Online Orders Made Easy for Healthcare Workers

Online Orders Made Easy for Healthcare Workers

Most consumers have acclimated to the quick convenience of online orders and now consider it a part of everyday life. Along with restaurants and grocery stores, many hospitals have started to embrace online food ordering. Patient self-ordering is quickly gaining traction at healthcare facilities throughout North America. However, thinking about caregivers and other hospital employees is also crucial.

A hospital worker using a phone to place online orders

Assess Service Models

One key aspect for hospital foodservice when considering a new service model (like taking online orders) is meeting customers where they are. The customer base includes patrons, patients, and employees. Operators must review their sites’ current service models and determine if they need to make adjustments. Following trends and implementing the latest technology ensures next-level customer service, elevates the retail experience, and supports the hospital’s reputation. However, it also requires proper planning.

Among available service models, online orders produce multiple benefits:

Online orders benefits diagram
Online orders benefits diagram

Care for Caregivers

Since hospital workers dedicate their careers to caring for patients, they need adequate time to rest. Waiting in line for food will consume valuable break time, and they may look to outside venues (e.g., nearby fast food). Maintaining a solid retail operation will help sustain on-site dining while nourishing caregivers.

One key benefit of mobile online orders is increased throughput. By ordering ahead, staff members can skip queues and spend more of their break recharging to offer quality care. Additionally, cashiers can spend more time tending to external patrons.

Preferred Payments

Cash requires counting accurate change, a manual process resulting in longer delays and a higher probability of errors. Moreover, many people no longer carry physical money but use credit cards and/or mobile payment methods.

Online orders provide retail customers with cashless payment methods, meaning fewer physical touchpoints. Less contact is especially vital to caregivers, who already face exposure risks via patients (and vice versa). Furthermore, going cashless allows retail environments to operate with fewer cash registers and thus less hardware.

Some point-of-sale and online ordering systems enable staff to use alternative payment methods like declining balance and payroll deduction. These additional payments enhance efficiency and open more avenues for employees, potentially raising overall transactions.

Less Labor

As every foodservice operator knows, staffing shortages continue to pose major challenges. Online orders can help reroute traffic, thereby filling the need for cashiers. Retail workers can also receive training on different tasks and thus reallocate their time to different areas when possible.

Points for Perks

With staff pressures comes the need to retain talent, and foodservice can play a significant role in employee engagement. With features like a built-in customer loyalty program, an online ordering system can reward staff members for on-site business. For example, they can receive discounts on healthier options or redeem a free cup of coffee if they purchase enough. Incentives are sure to boost satisfaction and encourage repeat visits.


Though there are clearly numerous benefits of online ordering, it does require proper logistical planning and preparation. The new service model will alter processes and increase orders, and it is critical to ensure team members can adjust accordingly. Finally, operators should consider an automated solution that encompasses all the above advantages to provide staff with the best experience possible.

Keep an eye out for our next blog, which will feature more foodservice trends to enhance retail operations everywhere!