Best Online Ordering Systems for Restaurants in 2024

It is a well-known fact that the world is moving online, and, as a consequence, many industries are trying to move, or at least expand, most of their activities online to reach more people. In the early days of restaurants, people could only place orders verbally or by writing down the dishes they wanted to consume and, at the end of the 19th century, by making a call. Nowadays, the process of ordering has been revolutionized through the help of the internet, which has made the emergence of online ordering platforms possible. Thus, restaurants are among those who were given the possibility to go online.

Some restaurants have already seen the growth opportunity that such systems could bring and have seized it. Other restaurants still don’t use any online ordering software, and there are diverse reasons for that: maybe they are not convinced about the utility of this kind of system, or they do not know how to choose one from the variety that exists, or, perhaps, they do not know what an online ordering system is.

If you are interested in finding answers to these problems, we have got you covered. This article will help you find out:

  • What are the best online ordering systems for restaurants?
  • What is an online ordering system for restaurants?
  • What are the benefits of such a system?
  • What are the things to look for when choosing an online ordering system?

What are the best online ordering systems for restaurants?

To begin with, let’s take a look at this list of online ordering systems together to find out who they are suitable for and what they offer.

  1. TapTasty – the best solution for restaurants to manage orders, clients, deliveries, and marketing campaigns.
  1. Toast – the best for those restaurants looking for both a POS system and a basic online ordering system.
  1. GloriaFood – the go-to online ordering system for those who already have a website and want to add a free online ordering system.
  1. Restolabs – a good alternative for online ordering, especially for those who want to sell through their Facebook business page.
  1. Bentobox – the best for restaurants that are looking for SEO-optimized branded websites.
  1. Flipdish – great choice for restaurants that want to do qualitative marketing through the online ordering system.
  1. Upmenu – the most affordable online ordering system for small restaurants.
  1. iMenu360 – a good choice for those interested in a centralized way for online ordering, marketing, and social media images.
  1. Cloud Waitress – a great alternative for small restaurants that want a free website that sells.

1. TapTasty

TapTasty is an all-in-one online ordering system for restaurants that has two components: online ordering and marketing, both of which are manageable from a centralized dashboard. 

TapTasty’s focus regarding online ordering is on branded native mobile applications, but they also offer an online ordering module that can be integrated with websites or function on its own. Restaurants that choose TapTasty as their online ordering system can get and manage orders for pickup, delivery, and reservations. Here is an example of how their applications work.

Besides online ordering, TapTasty is also a solution for on-premise orders. Customers have two possibilities to place an order in the restaurant, either through their kiosk software or the QR table ordering system, both connected to the centralized dashboard. Below is an example of how to place an order at their kiosks. You can also see how they look.

One noteworthy aspect of their ordering functionalities is the AI-assisted ordering system that allows customers to order their favorite food by talking to a virtual waiter. This AI functionality can be activated for all the ordering modules mentioned above.

The marketing component consists of several tools and functionalities. Starting from a customer database that gives you relevant information about the customers, you can send automated emails and push notifications, you can give loyalty points and personalized discount coupons. Other functionalities are banners, loyalty cards, and many others whose aim is to attract more customers and make the existing ones more loyal.

As regards to the customer support service, TapTasty is one of the top companies in the field. If there is any question to be asked or a problem to be solved, they are always available in the chat module. They also give their customers the possibility of video calls and a help center that covers the settings that can be made in the system. 

TapTasty is a commission-free online ordering platform with four monthly subscription-based packages and no extra fees for developing a mobile application. Restaurants can choose to pay monthly or a year in advance to get a 20% discount.

2. Toast

Toast is known especially for its POS system, but its offer includes good commission-free online ordering options. Restaurants can be listed with many other restaurants on the Toast TakeOut mobile application, but because it is not a white-label application, branding options are limited. Other Toast options for online ordering are the integration with Order with Google and an online ordering module for websites. Alongside all of these, Toast comes with three marketing features: automated email marketing, loyalty points, and gift cards.

Toast also offers a top-notch customer support service that includes webinars, a help center, a community forum, and the possibility of connecting with real people by phone call. Given Toast’s focus on POS systems, all the features for online ordering and marketing are add-ons to their subscription-based packages, so additional fees may apply. Besides that, using the online ordering solution without their POS system is impossible.

3. GloriaFood

GloriaFood has a free plan that provides restaurants with a rudimentary online ordering system. This plan includes two widgets – one for food ordering, the other for table reservations – that can be added to an existing website, an integration with a Facebook business page, and the possibility to be listed with other restaurants on GloriaFood’s mobile application, namely FoodBooking. In addition to online ordering, this free plan comes with a few marketing functionalities: the possibility of creating different promotions, a flyer generator, and the option to invite customers to order online.

