Biteheist Online Ordering: Small Business and Beyond

First and foremost, I must share that this post is entirely my own opinion and is an honest representation of my experience with Biteheist.

As I’ve mentioned in many posts and proudly share with you all, I grew up in the restaurant industry. My dad, Sergey, (who also doubles as an incredible role model, supporter, and best friend), has been opening restaurants in my hometown area since I was young. I grew up being his right hand gal – I would contact with vendors, create menus, advertisements, and flyers, train employees, work in the front (and sometimes back) of the house after school throughout high school, and much more. I have learned an indescribable amount of business tactics and strategies through my hands on experience, and one of the core reasons why is because one of the major things I had to understand was how to effectively communicate with customers throughout the ordering process.

For years, we took orders by hand. The yellow slips were for deliveries, the white for pick-ups and eat-in orders. We’d take the order, ask for the customer’s name, read it back to the customer, ring out the total on our cash register, then run the order slips to the kitchen. As you may imagine, this certainly had its share of gaps in smoothness. Sometimes an order would be rung up incorrectly, there was a misunderstanding with the handwriting of the cashier and the cook, a slip goes missing, the cashier wrote down the incorrect menu item, and the list goes on.

After awhile, we transitioned to an electronic point of sale system which eliminated the handwritten ordering slips, but there was still an issue with long lines for customers in store, as well as for orders taken over the phone. Since we have 3 POS monitors, 4 phones, and 2 lines for in-store ordering, there is still an undersupply of availability for ordering.

As a college student in a big city, I am incredibly familiar with online ordering platforms – they eliminate the need of me having to call a restaurant to place an order, and instead, I can go on a website, type in my information, read off the menu, and place my order without needing to call the restaurant directly. I started to realize that though Erie (where the restaurants are located) is a smaller city, there undoubtedly has to be a need for people who wish to order online without the fuss of calling or making their way to an establishment.

And that’s where Biteheist came in. After several weeks of phone calls with a variety of ordering platform developers, I came across the Biteheist website. I was on the site for a few minutes before receiving a ‘ping’ and noticing that I received a message through the Chat Box at the bottom of the webpage. Kyle Bagley, who I later learned is one of the Founders and Product Managers at Biteheist, sent me a message asking if I had any questions about the software. I told him that I did, and a little while later we were chatting on the phone for nearly 30 minutes.

Customer Service
Kyle was incredibly thorough with ensuring my questions were answered – even sharing a similar ordering app that ours would be modeled after – and I quickly received answers to the variety of things I needed to know. After our call, I called my dad and explained everything to him, and we both agreed that this seemed like the right fit for Stevo’s Pizza.

Process
The initial steps involved sending menus, specials, and restaurant information to Biteheist in order to begin developing the framework for our mobile app and online site. This took a few weeks for the team to put into app and online format, and then we began reviewing the software to make sure the process was intuitive, customized, and easy for our customers. Kyle was directly responsible for answering my questions and calls (there were many) and quickly worked to help resolve any issues, plus, he helped me learn how to use the administrative account in order to make alterations on my own.

Time Frame
The entire process took about 2 1/2 months from beginning to end – having the website and apps developed, integrating our payments, and running tests – and throughout the process there have been things that needed to be changed or updated, and Kyle and his team were always helpful and willing to work with us to ensure the product is exactly what we need it to be.

Results
After about one month of integrating BiteHeist, we are incredibly pleased with our improvements within the restaurant – to the extent that we plan to implement the program at our other location. We receive multiple online orders each day – more as time has went on and as the marketing of the site grows – and the feedback from customers has been amazing. We hear routine customers say how pleased they are at not needing to waste time waiting on the phone, repeating their payment information, or taking time to make a phone call or stop in at the shop – now, they can instead order at their own convenience with their phone or computer, store their personal information securely, and expedite their ordering process.

BiteHeist has modernized our processes and allowed us to stay current with the ordering systems, increased the satisfaction of our customers, increased order accuracy, and improved the overall customer experience while saving us time, money, and effort.

If you own a business and are considering implementing online ordering at your establishment, please feel completely free to contact me with questions about BiteHeist – I would be more than happy to give you more information about my experience!

Email me at AndAChocolateDrizzle@gmail.com for more information.

As always, happy eating,
Elaine

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