The best online ordering system for restaurants makes running your food service business easier, and more efficient. While there are challenges involved in operating any kind of store, restaurants have unique challenges to consider, like keeping track of tables, managing orders, and even splitting bills with the help of the right POS solution.
As the restaurant industry continues to grow, with around 60% of consumers ordering delivery or takeout at least once per week, business leaders need to ensure they have the right technology in place to manage orders of all shapes and sizes.
An online ordering system allows restaurant consumers to access the menu quickly and conveniently they want and choose the items they’re going to buy. The online system then sends the order to the vendor or kitchen automatically for processing.
Let’s explore some of the best online ordering systems for restaurants.
What are the Best Online Ordering Systems?
Today’s online ordering systems for restaurants can come in a variety of different formats and sizes. You may get technology that simply collects orders from online consumers on your behalf and distributes them to staff. In many cases, online ordering systems also include insider looks at things like customer presence, growth, and sentiment over time.
The right online ordering system depends on what you want to accomplish with your restaurant business. Let’s take a look at some of the more popular options.
Square for Restaurants is a dedicated restaurant POS and online solution built by one of the world’s biggest payment processors. The all-in-one system builds off the proprietary Square technology to give you everything you need for your restaurant in one package.
You can choose features based on the kind of restaurant you run, with options available for pubs and lounges, takeaways, customer service, and full-service companies. The software also integrates with your Square POS software. You can optimize floor plans, use conversational modifiers to improve your chances of an order, and even give customers a top-up by repeating a round of drinks with a few basic taps on your screen.
Thew Square for Restaurants ecosystem keeps everyone on the same page, so you can run a more effective business. This means you’ll have access to a kitchen display system for keeping your restaurant in sync, online ordering to take orders om your website and more.
Importing a menu into your sales environment is easy, and you’ll also be able to integrate with Facebook and Instagram for more cross-channel selling.
Square for Restaurants has a pretty straightforward pricing structure. There’s a free plan with no monthly charges, or you can upgrade to the Plus plan for $60 per month and $40 extra for each additional device. The premium plan starts out at $299.
Aside from the monthly subscription fees, you ill need to be aware of the processing fees associated with Square. Usually, these are around 2.6% and 10 cents per dip, swipe and contactless payment. Digital payments are subject to fees of 2.9%, plus 30 cents.
- Easy-to-use system integrates well with point of sale
- Good affordability
- High-quality customer service
- Convenient access to extra features like kitchen display
- Make changes to the menu in seconds
- Software and hardware can eb difficult to set up
Who is it Best For? ✅
If you’re already using Square for your point-of-sale solution, or you rely on the well-known payment processor, you’ll probably do well using Square for Restaurants ss your sales system. The technology is easy-to-use, convenient, and surprisingly affordable
Over the last few years, TouchBistro has earned a positive reputation as a leading all-in-one restaurant management system. Promising to give companies all the technology they need to run a business in a convenient platform, TouchBistro delivers the perfect blend of simplicity and practicality.
Similar to Square for Restaurants, the powerful TouchBistro POS is at the heart of the restaurant order management environment. Here, you’ll find everything you need to delight guests and increase your sales. You can even purchase and integrate a range of add-on products for more functionality.
TouchBistro can handle all of the aspects of running a professional restaurant for you. This includes helping you to make reservations and bookings for customers online, enabling gift and loyalty cards, and so much more. You can also access a bunch of hardware options in the form of a digital menu board, self-service kiosk, customer-facing display, and kitchen display system.
ToucchBistro’s pricing structure is relatively straightforward and easy to follow. The fast and reliable technology starts at a cost of $69 per month, for access to menu management, floor and table management, staff management, tableside ordering, reporting and analytics, and even integrations.
Users can also customize their TouchBistro experience with access to bonus features like “Reservations” for $229 per month, online ordering at $50 per month, gift cards at $25 per month, and loyalty plans at $99 per month. There are also self-service kiosks ($86 per month), digital menu boards ($20 per month), a kitchen display system, and a customer facing display.
- Easy to understand pricing structure
- Excellent for running all kinds of restaurants
- Simple and intuitive environment
- Lots of hardware integrations available
- Totally transparent support
- Requires a third-party payment processor
- Local hosting is required.
Who is it Best For? ✅
A totally transparent support experience is what you get with TouchBistro, perfect for improving your relationship and reputation with your customers. You also get an easy-to-understand pricing structure.
Created by the Lightspeed team, Upserve is a comprehensive online food ordering system for restaurant owners. Designed to help you streamline the process of setting up your online menu so customers can place orders, Upserve delivers all the tools you need in one convenient package. The restaurant management software provides payment processing, point of sale technology, and valuable insights to help increase your margins.
Upserve promises to assist customers every step of the way with extensive service and support. You’ll also get a cloud-based restaurant POS for tracking purchases and transactions. Upserve conveniently combines reservation systems, inventory management, payments, and POS technology to give you a comprehensive and easy-to-digest environment.
The platform has a couple of free tools for users to check out, but if you want a comprehensive restaurant ordering platform, you’ll need to pay for at least the Starter “Core” package. The most advanced package, Pro Plus, combines all the features of Upserve into one system.
Pricing for Upserve starts at $59 per month for the Core subscription package. You’ll also have to pay for at least one $60 terminal for your transactions. The Pro package at $199 per month has a discounted terminal at $50, and offers features you don’t get from Core, like menu optimization, server performance tracking, recipe costs, 1-click purchasing and low inventory alerts. For the most comprehensive range of features, you’ll need Pro Plus at $359 per month with a $40 terminal.
