12 Best Online Ordering Systems for Restaurants in 2021
December 16, 2019
Do you run a restaurant or plan on opening a new restaurant in 2020? In either case, online food ordering systems are critical to the success of your business and managing your sales.
According to a recent report by Statista, online food delivery has experienced the largest amount of growth in the sector, with a market volume of over $58M in 2019. Consumers have an increasing appetite for the convenience and ease of online food ordering.
Consider these five compelling online ordering statistics:
- 60% of U.S. consumers order delivery or takeout once a week.
- 34% of consumers spend at least $50 per order when ordering food online.
- 20% of consumers say they spend more on off-premise orders compared to a regular dine-in experience.
- Digital ordering and delivery has grown 300% faster than dine-in traffic since 2014.
- 70% of consumers say they’d rather order directly from a restaurant, preferring that their money goes straight to the restaurant and not a third party.
What are the best online ordering systems in 2020?
- Square POS
In order to keep up with demand, restaurants of all sizes need to provide solutions that let customers browse their menus, select options and pay for their carryout or delivery orders online. There are several online ordering systems for restaurants available in the market that help you create a customized ordering experience on your restaurant website or mobile app. They also allow restaurants to place QR codes around their restaurant for a contactless digital menu experience that takes diners to a restaurant’s online ordering system.
To help you in your search for the best solution for your restaurant, we’ve highlighted the top 11 restaurant ordering system options to consider.
12 Best Online Ordering Systems for Restaurants
We’ve listed the following 12 online ordering systems, complete with each product’s user-review rating on G2, and overview of the software, and a brief breakdown of their pricing models.
Review Rating: N/A
Overview: MenuDrive is a great option for restaurants that want to create a branded ordering experience on their website. Users are able to customize their POS and online ordering system by sending their menu, product photos, and other branding materials to MenuDrive, who then puts it all together.
Pricing: MenuDrive pricing has three subscription options: Monthly ($99/month), Annual ($90/month), and Enterprise (custom priced). The main differences between the plans include the menu setup fees and access to the enterprise management dashboard.
2. Toast POS
Review Rating: 4.4/5
Overview: Toast is a popular restaurant POS system. It comes with a wide array of built-in features, including an integrated online ordering system, a loyalty rewards program, the ability to generate, accept and sell gift cards, and a restaurant-specific inventory management system. The whole system is meant to work together to help restaurants manage all of their operations in one system.
Pricing: Outside of the cost for your hardware, installation, and payment processing, Toast will charge a monthly fee for continued use of its software. Subscription prices start at $79 per month for one terminal. Additional terminals are each $50 more per month. For more than six terminals in a single restaurant, Toast offers quote-based enterprise pricing.
Review Rating: 3.3/5
Overview: ChowNow’s online ordering system and app and aims to provide restaurants with an easy way to offer online ordering to customers via either their Facebook page, branded mobile apps for iPhone and iPad or their existing website.
Pricing: Instead of charging a commission on every single order, ChowNow charges a flat monthly fee for the platform. Depending on the pricing plan, it’s between $99 – $150 a month, plus setup fees per location.
Review Rating: 4.0/5
Overview: Upserve is a full service restaurant management system that also includes options for bars, wineries, coffee shops and bakeries. The online ordering system works seamlessly with its POS system, payments service and mobile app. It’s easy to implement and use, and 24/7 U.S.-based support is offered.
Pricing: The “Core” plan costs $59 per month and $60 per additional terminal. The “Core” Plan also includes Upserve Workforce, Upserve Marketing, and a live mobile app free of charge. Optional add-ons offered by this plan include Upserve Online Ordering ($59/month) and Upserve Inventory ($99/month).
5. Square POS
Review Rating: 4.6/5
Overview: Square’s restaurant POS solution is an all-in-one in-person and restaurant ordering system. Orders are easier to manage because they all come into the same interface for users. This is especially helpful for restaurants that offer both carryout and dine-in business.
Pricing: There’s no monthly subscription cost to use Square as an individual, and transactions cost 2.6% + $0.10. If you upgrade to a plan for teams, the monthly fee depends on the number of people you’re scheduling for. Square groups its pricing into plans for two to five employees ($50/month) and six to 10 employees ($90/month)
Review Rating: 4.0/5 stars
Overview: Restolabs offers an online ordering system for restaurants with numerous features, including Facebook ordering, multilingual support and real-time analytics. It’s a fairly basic interface that allows you to enter your menu and then copy and paste a widget right into your website.
Pricing: Restolabs pricing starts at $45.00 per month. There is a free version, as well as a free trial.
7. CAKE POS
Review Rating: 4.8/5 stars
Overview: CAKE is a full-service POS and management system that includes online ordering. The cloud based system allows you to take online orders and manage them alongside in-person orders on the same platform.
Pricing: CAKE’s POS pricing starts at $69.00 per month. A free trial is also offered.
Review Rating: N/A
Overview: iMenu360 is an online ordering platform that lets you create a custom interactive menu to include on your own website. iMenu360’s platforms are customized to integrate with your existing website and seamlessly merge with your brand to enhance the customer’s experience. It’s also made to integrate with various POS systems. The fees include a one-time setup fee of $299 plus $39.99 per month and a small percentage of monthly sales not to exceed $150.
If one is looking for POS integration, then I would always recommend iMenu360. This is one is the giant in the online ordering arena, and it’s favored among some big-name franchises listed on their websites. If you’re looking for a system that shuttles your online orders directly to POS, iMenu360 lists everyone they partner with right on their website.
