4 Ways that Hazlnut Pays for Itself

4 Ways that Hazlnut Pays for Itself

Hazlnut’s ordering software stands apart from most other online ordering platforms in many ways. One of those way is its flat pricing structure. You pay a set fee every month and never have to worry about processing fees, transaction fees, or any limits to how much you can use the system. This makes cost-benefit analysis very simple when deciding if Hazlnut is a good fit for you.

Other platforms take money out of every order, so you never really get past the cost of the service. Here are a few ways that Hazlnut helps you blow past that monthly fee and keep all the rest as profit.

Increased volume

It goes without saying that if you give customers more ways to order from you, there will be more orders placed. Online ordering is all about convenience and it’s probably the most important thing to today’s consumer. If someone has to choose between two restaurants for takeout and has no preference, odds are they will choose the one with the more convenient method of ordering. Phone orders are outdated, and no one wants to place an order in store and then wait around for it to be ready.

According to PMQ.com, if a customer places an online order, they will visit up to 67% more frequently. When someone has a pleasant experience ordering from you, they remember that and usually end up coming back.

Online ordering increases volume by providing more ways to order

Bigger ticket sizes

When a customer orders in-store, they always feel rushed. Whether they have a line behind them or a cashier looking right at them, no one wants to waste other people’s time. When a customer orders online or through a mobile app, however, they have as much time as they want to look through the menu and make their selections. Maybe they even try something new that they never knew was on the menu.

This leads to an increase in ticket size across the board when compared to in-store orders. In fact, Business Insider says that pizza chains have an 18% higher ticket size online verses orders placed in store. Hazlnut has seen similar results: a 20% increase compared to in-store transactions.

Loyalty Program

This also seems very obvious, but a loyalty program, like the one Hazlnut offers, can help increase sales far beyond that monthly fee. Think about it, if a customer orders once and earns 80 points, they’re going to want to use those points eventually. Whether they burn them all on the next visit or come back multiple times to save up for a big reward, you’re almost guaranteeing that customer is going to come back again.

Loyalty programs, like Hazlnut’s, keep customers coming back for more

Moving Customers Away from 3rd Party Delivery

3rd party delivery through GrubHub, UberEats, or others is a double-edged sword. It’s great to provide that convenience to customers, but the margins they take out (usually 25-30%) are terrible. It turns out that having your own ordering platform, like Hazlnut, can help with that. According to Hospitality Tech, 70% of customers would rather order from you than 3rd parties.

Simply by offering your own online or mobile ordering platform, a large segment of customers will begin to order from you instead. You get to keep 100% of the profits for those orders and, in some cases, this alone can completely pay for your monthly fee.

Want to learn more about how Hazlnut can help increase sales? Schedule a demo today!

6 Creative Ways Restaurants Are Making Money During COVID-19

6 Creative Ways Restaurants Are Making Money During COVID-19

At Hazlnut we are passionate about helping small businesses in our community, specifically restaurants. With most stores closing their dining rooms mid-March, COVID-19 has forced managers and staff to evolve their businesses, to stay afloat, and to prevent layoffs. Through the use of technology and flexible business operations, many restaurants are finding ways to continue to serve their customers, despite the pandemic. Check out our top 6 ways restaurants can make some extra cash while social distancing and staying safe.

Online Ordering

Through the use of an online ordering provider restaurants are able to quickly and efficiently get customer’s orders ready and have them waiting for them at the door.

Online ordering providers that offer direct Point of Sale (POS) integration are the easiest way to start. On the Clover POS, for example, Hazlnut provides a high quality, user friendly ordering page where every order is processed directly on the Clover POS, so there aren’t any processing or transaction fees.

Hazlnut’s ordering platform integrates seamlessly with the Clover Point of Sale (POS)

Curbside Pickup

By allowing customers to stay in their cars and have their order walked out to them, restaurants are able to make money while keeping their customers as safe as possible. We recommend offering to place the bags in the trunk of a customer’s car so that they never have to get within 6-feet.

Using Hazlnut’s system, for example, each customer selecting “Curb side” is prompted to type in the make, model, and color of their car. This information prints out on every receipt, making it very easy to figure out which car each order belongs to.

