Thursday, March 25, 2021

Online Payment Platforms Can Make or Break Fresh Food Sales


At the intersection of customer demand for faster and faster online ordering options and grocerant niche Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh food sales is the online ordering platform and having an integrated payment platform the ilk of Square Online is imperative for success according to Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions®.

Restaurants, service deli’s, caterers, convenience stores, and non-traditional fresh food outlets need to integrate a payment platform the ilk of Square if for no other reasons to increase thin margins, reduced capacity limits, and help ease the pain of new stricter regulations.

Square Online offers restaurant, retailers, a comprehensive set of features that allows them to increase safety, reduce in-person contact, improve order accuracy, and adapt to changing consumer preferences all in support of that goal to never miss a sale.

Consider this, with Square Online, it’s easy too offer a variety of options for getting orders in diners’ hands: in-person and curbside pickup, delivery by an on-staff courier, or by a food delivery service. It’s important ot offer customer option at all locations.

At the Square Online home page, restaurants, retailers, delis, and c-store can take orders online, with no monthly fees or startup costs. The online ordering page features menu items and includes fast, secure checkout via credit card, debit card, Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Square Pay. Upon checking out, diners can choose to place orders for curbside pickup or delivery. Delivery can be fulfilled by a restaurant’s own staff or on-demand.

So, with on-demand delivery from Square Online, restaurant owners can have orders delivered via professional third-party couriers like DoorDash or Postmates, but without paying those services’ steep marketplace commissions that can run up to 30% of an order’s total cost.

Online orders instantly display in Square’s Order Manager or restaurant point of sale system and relay to kitchen printers, so there’s no disruption to an establishment’s standard order process. Square Online also offers self-serve ordering, which allows restaurants to print QR codes, place them in order locations—tables, parking spaces, walk-up windows—to allow diners to order and pay from their mobile device without having to interact with waitstaff.

Here is an example from Square; Chris Pastena, the owner of the Chop Bar, a fast-casual restaurant in Oakland, California has been using Square Online on-demand delivery and said it helped him stay ahead of the curve in recent months. “With the threat of additional shelter-in-place orders looming, it’s more important than ever to be flexible and maintain our focus on pickup and delivery to continue serving our customers. Square Online’s on-demand delivery feature allowed us to quickly, affordably, and efficiently provide delivery options and keep our doors open.”

Yes, you can afford Square Online.  They offer a free plan that has all the features a dining establishment needs to start accepting orders online. Features include:

·         Sell an unlimited number of items

·         Offer pickup with automated order text alerts to customers

·         Ability to tip staff

·         Automatic inventory, item, and order sync with any Square Point of Sale System

The Free Plan is just that, free. Create an online ordering page, set up a menu, and launch without paying any startup costs or monthly fees. Pay only 2.9% plus 30¢ per transaction. Let’s look at some of the key parts of the plan:

1.       Contact-free, self-serve ordering - In addition to offering online ordering, Square Online also powers QR code-based in-person ordering. Diners can place orders tableside, outside, in line, or anywhere they have access to the QR codes that get created in Square Online. By scanning these QR codes, diners can view the menu, order, and pay from their phones. Self-serve orders get sent to the kitchen—just like they were entered by a server. This feature is available for free and costs only the regular processing rate of 2.9% + 30¢ per payment transaction.

2.       On-demand delivery - Restaurants can have DoorDash or Postmates deliver orders without having to pay marketplace commissions. When a customer orders from an establishment’s Square Online ordering page for delivery, the order gets immediately sent to the delivery service and a DoorDash or Postmates courier gets dispatched to pick up the order. On-demand delivery only costs restaurants $1.50 per order with no marketplace commissions.

3.       Pickup - This allows customers to order and pay online and easily pick their items up in person or select curbside pickup, so customers don’t have to leave the safety and comfort of their own vehicles.

4.       In-house delivery - Eateries also have the option of using an on-staff delivery team. Estimated delivery time, minimum delivery order value, and order status text alerts can all be customized. There is a fee of 50¢ per order to use this feature.

Integrates with Square - Square Online works with other Square offerings like loyalty, marketing, gift cards, customer directory, reporting, team management, and of course Square Point Of Sale and Square for Restaurants, retailers, and non-traditional outlets. Are you ready to integrate an online payment system?

Foodservice Solutions® specializes in outsourced business development. We can help you identify, quantify and qualify additional food retail segment opportunities or a new menu product segment and brand and menu integration strategy.  Foodservice Solutions® of Tacoma WA is the global leader in the Grocerant niche visit us on

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