However, suppose some restaurants need more than what is provided in the free plan. In that case, GloriaFood has more features to offer for a monthly fee: a sales-optimized website, a branded mobile application, online/credit card payment service, and advanced promo marketing that includes client segmentation and target profiling. It is important to know that in order to add the mobile application to the Apple Store, GloriaFood requests restaurants to have their developer account. Regarding customer support service, the only option to contact GloriaFood provided on the website is by email. Still, the fundamental settings are covered in a knowledge base and video tutorials.

4. Restolabs

The principal solution that Restolabs presents to the restaurants is a responsive online ordering module that integrates with the restaurant website and its business Facebook page. However, in addition to the online ordering module, Restolabs also builds white-label mobile applications for restaurants. The marketing offer consists of four main functionalities: loyalty points, coupons, push notifications through which different promotions are sent to the customers, and display marketing, a feature that helps restaurants display their promotions to the customers’ sight.

Restolabs does not have a knowledge base, but the chat module, the demo video call, and their email being available on the website alongside the phone number are all elements that make an excellent customer support service. As to pricing, three monthly subscription-based packages include the functionalities presented above, but the development of the mobile application is not included in these packages. If restaurants want a mobile application, they must pay a fixed fee of 799$ in addition to the package they chose.

5. Bentobox

Bentobox is focused on creating branded websites that include both online ordering and marketing. Bentobox, like many online ordering systems, offers restaurant customers the possibility to place orders for takeout and delivery, to place catering orders, and to make reservations. Still, there is one thing that stands out about them, and it is related to their websites. All of them include built-in SEO features and tools that help restaurants optimize their website as they grow, and besides that, Bentobox has a special team dedicated to helping restaurants do SEO. SEO-optimized websites simply mean increased website traffic. The marketing part consists of SMS marketing, email marketing, gift cards, and loyalty programs that keep customers engaged by showing them different milestones to achieve.

Bentobox pricing is quite complex because of the many options they have. Restaurants can customize their package or select one of the packages created by Bentobox. If choosing the first option, restaurants have to select all the modules they want to use and pay a monthly fee per module. In addition to these fees, there is an extra fee for initial setup and some other fees per order or online payment mentioned at the bottom of the Bentobox pricing page applicable to four of their modules: restaurant website, takeout & delivery, online catering, and events management. If choosing from the packages created by Bentobox, restaurants must pay an initial setup fixed fee that ranges from 350$ to 800$ depending on the package they chose and the monthly subscription for the package. The customer support service consists of the possibility of phone calls from 8 am until midnight, email, and a well-written help center that covers the system. 

6. Flipdish

Flipdish is a complete system for restaurants that includes a POS system, online ordering, in-location ordering, and marketing. Regarding online ordering, there are two options: Flipdish creates both websites and mobile applications. When looking at the marketing part, restaurants are provided with different excellent tools. From customer databases, loyalty programs, first-order campaigns, SMS campaigns, discounts, and vouchers to a special team dedicated to helping restaurants do marketing, Flipdish covers most of the needs of a restaurant.

Flipdish also believes in a commission-free online ordering platform, so their pricing consists only of three subscription-based packages that can be paid for monthly or yearly to get a discount. However, not all the features are included in those packages. So restaurants must be aware that extra fees may come into the discussion if they want, for example, a web design or managed marketing by the Flipdish team. Even though Flipdish provides its customers with a help center and the Flipdish Academy, where different lessons about the system may be found, they are hard to get in touch with customer support. A phone number and email address are provided only with products bought from them.

7. Upmenu

Another good option when looking for an online ordering system is Upmenu. In addition to the mobile applications they build and the websites you can create using different templates and themes, Upmenu is integrated with Google Food Ordering, allowing your restaurants to receive orders from Google. Upmenu also offers different marketing tools: loyalty cards, loyalty points, SMS and email marketing, push notifications, gift cards, and discounts.

Like many other systems, Upmenu is a commission-free platform with subscription-based packages. The advantage of these packages is that even the cheapest one includes a mobile application and a restaurant website. However, there is a downside to the cheapest packages. The number of orders restaurants can get through this online ordering system is limited. Upmenu is easy to get in touch with through the chat module they provide, and their help center provides good answers. 

8. iMenu360

iMenu360 offers two options for online ordering: an online ordering module that can be integrated with websites and a white-label mobile application. While customers place orders for pickup and delivery, iMenu360 creates a customer database where the marketing part begins. Based on this database, iMenu360 gives restaurants the possibility to create different rewards in order to make their customers more loyal and the possibility to offer discounts for their products. Other marketing features include a social media image creation service and a marketing support team ready to help customers grow.