Free Delivery

In an effort to serve the community and boost sales, restaurants are beginning to offer free delivery. Whether a restaurant does their own delivery or uses a third-party service like GrubHub or UberEats, waiving delivery fees can be a great way to help customers stay-at-home. Free delivery helps to promote well-being of the community and can increase customer loyalty increasing business profit in the long run.

Offering free delivery is great way to generate business during this pandemic

Discounted Gift Cards

By offering gift cards at a discounted rates, restaurants can receive a much needed influx of cash. In a sense, it’s a loan from your customers. They give you funds to help during this difficult time, you give them a little extra money to use down the road when things are better. It doesn’t have to be anything crazy. Simply offering 5-10% off of gift card purchases will entice plenty of regular customers to buy now.


Why not make money off of food that would otherwise be wasted? Moe’s Southwest Grill is doing this by selling excess rice, beans, and other ingredients by the pound at a discounted rate, much like a grocery store. This serves to help out people in the community, as well as help reduce their loss on excess food.

Selling excess ingredients in bulk is a great way to reduce waste

Ramp Up Marketing Efforts with Purpose

People aren’t going to buy from you if they don’t know you’re open! Designate a specific person to focus on social media marketing to spread the word. One way to go viral is by pledging to give back a portion of your sales to the community or offer a sale to essential workers. For example, Maple Street Biscuit Company uses their campaign #ThankYouThursday to offer $1 biscuits to teachers, healthcare workers, and restaurant industry workers.  Some business is better than no business, and the more people you can get the attention of, the better impact you can create.

Which ordering platforms are best for Clover Point of Sale?

Which ordering platforms are best for Clover Point of Sale?

One of the strengths of the Clover point of sale (PoS) is it’s robust app marketplace. Here you’ll find many different app developers competing to provide functionality for your system beyond what comes standard. These services can range from inventory management, HR and personnel related apps to online or mobile ordering apps with everything in between.

Today we examine some of the online and mobile ordering providers to assess strengths and weaknesses of each platform. While Clover makes the process of selecting an integrated ordering app as easy as installing an app on your phone, this is not a decision to be taken lightly. You will want to take some time and evaluate the merits of each provider to see which one is best for your restaurant. Trust us, your business will thank you for it.

“But first, what makes for a good ordering platform?” 

Every restaurant is going to have their own idea of what’s important to them but typically, requirements are going to fall into one of these 5 broad categories.

Accessibility– being available to your customers through multiple digital channels such as online ordering and on their smart phones…. reach them where they are.

Features and Functionality – what other features come with the service beyond ordering? Is this provider adding new features regularly and do you have access to new features as they come out?

Marketing Capabilities – The ability to engage with your customers and reach them with the right offers at the right time.

Analytics and Account Management – The ability to view and export your data to gain meaningful insights. This can also include the ability to change your menu and other account settings that control your customer facing channels.

Quality –This ordering page or mobile app will be a reflection of your brand. This is where you want to put your best foot forward. In today’s age, nearly 100% of your customers are heavy users of technology and can spot the difference in a quality product from a mile away. Whether it’s buggy apps or slow loading pages, quality matters. If customers think it’s a garbage product, they’re just not going to use it. 

For the sake of this comparison we’re excluding PoS integration since all companies being evaluated integrate with the Clover PoS system.

So now that we know the criteria, let’s take a look at the five ordering platforms that we’ll be evaluating.

Let’s get started!

1. Hazlnut – best overall platform

Smooth scrolling and clean look & feel of a Hazlnut custom built app

At Hazlnut, we provide beautiful, natively built mobile and web apps that customers will find engaging and easy to use. All with your branding and personality throughout.

These include the latest features that customers are beginning to expect. Features such as saved order history for one-touch reordering, “in-store loyalty” so customers can scan their phone at the register to get credit for purchases and redeem rewards, curbside pickup and custom delivery zones just to name a few.

Hazlnut’s cost is slightly higher than others due to it being a “all-in-one” solution which means you don’t need to cobble together different services. Also, with no fees per order you can recoup the cost within the first few days of each month and not worry about it beyond that.

Want to schedule a demo and see how Hazlnut can work with your brand? Contact us today to set one up!

Creating custom delivery zones through the Hazlnut dashboard.

The platform is powered on the back-end by an easy to use client dashboard where you can update your menu beyond what is pulled in from the Clover system. This includes adding food images and descriptions among other attributes. You also have the ability to view customer data and segment them into groups for tracking and marketing purposes. From here you can also send push notifications and targeted offers to your customers and manage your loyalty program all from a single online access point.

Grouping customers into marketing segments to send them targeted offers and notifications.

Hazlnut outperforms the others on this list by giving you all the tools and functionality to boost sales and customer engagement, helping you compete with the larger national chains.

Overall Grade: A
Best for: Multi-unit restaurants with strong consistent branding who are looking for a premium “all-in-one” solution.

2. OrderSpoon (4 Leaf Labs) – Good online ordering, but stuck in the 90s

OrderSpoon loses points for text-based menus and large block design. Notice the length of the buttons relative to the category names.

OrderSpoon does well at online ordering with robust and consistent performance in order handling. However, the platform looks and feels dated with mostly text based menus featuring little-to-no images and block styling.

They also offer “mobile apps” but beware… all apps are not created equal. These typically consist of one or two screens that simply redirect to your website. This can provide for a bad experience and actually reduce customer engagement and time spent in the app. If you’re going to have a mobile app, make sure you do it right and don’t just “check the box”.

“but beware…all apps are not created equal…”

OrderSpoon does one thing very well and that’s online ordering. But they lack many features and functionality beyond that and their look and feel is dated and unappealing.

Overall Grade: B-
Best for: Concepts looking for basic online ordering. Perhaps better suited for an owner/operator who doesn’t have the time or personnel to focus on customer engagement and marketing and is just looking to get started with online ordering.

3. Menufy – Many features, but no branded options and pay per order

Menufy is one of the more well-rounded options in terms of features. They offer account management through their “Menufy Manager” client dashboard as well unique features such as Facebook and Google+ integrations.

Many options for your customers to choose from in the Menufy mobile app.

They do offer iOS and Android apps but the big caveat here being they are not custom branded for your restaurant. So you’ll be telling your customers to download the Menufy app. Starbucks, Panera, Chick-Fil-A etc. aren’t telling their customers to download someone else’s app, so why should you?! Adding insult to injury the app will include all other Menufy restaurants. Meaning your customers may plan to order from you but end up ordering from someone else who catches their eye.

Also, with Menufy you pay $1.50 per order plus 2.5% + $0.30 per credit card transaction. However, you can choose to pass the processing fee along to your customers (everyone loves convenience fees!). But paying per order means you can never truly cover the cost like you can with a flat monthly fee structure.

Overall Grade: B
Best for: Single store concepts or larger ticket size smaller chains where branded options are not important and per order fees are less of an issue.

4. Kipos Labs – Branded apps, but low quality

Kipos labs one of the few here to offer online ordering along with branded mobile apps. Also, they don’t charge a setup fee. This makes them the only one on this list offering branded apps with no upfront costs. But this may be a case of “you get what you pay for” as the app design is text based and unappealing while the layout doesn’t appear to be suited for modern phone screens as menus and text typically run off screen (tested on iPhone XS).

Aesthetics are one thing but what’s more alarming are the issues with functionality. In the versions we tested we repeatedly found crashes along with spelling and grammatical errors throughout. They’re headed in the right direction but maybe not quite ready for prime time.

Overall Grade: C-
Best for: It’s hard to recommend their platform as it is today. It seems like their offering is “almost there” but too many issues to get past in its current state. The most devastating of which is functionality deficiencies.

5. Smart Online Order – Low cost online ordering, not much else

Smart Online Order definitely positions themselves as the low cost leader in this space. They offer a “bare bones” do it yourself online ordering platform starting at $30 per month with one-time setup fees of $200. 

No option for custom branded apps so they lose points in terms of accessibility and like others on this list (apart from Hazlnut) they are not an “all-in-one” solution. This means you’ll have to find a separate provider for any loyalty programs. This can lead to integration issues along with more confusion for you and your customers. 

They also lose points in terms of marketing as their platform doesn’t offer the ability to market to customers.

Overall Grade: C
Best for: Concepts where cost is the main concern and features, marketing and branding are all secondary. Another example of “you get what you pay for.”

So there you go! That’s our review of five of the top ordering platforms for Clover. Have one you want us to review or do you use a different one for your restaurant? Tell us about it on Twitter.

