sell for pick-up or delivery with no upfront cost aside from processing fees. Here’s how to quickly set up Square online ordering.
1) Initial Set-Up
Go to the Online page on Square Dashboard and click Get Started For Free.
2) Create Your Site
Now you can begin importing your menu options or you can create them from scratch. You will need to switch the default setting from “shipping” to “pickup”
3) Edit Templates
For restaurants, select the Page drop-down menu from the editor site. Then switch to Order Online and select Publish to make the change. Select Item List, then Arrange & add items to create items or categories. You can also view recent and most popular items.
4) Manage Orders
Incoming orders will be sent directly to the Orders tab on your dashboard. You can select pickup or delivery from the dashboard but to cancel and order you’ll need to be on the Overview page. You can also manage delivery apps like DoorDash or Postmates through the dashboard.
5) Manage Pickups
From the Orders tab, you can easily scroll through filters that mark orders as active or completed. You can mark an order as ready manually and then mark it as picked up once the customer has arrived.
6) View Payments
You can check out your payment history from your dashboard and also download it if necessary. Square automatically collects payments and provides refunds as well if the order is canceled. Online customers will receive an email confirmation and you can manually send them a receipt as well.
7) Manage Integrated Apps
Third-party payments can also be easily viewed through your transaction history.
What Your Customer Sees With The Square Order
The user experience with Square online ordering is very simple and Square’s website template is professional and easy to navigate. Customers first select the location of the restaurant if the business has more than one brick-and-mortar store to choose from. After scrolling through the menu options, they can select one, which opens up a side tab and allows them to choose the number of the item they have selected and make any modifications.
When the customer is prompted to pay, they will also see any instructions that you have added regarding delivery or pickup options. They can choose to receive notifications regarding their order via text message. If a customer has any experience with online ordering, they should have no issues navigating through Square’s system.