Unfortunately, iMenu360 does not give information about their pricing. To get an offer, restaurants must contact the sales team through the email address or phone number provided on the website. Customer support is also done through phone calls and emails, and in addition to these, iMenu360 has a help center that provides basic information regarding the system.

9. Cloud Waitress

Cloud Waitress is an online ordering system specializing in ordering websites that allow customers to make reservations and place orders for pickup and delivery. Cloud Waitress also builds mobile applications, but they charge an extra fee for this and request restaurants to have their developer accounts so they can publish the application to the Apple Store and Google Play Store. As for marketing, this system allows restaurants to create promotional codes.

Cloud Waitress’ pricing is straightforward. Except for the additional fees that must be paid for extra services such as custom website design or, as mentioned before, the development of a mobile application, there are two monthly paid subscription-based packages and one free package. The free package is a good starting point for small businesses whose orders and reservations do not exceed 100, which is the maximum limit for this package. Cloud Waitress could be contacted via email and a chat module for customer support. It also has a well-written help center that is of help for those who are looking to understand the system.

What is an online ordering system for restaurants?

We have looked at the more practical part, but there are many more things to know about online ordering systems. It’s time to have a look at the theoretical part. To put it simply, an online ordering system for restaurants is a digital system that helps restaurants extend their activity online and allows their customers to order their favorite food through online ordering modules such as a mobile app or a website.

What are the benefits of such a system?

Now that you have a clear definition of an online restaurant ordering system, the wisest thing to do is ask yourself, “Why should I use this?” We want to help you answer this question, so here is a list of the most important benefits that this type of system offers.

  • First and foremost, as it was mentioned, you reach more people because of your online presence.
  • You no longer need to keep records of your sales or do all kinds of statistics, from the best-selling products to the most active customers. A good online ordering software will do that for you.
  • Most of these systems give you the possibility to do online marketing without any additional cost. Loyalty points, discounts, emails, and push notifications marketing are just a few tools you can use to attract more customers.
  • An online ordering system gives you a standardized and centralized way of ordering that helps you deliver exactly what was ordered. There is no longer a need for pen and paper, and there is no longer miscommunication.
  • Using an online ordering system for restaurants, you will have a database of customers that will help you profile them and create personalized offers.
  • Besides all of these, an online food ordering system gives you a more accessible and interactive way of presenting your menu. You can cross-sell, emphasize some products, and order and reorder your products whenever you want.

What are the things to look for when choosing an online ordering system?

If we were asked to mention only one element that should be considered to make the best possible choice, we would say, without hesitation, that your need would be that element. If you need a car that can fit a lot of luggage, would you buy one with a tiny trunk? The same principle applies when choosing an online ordering system. You must know what you need, and the system you choose must satisfy that need.

Another important aspect – it is not randomly placed right after the most important one – that helps you choose the best system is how well customer support is done. Each system has a level of complexity, and even though we are talking about the simplest one, there will always be a question you want to ask someone about. Besides that, these systems were made by humans who, obviously, can make mistakes. The main question is not whether a system is without any errors but whether there are people to whom you can communicate those errors and people who can fix them. So make sure you know about the customer support service of a system before you choose it.

Let’s say that you already have a POS system you use for your restaurant or that you want to buy one at once with the online ordering system. You want to make sure that those two systems work together. You want to make sure that any other system you use or want to use, from online payment services to product management systems, works with the online ordering system you want to choose. So, if you want to choose wisely, look at what systems it is integrated with or ask what systems they are willing to integrate with.

Price is another aspect you must consider. The pricing differs from system to system. For some of them, you have to pay a subscription fee for both the administration panel and the sales modules; for others, you have to pay a subscription fee just for the administration panel and a fixed fee for the sales modules. Some of them have multiple packages you can choose from, even customizable packages; others offer fewer options. You have to take your time and compare the pricing of these systems. An important rule to keep in mind when doing that can be formulated as a question: Which offers me the most suitable solution at the best price?

Last but not least, after you do your research, looking at what these systems say about themselves, you must consider how others view these systems. The more perspectives, the better. We have already given you our perspective at the beginning of this article, hoping it will help you navigate through the multitudes of online ordering systems that exist.

If you find the information in this article helpful and has given you more clarity regarding those systems, you are more than welcome to share it with your friends.

Elvis Păunovici Author
Being a knowledge-thirsty person with a background in languages and literature, Elvis Păunovici ventured into the restaurant management software industry, where he gained first-hand experience with restaurant systems and had the opportunity to meet and learn from numerous owners of restaurants. In his spare time, he enjoys reading.

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