12 tips to getting the most from online ordering

While COVID-19 may have necessitated many hospo businesses adopt online ordering as part of their long-term sales strategy, many are struggling to make it profitable enough to survive.

Juggling third-party commissions, packaging costs and managing staff hours are just the start. Here’s our top 12 tips to help you boost profits from your online orders direct from customers. 


Make online ordering fast and easy for your patrons. Allow customers to store their details and favourite dishes so they can skip the hassle of entering it each time.

By simplifying the process a one-click option adds instant value to your customer’s experience and boosting the chance they’ll order again.

google maps search

When someone searches “food delivery near me” (one of the most trending searches) you want your business to be in Google’s top search results.

Make sure you go to Google and claim your food business so you can direct them to your website.

think about food packaging

It’s important to think about packaging as a representation of your brand, but don’t go over the top. Packaging can get really expensive and end up putting a dent in your profit margin.

Work with your suppliers to find environmentally friendly packaging that can be bought in bulk for a lower cost.

give your customers an exclusive offer

Some third-party ordering platforms take a big chunk off your profit margin. While diverting customers from third-party platforms can be tough, it’s worth a try.

Start out by giving your customers an extra incentive to order directly from your own website. Whether that’s a discount or an exclusive combo deal they can only order direct from you.

offer loyalty discounts

Customers love a good deal, as much as they love feeling appreciated.

Why not introduce offers to reward and encourage loyalty, whether that be a loyalty discount on their tenth order, or a buy one get one free deal on slower weeknights — something that keeps them coming back to you again and again.

don't be afraid to price by channel

We all know that direct orders are always more profitable than taking orders via multiple channels, which can eat into your profits.

Many third-party platforms charge hefty commissions, so it makes sense to raise your prices to reflect that sales platform and protect your margins.

ASk for a lower commission rate

Times are tough for hospo, and it might be worth asking your third-party delivery providers if they’ll lower their commission, even if only for a few months.

At the end of the day, if you don’t ask, you don’t get.

Promote direct ordering to patrons

This one’s a no brainer. Whether it’s on social media, signs on the front door, or simply getting your staff to tell your patrons about your online ordering capacity – promoting online orders is an important step in boosting online sales. Especially if you’ve never offered it directly before.

link your socials to your online menu

Linking your Facebook page or Instagram account creates a direct pathway between your customers and your website — boosting the chances that they’ll order directly from you and not via a third-party platform.

specialised takeaway menu

Some food travels well, while some don’t, so it’s ok to be picky about what items you include in your takeaway menu.

It’s also crucial you have a profitable menu with all items under 30% COGs. When every order counts, if a dish doesn’t make you money it shouldn’t be on your menu.


It’s cheaper to retain customers than to find new ones, so if you haven’t already started to build a database of your online ordering customers, start now!

Once you have their email you can build regular email campaigns, with special “order direct and save” offers and build customer loyalty.

DITCH DELIVERY, Takeaway only​

The delivery process can be the most expensive part of the online food ordering process. If offering delivery is just not sustainable for your business, think about dropping it and switch to a takeaway-only strategy instead. Loyal locals may not mind and would love an excuse to leave the house if under lockdown.

But remember, if you use a third-party delivery service, it’s ok to increase your prices on that platform if it’s hurting you before you ditch it altogether.

We are here to help


Whether that be sourcing retail items and packaging for delivery orders, re-costing recipes to reduce your COGs or engineering a whole new profitable takeaway menu, we’re here to help you survive and thrive. 

Get in touch with us today.