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What is an order management system, and why is it critical for your business?

About the author: Deliverect

Deliverect is on a mission to help the food service community thrive in the digital age by enabling profitable growth and exceptional experiences through a powerful platform and partner network. Deliverect integrates online orders from food delivery channels (such as Uber Eats and 400+ platforms), allowing restaurants to improve operational service and increase customer satisfaction.

In an era of multiple platforms, high competition, and staff constraints across the restaurant industry, an order management system (OMS) lets you avoid order mistakes, improve the customer experience, and save time while helping your bottom line.

More than two-thirds (69%) of customers order takeout or delivery as often as or more often than they did before the pandemic, according to a report by Deloitte. This rise in food delivery consumption emphasizes the importance of optimizing delivery operations through an OMS to stay competitive.

In this blog post, we’ll dig into the ins and outs of an OMS for restaurants, including:

What is an order management system?

An order management system (OMS) is software that automates and streamlines restaurant order processing, menu management, and order tracking. It brings peace of mind and transparency to your business and customers by letting you monitor real-time inventory and sales data across multiple ordering platforms.

Key features of an order management system

Depending on what order management system you use, you might have access to a set of tools and features that’s different from those mentioned here. Most best-in-class order management systems, though, will share the following core features:

  • Order processing
  • Menu and inventory management
  • Shipping and logistics management
  • Analytics and reporting

Picture of Deliverect's Delivery Manager dashboard

How does an order management system work?

An order management system (OMS) digitally oversees the entire order life cycle, covering order placement, order details, billing, kitchen communication, and delivery services from start to finish. Generally, these processes will break down into the following steps:

Order capture

The process starts when a diner places an order through the channels you offer. The OMS collects order details, additional notes, and customer information.

Order processing

Customer and payment information is verified, and inventory is checked—all automated and done in seconds.

Kitchen communication

Once the order is accepted, the software keeps the kitchen staff updated through system notifications, ensuring accurate preparation and timely delivery.

Inventory management

The OMS can provide a detailed picture of your ingredient stock levels and notify you when they need replenishment.

Real-time order tracking

The system identifies the customer’s location, syncs with food delivery apps, and ensures timely delivery while offering real-time data access.

Payment processing

The software integrates with payment gateways to securely process customer billing data, authorizing and confirming the transaction.

6 benefits of an order management system

Fewer mistakes

With many third-party apps and points of sale, manually inputting or reviewing orders might result in mistakes (such as missing items and wrong order processing) that are costly for restaurants and affect the customer experience. An OMS streamlines the process and erases the need for a middleman entering orders. Instead, the orders go from a third-party platform, like Uber Eats, to the POS system instantly.

Better control and visibility over orders

An OMS offers a complete overview of all orders—both incoming and out for delivery. This level of visibility can help you make strategic back-of-house decisions to keep operations running smoothly. And for your customers, having access to real-time tracking information can give them peace of mind, which can also translate to fewer support calls to your restaurant.

Picture of Deliverect's Order Management dashboard

Enhanced customer service

Speed and accuracy are critical parts of the overall customer experience. In fact, Deliverect research revealed that more than 70% of customers would switch restaurants after one lousy delivery experience. By streamlining how you accept, process, and deliver orders, an OMS helps you maintain a consistent level of service—whether a customer orders from your channels or a third-party app. This consistency can go a long way in preventing complaints or damage to your reputation.

Robust reporting and tracking

With the right system, you can use analytics to identify improvement areas and enhance the customer experience. An OMS gathers and simplifies thousands of data points—on delivery times, peak periods, channel performance, and customer feedback—allowing you to generate reports and visualize essential information. All that makes the numbers easier to interpret so that you can act on relevant insights to boost your bottom line.

Picture of Deliverect's Analytics dashboard

Improved inventory management

With an OMS, you can keep track of every ingredient used across every order and stay on top of your stock availability. This can help you monitor inventory levels and promptly replenish items to keep your menus intact, reducing the risk of running low or having excess stock. This feature is particularly critical now, when avoiding food waste is vital and ingredient shortages are everywhere.

Picture of Deliverect's Menu Builder dashboard

Cost savings

You can achieve significant cost savings by avoiding errors in manual operations and managing inventory with accurate reports. An OMS allows you to efficiently manage your restaurant, allocate resources wisely, and make informed decisions about investing, which all leads to better overall performance.

How to choose the right order management system for your restaurant

When selecting an OMS, consider the following factors to maximize your investment.

About your business

  • Business size
  • Industry needs and specific needs
  • Number of locations
  • Partners or third-party apps you work with
  • Budget

About the platform

  • Ability to schedule a consultation session
  • Free trial options
  • Compatibility with current systems (integration)
  • Customization options
  • Provider reputation
  • User interface

It’s critical to run thorough research, weigh your options, and rank the characteristics that best suit the unique requirements of your business.

Advance your delivery strategy with Deliverect

The challenges that restaurants face in managing orders from multiple delivery channels can be daunting. Fortunately, the solution lies in harnessing technology.

For example, using an OMS like Deliverect, restaurants can streamline operations by integrating third-party apps like Uber Eats. This means that all incoming orders will connect directly to your POS system, allowing you to manage them from a single device. Deliverect also ensures that customers are informed with automatic order updates across platforms, meaning you can deliver an exceptional experience consistently.

Even if your restaurant accepts orders through other channels—such as your website, app, or phone—Deliverect offers an integration with Uber Direct. This new solution connects your restaurant with couriers in Uber’s network so you can manage orders from multiple sources and ensure fast, reliable delivery.

An OMS like Deliverect, combined with the power of Uber Eats and Uber Direct, transforms how restaurants manage their orders and helps them stay competitive in today’s dynamic restaurant industry.

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