WooCommerce: Adding single page ordering & pickup slots
We recently built a WooCommerce website for Cluck Brothers chicken rotisserie, and they had some interesting requirements.
As the business is a mobile food truck selling freshly cooked chickens, the usual delivery options were not suitable. A blanked ‘store pickup’ option wouldn’t fit either, for two reasons. Firstly during times of social distancing the business wants to avoid large numbers of people around their truck waiting for their orders. Secondly the chickens are cooked to order, so just turning up whenever could mean that there wasn’t a chicken available, or it was no longer fresh. The solution was to allow choice of 15m slot, with a limit on the number of orders that can be fulfilled per 15m slot.
Single Page Shop
A standard ecommerce website might have product categories containing the products, which are added to the basket from the listing page or the individual product page. With this food truck, that was too many clicks so it made more sense to have all the products in a single page with add to cart buttons.
There was an extra feature required here too – the meal deals have options for which sauces are included and these need to vary between products, with a maximum number of sauces allowed!
We set up a new WooCommerce site on our green website hosting, then built a custom WordPress theme to match the Cluck Brothers branding. A commercial plugin was used for the pickup slots, with another for the single page shop. These plugins were good value and support was adequate when required. It’s always a lottery with WordPress plugins, with many having extremely poor support or being abandoned completely. An editable map was required to show the truck locations, and after trying a Google Maps plugin that cost a yearly fee, we built one from scratch using Advanced Custom Fields to keep the yearly costs to the client down.
We also tried using one of the ‘new school’ payment providers at the client’s request, that offer cheap rates and card machines. The plugin didn’t work well, with half of orders not being accepted with no apparent pattern. The support was terrible as well, which is very important with an ecommerce websites. If a company offers cut price rates for payments – beware.
After initial testing customers were asking why they couldn’t use PayPal, so we switched to PayPal Standard for payments. While their fees can soon add up, it’s a well tested system that’s built into WooCommerce. The balance has to be withdrawn to your bank account manually, but it’s a 2min job.
We also recommend Stripe and use that on our own sites – it works very well and payments are automatically sent to your bank account.
The Cluck Brothers food truck website was an interesting project with some unique features required. A WooCommerce solution with a couple of commercial plugins met all of their needs, allowing organised pickups that help maintain social distancing.