Pricing: The setup fee of $199USD and a monthly fee with unlimited orders of the same amount. This was started by an industry insider.
Review Rating: N/A
Overview: GloriaFood an online ordering system for restaurants that allows you to accept orders for pickup and/or delivery through your restaurant’s website and Facebook page.
Pricing: The basic system is completely free. You can accept unlimited orders for pickup or delivery without paying any commission and use the system for any number of locations. There is no setup fee or hidden costs. There are, however, a few additional paid upgrades, like to enable credit card payments.
Review Rating: N/A
Overview: Ordering.co is one of the best in the market for small restaurants ordering systems. Customer support is very good with website and app support available in real-time. The platform allows companies to customize their websites and apps to fit specific business needs.
Pricing: Pricing ranges from $19 to $299 per month, depending on if you are an individual or startup. Enterprises and franchises need to request a quote.
Rating Review: 5.0/5
Overview: eDelivery is an online ordering system for mobile ordering businesses that do local delivery. It can used for restaurants/food industry, grocery shops, laundry, alcohol delivery shops or any business that does local delivery.
Pricing: You can buy the system with a one time cost, but need to content them for pricing. There are no monthly recurring charges, no per transaction costs and no commissions. You own the code and it is set-up on your server. The script is open source so you can customize the system in anyway you want.
Rating Review: 4.6/5
Overview: JotForm is an online form building software that also offers an alternative online ordering tool for those who don’t want to use a restaurant ordering app. Restaurants can manage their operations with custom online forms and collect their orders. JotForm order forms can easily be set up for to-go orders, curbside pickup or deliveries and integrate with more than 30 payment gateways to collect payments with no additional transaction fees.
Pricing: JotForm does not charge any commission or transaction fees. It has a free plan that allows you to collect up to 10 payments per month. Paid plans range from $24 to $79 per month.
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How to Choose an Online Ordering System For Your Restaurant
In today’s digital world, online ordering systems meet the on-the-move lifestyles many consumers are living nowadays. When choosing an online ordering system for your restaurant, there are a few important factors to consider before making your decision.
Below are five factors to keep in mind when doing your research and evaluation.
1. Ability to customize
The goal of any online ordering system is to make the experience of doing business with you as easy as possible for your customers. Look for features that allow your customers to order from whichever platform they’d like, such as Facebook and other popular platforms.
The best online ordering system allows you to use your restaurant’s own branding. This includes your business logo, colors, design, and visual elements. It should feel like an extension of the rest of your website or mobile app.
Additionally, ordering systems that allow you to add your own professional food photos will help you generate more menu sales.
2. Ease of integration
Look for an online ordering system that integrates with your POS system so you’re able to have the most streamlined experience. Many of the top online ordering systems integrate with most of the well known POS systems. Online orders can easily be fulfilled alongside in-person restaurant orders because the orders will be added directly into your system.
Many online ordering systems for restaurants offer multiple channels for ordering, including from your Facebook page, Google search results and customized ordering apps. Look for systems that can integrate with as many channels as possible that are used by your target audience.
Additionally, the integration keeps your labor and food costs in check and cuts down on order errors. Inventory deductions and sales numbers will also be accounted for in your reports. Check with your POS provider to see which online ordering systems they’re compatible with, and who they recommend, in order to avoid potential problems.
3. Fees and costs
All online ordering systems come with a cost. Some vendors charge an upfront set-up fee and then a flat monthly fee or cost per transaction to use the system. Others charge for the software and have required hardware that you must purchase. There are many types of pricing structures so be sure to compare against what you want to get out of your purchase.
It’s important to think through these costs and try to calculate a theoretical target ROI. Per-order charges might seem attractive if you are a small restaurant but could significantly impact your profitability in the long-run. On the other hand, flat costs can sometimes make it easier to account for in your budget so that you know what you can allocate to other items like marketing and advertising costs.
4. Promotional support
Getting the word out about the launch of your new online ordering system will be an important factor in making it a success. When evaluating vendors, ask them what marketing support options they provide, if any. Some companies offer a customized marketing launch package to help you inform potential customers that you now have an online ordering option.
Marketing costs can add up so it’s important to budget accordingly. Any discounts you’re able to negotiate with your vendor will be beneficial.
5. Access to customer data
The ability to collect restaurant customer data (e.g., names, email addresses, and order history) from orders placed through your online order system gives you valuable insights needed to run promotions and campaigns.
Customer data makes it possible to base your marketing on customer preferences and demographics, thereby enables you to effectively incentivize their purchase decisions with promotions, new menu items and restaurant loyalty reward programs.
Not all vendors provide access to your customer data so be sure to ask about this when evaluating your options. In some cases, there many be an additional cost, while some vendors may not release the information at all.
Whichever online ordering system you choose to go with for your restaurant, always keep in mind what your overall purpose is in adopting this type of technology. That is, to create an enjoyable online experience for your customers so they will continue to purchase and be loyal to your brand.
Be sure to investigate all your options, compare apples to apples, and negotiate on added features wherever possible.
Additional restaurant resources for you:
Grow Your Restaurant’s Online Orders with 2ndKitchen
2ndKitchen partners restaurants like yours with nearby bars, breweries, hotels, and multi-unit apartments, allowing you to grow online orders and awareness as the exclusive dining & delivery partner of those businesses