The Future of Mobile Ordering for Small Business Owners

Boost Your Business with Mobile Ordering

It’s no secret: starting your own small business takes a lot of bravado. Small business owners are the visionaries – the hard-working risk-takers that are willing to do what it takes to transform their passion into a paycheck. Part of being a successful business owner is staying open-minded and keeping up with the latest trends to satisfy customers’ needs. In a world where consumers have become accustomed to instant gratification and ease-of-use in ordering online, food ordering apps for restaurants are quickly becoming a new consumer standard. 

We Want it Now: Meeting a Growing Demand in a Millennial Market

food ordering apps for restaurants

As consumers become more familiar with online ordering in both retail and culinary trends, food ordering apps for restaurants are quickly becoming the new standard. Business Insider Intelligence Reports find that orders placed by smartphone and mobile apps will become a $38 billion industry by 2020. In just two years, it is projected that these orders will comprise 11 percent of all quick-service restaurants sales.

Now more than ever, millennials are enjoying their meals from home. In fact, when millennials order from restaurants, they’re dining in just 42 percent of what they used to. Data show that millennials are utilizing takeout services 40 percent of the time, and delivery 19 percent of the time, according to a recent study performed by Restaurant Business. As a small business, it is essential to target this growing demographic of diners who seek convenience and quality. 

Branding Wins Big on Mobile

By creating a recognizable, branded ordering app for your business, you are able to insert yourself right where young consumers spend their time: on their mobile phones. The busy modern consumer demands streamlined purchasing, the ability to shop without long lines and an efficient purchasing experience. Food ordering is no different.

By developing a food ordering app for your restaurant, you will require fewer staff to take payment and fill orders. The use of an app can also work to limit long lines and wait times, meaning that you can service more customers per hour and increase your revenue


Create Loyalty 

customer loyalty

Not only does the use of a mobile ordering app increase efficiency and productivity, it provides business owners with the ability to connect with their consumers on an intimate level. Loyalty programs can be attached to your ordering app to increase engagement with existing customers, strengthening the bond between business and consumer.

Hazlnut works to create systems that feature the branding elements that attracted your consumers in the first place. These systems work seamlessly with PoS systems like Clover, to allow for mobile ordering while increasing loyalty and providing marketing opportunities.

When creating your unique ordering app with Hazlnut, it’s important to consider your brand’s goals and to tailor your loyalty program accordingly. Thinking about what action you would like your consumers to take will work to promote behaviors that are right for your business. Creating a loyalty system that’s in-brand and features rewards and instructions that are simple and easy to understand will be the most enticing to consumers.  

Ready to take your business to the next level? Schedule a demo today

Restaurants in the Digital Age

Restaurants in the Digital Age

Using Mobile Strategy to Increase Sales

These days, having a digital strategy can make or break a restaurant. While this isn’t always the case, some of the recent studies do seem to confirm where the industry is heading.

At a time when everyone has an app and the internet of things is slowly creeping into every aspect of our lives, some of the larger chains are seeing lots of year over year success with online and mobile ordering. For example:

restaurants digital age

A recent report from NRN, 26% of all Panera Bread Co. sales now come directly from digital ordering. In addition to mobile ordering, they have also installed kiosks which have helped increased same-store sales by 11.5% over the last two years.

Taco Bell has seen the average check size increase by 30% with mobile ordering and is continuing to invest heavily in this area. According to Andy McCraw, digital innovation product manager at Taco Bell, “The majority of our web traffic is mobile-based, so it’s critical that those users have a great experience.” Taco Bell has 3.7 million app downloads, according to the company.

After rolling out mobile ordering, Starbucks quickly discovered that it was not equipped to handle the exponential increase in orders . For this reason, they are now piloting mobile order and pay-only at their Seattle location.

Although, mobile ordering isn’t the end-all be-all for restaurants yet, there is no substitute for good old-fashioned customer service and tasty food. Patrons still actually care about the overall dining experience. That goes from viewing a restaurants website to dining in for lunch.

Yet, the success of some of these restaurants is a good indication that digital ordering should be considered as one of the biggest shifts in the industry since the invention of the drive-thru. Patrons today are much busier and they don’t eat inside as much as they used to. The convenience of pulling out one’s smartphone and placing a quick to-go order will be a requirement for a successful restaurant in 2018 and beyond.

