In November 2019, Saleem S. Khatri, CEO of Lavu and MenuDrive, wrote that the National Restaurant Association 2019 State of the Industry report indicated that nearly half of adults were more likely to order food delivery online than just two years prior.

He knew that online ordering would be increasingly important to a restaurant’s success as this trend continued. Fast forward to 2020, and it could not be more true. In today’s COVID-19 world, online ordering is more important than ever and has proven to be a factor that determines a restaurant’s survival. MenuDrive is a perfect solution for small and medium restaurants that find themselves struggling to adapt to the new state of the restaurant industry. For the first time in online ordering’s history, restaurants can sign up and have their own online storefront in under an hour. 

The Hope of Success

As the world continues to navigate through the COVID-19 pandemic, plans and goals are far from what we expected in 2020. States are adjusting to a new normal with masks and social distancing, while restaurants are adjusting to curbside delivery and takeout orders. And they are removing or closing off tables to reduce occupancy.

In Restaurant.org’s May 4, 2020 blog, the Association’s chief economist Bruce Grindy reported, “The restaurant industry has been significantly impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. Restaurant operators nationwide are reporting sharp declines in sales and employment levels. The National Restaurant Association’s Restaurant Performance Index plunged to a new record low.” It is also reported most restaurant operators do not think their business will return to normal over the next several months.

These comments alone make it apparent that our new normal will need continued flexibility with delivery and takeout options in order to maintain a strong customer base and keep restaurants in business. 

For the restaurant industry to survive and thrive for the next few months, online ordering must be implemented with the most cost-effective and user-friendly options. Owners will need to have access to software for last-minute menu changes and changes in operating hours. Most platforms offer little in this aspect or have a complicated interface that takes advanced tech skills for changes to work properly. Another particularly prohibitive aspect of the third-party delivery services available, such as GrubHub, PostMates, and UberEats, is the exorbitant commissions paid by restaurants.

Then Came MenuDrive  

As explained in part, by another blog, “Surviving COVID-19: Set up Delivery For Your Restaurant,” MenuDrive offers important online ordering and delivery features including:

Delivery Service Without Fees: After hard work and negotiations, MenuDrive has created an unprecedented partnership with DoorDash, where customers pay a flat fee, and restaurants have no commission fees. Yes, that’s right. No commission fees for your business!

Branded Online Ordering: MenuDrive gives personalized branded marketing on the web and versatile ordering platforms for your eatery with client analytics, automated marketing, and a plethora of auxiliary features that no other platform comes close to competing with.

Improved Takeout Operations: MenuDrive is on a mission to improve order processing for all restaurants by giving restaurant customers multiple ordering options.   

Marketing and Promotional Features: Get the word out 24/7 about your restaurant with marketing and promotion features such as automated email, promo broadcasts, and MenuDrive’s state-of-the-art coupon library and coupon builder. 

Loyalty Programs: Having a loyalty program helps you get ahead of the competition with customized offerings and analytics of your loyal patrons.

Mobile Ordering: A mobile responsive online ordering platform lets you reach more customers, no matter what device they’re on.

Credit Card Processing: When you use MenuDrive with Lavu POS, you’ll get PCI-compliant credit card processing, to easily and securely accept online payments.

All of the above comes with MenuDrive’s passion to help restaurants around the world, and knowing the struggle to survive, MenuDrive is offering a 90-day free trial during this COVID-19 crisis to get your restaurant online in about an hour. Anytime, at your pace.

What’s the Catch?

Honestly, the only catch is that you’ll want to keep MenuDrive after the free 90-day trial. Even when social distancing and restrictions lift, customers will want the convenience and confidence of online ordering. Here is what some customers had to say about their decision to implement MenuDrive:

“The result is great. We have more options for the customer that doesn’t want to leave the house, leave the workplace. … The orders are coming in fast.” – Paul Visuthikosol, Yumm Thai Sushi & Beyond

“Simple, effective, and reasonably priced. Lavu and MenuDrive provide a seamless way of integrating your POS system into an online platform. The intuitive nature of the software allows for easy menu updates and changes.” – Walker Chancellor, Diablo Burger

If you’re still not convinced, your only cost in setting up MenuDrive is about an hour of your time through self-signup. Cancel anytime before the 90-day trial, and there’s no cost to you. Then, with built-in marketing, it’s easy to get the word out on social media to let hungry customers know you’re now online. No sales pitches to listen to, no hardware, just your time invested so that your customers can order with ease.

It’s the New Normal

While we move into a new normal, incorporate what you can into the ultimate goal, which is staying in business and providing great food to customers. MenuDrive is user-friendly and easy for anyone to use. Just complete screens with the appropriate information and voila! Changes are made instantly, no waiting for programmers or techies to get back to you. Trusted staff members could easily be trained to input menu changes, set up marketing, and run coupons or specials. Additionally, your business won’t have to raise prices to afford delivery commissions (DoorDash only charges a flat fee to the customer when using MenuDrive).

Due to the coronavirus, you can get a free 90-day trial of MenuDrive. It has complete functionality and control of your menu, marketing, and loyalty program. The new, no-hassle self-signup allows you to start it up within an hour. Click here to start your restaurant’s new normal with online ordering!