One of the things I love most about my job is helping small local businesses. I’ve been managing the website for Grilled Cheese Mania since early 2018, running weekly updates, adding/editing menu items, and occasionally adding or editing some static content.
During the COVID-19 pandemic it has become especially vital that local restaurants be able to facilitate easy ordering from home, as well as providing safe ways to pick up orders. To that end, Kathleen, the owner, was finding that their phone line was getting overwhelmed with people ordering via phone, causing many customers not being able to get through to place an order due to the lines being busy. Kathleen contacted me and asked if we could set up online ordering. Since her website is built in WordPress, I utilized WooCommerce e-commerce system, along with several of their extensions (Continue Shopping, Order Status Control, Product Add-ons, Services), as well as a couple 3rd party plugins (Order Hours Scheduler and widget and Business Hours Indicator). Because WooCommerce offers integration with a range of payment and point of sale providers, their data for the online orders sync up with the data from their phone and in-store orders via their point of sale system and account.
The menu, cart, and checkout functions have been fine-tuned over about a week, and I am quite happy to say the orders are flying in. Some of the useful additions include a banner that tells you whether or not the kitchen is currently open or closed, based on business and holiday hours set by the restaurant, as well setting it so that the “add to cart” buttons disappear during hours the restaurant is closed. This is to prevent off-hours ordering, and customers being disappointed when their order isn’t fulfilled.
Check it out…and better yet, if you’re local to the Harrisonburg, VA area, order something. I guarantee you won’t be disappointed. Everything on their menu is delicious.To view the website, visit https://grilledcheesemania.com/online-menu/.
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