Are You Being Left Behind?

Are You Being Left Behind?

Top 5 Reasons Restaurants Need a Mobile Ordering App

As technology keeps improving and becomes increasingly more ubiquitous, restaurants are turning more frequently to mobile applications (iOS and Android) to enhance the customer experience. Restaurants are creating mobile apps that track loyalty and make menus available.

According to a recent statistic from the Pew Research Center, 40% of U.S. adults have ordered food online. This trend is projected to go even higher in the near future. By 2020, 70% of all foot traffic will be outside of the restaurant. That’s a staggering number.

As technology becomes more powerful, the cost for small businesses to adopt such technologies is becoming increasingly less expensive. Restaurant owners can (now more than ever) take advantage of mobile trends to increase revenues and improve the customer experience.

If that isn’t enough to decide if mobile ordering makes sense, here are a few more reasons to consider:

1. Improved customer experience

With a mobile ordering app, customers have the flexibility to order when they want and where they want. This leads to shorter lines and improves efficiency with the customer buying cycle. Employees will spend less time on the phone taking orders and more time with guests dining in the restaurant.

2. Larger average check size

When customers place orders through their phones, check sizes increase 23% on average compared to their in-store counterparts. Why is this? Seeing a menu in digital form is a lot easier to digest. Not only this the ordering process is much smoother and flows in a much more natural progression. One of the main reasons check sizes are larger, on average, is because ordering apps never forget to upsell the customer. Maybe they wanted that guacamole after all!

3. Increased take-out revenue

Not only are check sizes increasing, but take-out revenue grows on average by 30%. Some restaurants have even seen their take-out revenues double.

4. Customers are connected now more than ever

A recent study by the Pew Research Center found that 8 out of 10 Americans shop online on the web or through their smartphone. In addition, 51% shop exclusively on their phones. This number is only projected to increase as customers become more connected.

5. Improves the ordering process and reduces mistakes

Also, the ability to see and build orders in a mobile app also helps reduce human errors. This in turn increases order accuracy and improves the customers overall satisfaction.


5 Key Trends in Mobile Ordering

5 Key Trends in Mobile Ordering

Millennials + Smartphone Apps 

While mobile ordering may seem like a new trend, it’s been fermenting for some time. What once started as order-by-fax is now done almost exclusively by smartphone apps. Most people enjoy the convenience of being able to order at any time, skipping the lines upon arrival, and millennials, especially, have grown up with the internet and apps being as ubiquitous as the fax machine once was.

To get an idea of where the industry is headed, here are some recent statistics about the growing demand of mobile ordering:

94% of millennials already use their smartphone in restaurants, bars, and coffee shops

Millennials are the most connected generation and you would be hard pressed to find one who isn’t connected in some way.So why not put all of that energy to good use at your restaurant? According to a report by Oracle Hospitality, a mere 6% said they would not use their smartphones in a food related establishment.

56% of millennials want to be able to order from their smartphone

According to the same report56% of millennials want to be able to order from their phone and 38% have already ordered takeout/deliver.

This is a trend that continues to climb as technology makes mobile ordering that much more convenient and when available, they will use it.

Millennials eat out 23% more per week than non-millennials

While millennials do eat out way more than baby boomers and Gen-Xers, they are also a healthy bunch who prefer local and fresh restaurants over fast food joints.

And while this demographic visits fast food restaurants more than any other, they won’t recommend it to a friend. Instead, they prefer fast casual much more.

Mobile Ordering is Expected to Become a $38 Billion Industry by 2020

Mobile payments are not only gaining popularity in the retail sector, restaurants (QSR specifically) are also building mobile ordering platforms as a way to increase sales and build stronger relationships with their customers.

While this technology is still relatively new, it is growing and is predicted to become a $38 billion industry by 2020, accounting for 10.7% of total QSR industry sales.

30% Increase in Order Value When Ordered via Mobile

mobile restaurant ordering trends

Some of the bigger chains are seeing enormous ROI when implementing a mobile ordering platform.

For example, Taco Bell sees 30% higher average order values on mobile compared to in-store. In addition, Starbucks is seeing 10% of all purchases increasing company sales.