Restaurant online ordering software has become increasingly important for food businesses. Consumer trends and restaurant technology are always changing, and there’s greater demand for restaurants to offer a variety of ordering options.
By using online ordering software, restaurants can increase their sales, serve more customers, enhance the customer experience, and ultimately generate more revenue.
Many online ordering software solutions are available. These include options that can be added to your website, third-party apps, POS systems, and more. But, with all of these options available, how can you know which to use?
To help you set your business up with the best tools, this guide explores the top online ordering systems available right now.
What is Restaurant Online Ordering Software?
Basically, restaurant online ordering software allows you to accept orders that customers have placed online.
Restaurant online ordering software typically consists of two parts. First, there is the customer-facing website or app that displays your menu and lets a customer place an order. This could be through your restaurant’s website, or via a third-party site.
Secondly, there’s the admin interface that lets you receive and process customer orders.
Online ordering systems have become popular as the food delivery market is growing considerably. By using an online ordering system, you can tap into a new income stream and serve a larger customer base.
While you can use delivery services and third-party apps, many online ordering platforms offer direct ordering through your own digital channels.
If you want to offer an online menu, you’ll need to make sure that the ordering software you choose works with your POS. The online ordering process must also integrate with your restaurant’s preparation capacity and processes.
There are many platforms that are dedicated to online ordering. Let’s look at some of the top online ordering systems available.
6 Best Restaurant Online Order Software Options
Let’s dive into some great online ordering software that you should consider using in your restaurant.
1. Toast POS
Toast POS is one of the most popular POS systems available. The platform offers a wide range of point-of-sale and restaurant management tools - including restaurant online order software.
Unlike other online ordering systems, Toast’s online rendering software only works if you use Toast as your main POS system. The good part is that you can access a fully-integrated ordering system that works seamlessly across your different ordering channels.
Toast offers a wide range of ordering options. These include online ordering via your website, mobile app ordering, delivery, takeout, and e-gift card purchasing.
Contactless payments are available through the platform. Restaurant owners can also use Toast’s hardware solutions for tableside ordering and payment processing, as well as setting up self-service order kiosks.
Toast is more than just an online ordering tool. It’s an extensive POS and restaurant management system that lets you add direct online ordering. If you’re looking for one system to manage all of your restaurant orders, then this is a smart choice. If you want to add an online ordering portal to your existing POS system, then Toast won’t work.
- Complete point-of-sale system
- Payment processing
- Kitchen display system
- Accept online orders through various channels
- