Best online restaurant menu in 2023

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It’s no secret that the foodservice industry has undergone significant changes in the past three years. Ordering food online was already more popular before the global pandemic, but it became a necessity in the restaurant industry and a means of survival.

Now customers have grown accustomed to the convenience of online ordering systems, and the feature helps restaurants stay competitive in today’s market. In fact, 71% of consumers surveyed by Intouch Insights in 2022 said they use mobile apps to make restaurant purchases.

What is an online ordering system?

The first step in choosing the best online ordering software for restaurants is understanding what an online ordering system is. In simple terms, an online ordering system is an automated system that allows a restaurant to process online sales through a branded website or mobile app.

Customers simply log into the restaurant’s platform, add their food orders to a shopping cart, just as they would when using other ecommerce platforms, and then pay to place their order. Once an online order is placed, the online ordering system submits it to the restaurant for preparation, packaging and, if applicable, delivery.

Why should restaurants use online ordering systems?

Why should a restaurant website have an online ordering tool? Online ordering systems provide restaurants with numerous benefits and competitive advantages, including:

  • Increased efficiency – Online sales can result in faster processes to fulfill orders.
  • Valuable customer data – When customers place orders online, they provide data that can be used to gain valuable insights.
  • Improved accuracy – Digitized orders can improve overall accuracy compared to taking orders over the phone and the potential for information to be lost in translation.
  • Streamlined operations – Accepting online orders can help streamline processes at the back of the house.
  • More customer loyalty – Improvements in efficiency and accuracy will undoubtedly result in greater customer satisfaction that encourages repeat business, and many online ordering systems also include customer loyalty programs.

Best online ordering systems for restaurants

Is your restaurant ready to accept online orders? Before you can get your online ordering system up and running, you need to select the right software to meet your needs. Be sure to consider the cost and available features of some of the best online restaurant ordering systems in 2023.

1. Chow Now

Because ChowNow is commission-free, restaurants using this ordering system can maximize their revenue. The ordering app can be integrated with an existing POS system and offers various options. Customers can place orders using a branded app or on a restaurant’s own website, and they can choose either in-store or out-of-door pickup. ChowNow is available for a flat monthly fee that ranges from $99 to $150.

2. Toast POS

Online ordering is possible through the Toast POS system, which is built specifically for restaurants and offers them a host of money-saving features. In fact, Toast claims that restaurants save an average of $36,000 a year when they use Toast Online Ordering. Some of the most popular Toast POS features include a customer loyalty program, the ability to create and accept gift cards, and restaurant inventory management. The total cost of using Toast POS for online ordering may include the cost of switching to the POS system, but Toast does offer a free calculator to help restaurants estimate savings on their website.

3. Square for restaurants

Customers who choose the Square Terminal and Kitchen Display System as their point of sale system can choose to use Sqaure for Restaurants as their online ordering system, which is known for being streamlined and efficient. Restaurants can accept orders through multiple platforms such as Postmates, Chowly, or UberEats, and the kitchen receives all orders in a single, simple interface. Once they start using Square for Restaurants, restaurant owners can also easily activate delivery services. Square for Restaurants is available in three pricing tiers, including free, $60 per month, and custom plans.

4. Gloria Food

Restaurateurs looking to integrate online ordering with the restaurant’s existing website should consider using the GloriaFood online ordering system. GloriaFood offers mobile ordering and table reservation widgets that businesses can place on their website or Facebook page. A GloriaFood widget is not only useful, but also completely free. The company does not charge transaction fees, commissions or hidden fees, although upgrades to advanced features are available for purchase.

6. Order Clover online

Restaurants using the Clover POS system can accept online orders through two options: a Clover-powered website and app or Clover helps its users set up their online menus and streamline their ordering process, and Clover’s online ordering system improves customer loyalty by tracking rewards, promotions and coupon codes, as well as customer feedback. Clover doesn’t charge a subscription fee to use the online ordering option, and it’s free to install for customers using a Clover POS, though it charges 3.5% plus 10 cents for credit card processing.

7. FreshBytes

Designed for small and medium-sized businesses, FreshBytes offers smaller restaurants many of the same powerful features available to large chains. Hailed as one of the easiest and fastest growing online ordering platforms, FreshBytes offers users a proprietary, mobile-friendly, and commission-free experience with options such as social media ordering, menu item photos, premium website designs, and one-touch reordering. Pricing for Freshbytes starts at $89 per month.

8. Upgrade

Upserve is a full-service restaurant management system that also includes options for bars, wineries, coffee shops, bakeries, and more. Upserve’s software integrates with online ordering marketplaces such as Postmates, DoorDash, Caviar, and UberEats, giving customers the best of multiple worlds. Upserve’s software also provides valuable data analytics so that restaurant owners or managers can track their location’s performance and work strategically toward improved customer satisfaction. Upserve plans start at $59 per month.

9. MenuDrive

MenuDrive adds an extra marketing focus to its online ordering software. Users submit their menus, photos, and other information to MenuDrive, and the team there builds a custom branded online menu for the restaurant. The online ordering system also includes automated email campaigns and other integrated marketing tools to help restaurants build a dedicated customer base. The basic MenuDrive plan starts at a monthly fee of $99 per location, along with a one-time setup fee of $99. The service also includes a 3.5% credit card processing fee plus 15 cents per transaction.

10. Resto labs

Restolabs is a popular online ordering system for restaurants thanks to its ease of use and the fact that it is commission-free. Restolabs is packed with useful features, including Facebook ordering, multilingual support, and real-time analytics. The service offers a fairly simple interface that allows users to enter their menus and then copy and paste widgets directly to their websites. The price for online ordering from Restolabs starts at $45 per month.

What software do restaurants use to take orders?

Most restaurants rely on a point-of-sale or point-of-sale system to enter food orders, add special instructions, process payments, and print receipts. Many POS systems also include tools that help restaurant management predict future sales, make staff hiring and scheduling decisions, and monitor restaurant inventory. Some POS software offers additional tools for the online ordering process, while others integrate with third-party online ordering software.

What is the best digital menu for restaurants?

Does the best online ordering system also offer the best digital menus for restaurants? While each of the best online ordering systems offers its own benefits, restaurant owners looking for a premium digital menu should consider MenuDrive, as a team of professionals designs the perfect online menu for a customized and branded experience.

Are there free online ordering options for restaurants?

Multiple options are available for restaurants looking for online ordering options, including some with a free version. Some services, such as Square for Restaurants and Toast POS, are free for customers who subscribe to the brand’s POS systems. Other online ordering options, such as GloriaFood, are free to use in the base system with optional upgrades.

Image: Depositphotos

More in: Coronavirus Biz Advice, Restaurant/Food Service

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