On Line Ordering

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On Line Ordering

Postby robertson.12 » Mon Aug 13, 2007 8:42 pm

We are looking to expand our business by utilizing online ordering. Does anyone know the best way to do this? Can this program handle on-line ordering? For example an individual goes to a web site, looks over our menu and places an order for a pizza on line. Any and all ideas would be appreciated.

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Postby Scott » Tue Aug 14, 2007 8:25 am

We have had people ask for this feature to be added, but here's what you would need at each location for POS Pizza to do it.

1. Dedicated web server tied running a plug-in to the POS system.
2. Dedicated broadband connection with static IP, and inbound ports open (this one is expensive monthly from most providers because it's not just a standard cable or DSL connection).

This wouldn't be hard to create, just expensive to operate, so we have steered clear of it for now. Most people don't think about how the order gets from a website to their make screens, but the above is a start. A monthly cost for a T1 or business class cable connection optimized for inbound use and with its ports all opened would run anywhere from $250 - $800 per month depending on your location and ISP. You would also need the server, and a higher end router (not just a $50 - $125 off-the-shelf consumer grade).

A practical solution:

The most cost effective ways to tackle this problem and the way some of our existing customers are is one of these ways.

1. Use a service who will provide a "FAX" service. This works when a web site posts form data to a server that in turn faxes it to a pre-determined number (yours). So the customer visits your page picks their items/toppings and extras, and clicks submit. This in turn faxes you a copy of the order data to your fax. Someone still needs to key it in to the POS.

2. Use an email based service. This works exactly as above only you can use a standard CGI script like form-mail to email your store the order. This is easier than the fax method, but requires a standard dedicated internet connection running (not too expensive) and relies on email getting to you on time, so you would need to keep a mail client open, and have it checking mail once per minute or so. Again, someone has to key the order into the POS.

In either of the above cases, you could also optionally set up a shopping cart and have the customer pay online. They could also just pay when they pick up, or you deliver their order too.

Other options:

You could also hire a programmer to make you a custom program to either read the email or fax from the above steps (or obtain the web data in some other way) and then post it directly to the POS. This way will cost you a little more, but if you are doing multiple stores, might be something to look into. If you decide to go this route, you will have to have your programmer contact us for details on getting the order to our POS system.

I know this is a lot of information, but I have gone over this with quite a few people by email and telephone, so I figure it would be a good idea to post the information here for all to see. Many people just don't look at the big picture and assume it is easy to get the data from the world wide web straight to their kitchens... :)

I hope that this message provides a starting point for everyone.


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Re: On Line Ordering

Postby joshwho » Sat Jan 24, 2009 12:22 pm

I'm thinking about starting online order system. I have all the resources for it and all the tools. I figured it was something simple with shopping cart and all I have to do is use a email to fax service and it should be good to go. If you can make that plugin for it that would be great.

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