- Works online and offline
- Extensive range of reports including menu optimization
- Low inventory alerts and vendor management
- Loyalty programs and reward programs
- Mobile app access
- Can be expensive to get the full feature set
- US-based support may not be ideal for everyone
Who is it Best For? ✅
Upserve by lightspeed offers a very comprehensive package of features for today’s online restaurants. You can manage reports and information online or offline, and access custom reporting features if you’re willing to pay a little extra.
RestoLabs provides companies with a fully custom branded ordering system for restaurant success. The solution makes it quick and simple to create digital ordering experiences, complete with curb side pickup options and contactless delivery. You can also access features like in-store touchless ordering, ideal for the post-pandemic environment, and quick onboarding tools for new staff.
RestoLabs is one of the more flexible online ordering solutions on the market. The technology is ready to integrate with a range of POS solutions, as well as loyalty program systems. You can also link your service to more than 30 payment gateways.
Quick menu set-up and real-time notifications help to keep you ahead of the curve when it comes to serving your audience. You’ll also have access to strong analytical reports and in-built marketing tools, so you can learn about your customers and create promotions based on your knowledge.
Like many SaaS solutions, RestoLabs will give you a discount if you’re willing to pay for your service on an annual, rather than monthly basis. The least expensive package on monthly billing starts at $45 for mobile web ordering, real-time order notifications, reward programs, and real-time analytics. If you’re willing to upgrade to the $85 per month premium plan, you’ll get more notification options, and all the features of Basic. There’s also an enterprise plan available, but you’ll need to contact the team to get a quote.
- Excellent range of reporting features
- In-built marketing tools
- Flexible connectivity to POS solutions and payment gateways
- Touchless ordering and contactless delivery
- Fully brandable application
- Missing some performance tracking tools
- May not be ideal for larger brands
Who is it Best For? ✅
If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to set up online ordering and access the information you need to thrive in the digital world, the Restolabs application is the perfect purchase. The system is easy to use, and straightforward enough for smaller businesses.
MenuDrive is a simple and effective solution for online food ordering on a restaurant website. With one of the most comprehensive sets of marketing tools available, and a host of tools for managing online ordering, this system has plenty to offer. You can create QR code signage, flyers, and print-based marketing tools, plus access analytics for determining which of your menu items are the most appealing to your target audience.
One of the things that makes this ordering app system unique is its ability to assess the marketplace and your business and suggest the right prices for your food delivery strategy. This reduces the amount of work you have to do to increase loyal customers.
There’s a loyalty program and Loyalty ROI calculator, profit margin calculator, recipe cost calculator, and a full system for Google My Business auditing. You’ll also get access to email templates, storefront creation templates, and social media kits.
Pricing for MenuDrive is pretty straightforward. The online ordering platform charges a single setup fee of $149 to get your mobile ordering system up and running. After that, there’s only one plan with a monthly fee of $149 to pay. This might seem quite expensive compared to some other options on the market, but it’s actually pretty decent value when you consider all the features you’re going to get.
- Fantastic range of calculators and analytics for customer data
- Loyalty program and marketing tools
- Social media kit for Facebook ordering
- Tracking for menu items to help you invest in the right foods
- Straightforward pricing structure
- Can be quite expensive
- Takes a while to learn how to use everything.
Who is it Best For? ✅
MenuDrive is probably the best choice for you if you’re looking for extensive insights and analytics. You’ll have access to a range of reports for tracking things like loyalty and the costs of menu recipes. There’s even Google my Business auditing available.
The GloriaFood app is a free online ordering systems designed specifically for restaurants. Purchased by Oracle, the solution helps companies to earn more loyalty from their target audience, by enabling quick and easy online orders. You can easily transform your website into a money-making solution, giving customers the freedom to do everything from browse menus to reserve a table.
GloriaFood can also help to build your own website if you don’t have an existing presence for your business. According to the company, people who use the sales-optimized system for their site can achieve sales increases by up to 162%.
Integrating easily with your POS system and offering endless opportunities to take credit card payments and commission-free bookings, this restaurant online ordering system is a hit. GloriaFood also does its best to offer customer support, so you can get assistance with your delivery services and ordering solution if something goes wrong.
There’s a 100% free version of the GloriaFood application available, which offers access to unlimited orders, in unlimited locations with no contracts or set up fees. You only pay for the additional services you want to use, such as credit card payments at $29 per month, advanced marketing at $19 per month, sales optimized website building at $9 per month, and branded mobile apps at $59 per month.
- Free service available
- Easy to make amazing delivery apps
- Convenient backend for unlimited delivery orders
- Option to build a website for your online ordering software
- Marketing tools available
- Easy for customers to order food
- Extra services available
- Can be expensive with added extras
- No customer loyalty tools
Who is it Best For? ✅
If you want a convenient free solution for making your business the best restaurant it can be, GloriaFood is a great choice. The solution allows restaurants and bakeries alike to set up a great website, focused on customer experience. You can even access POS integration.
Choosing the Best Online Ordering System
The best online ordering system for restaurants will depend on your needs. All of the options above will help you to retain existing customers and attract new customers with a host of helpful features. Whether you’re looking for a basic widget that connects with third-party ordering systems like uber eats, or you want something closer to Toast POS, there’s something for everyone.
The right ordering solution will integrate with the apps you want to use, like GrubHub and ChowNow, and make it easy to offer a range of services to customers, such as curbside pickup. It’s also worth looking for marketing tools and integrations with things like your Instagram or Facebook pages.
Small restaurants may benefit from trying a software solution with a free version available first, as this will help them to get an insight into the functionality they can get before they start handing over too much cash.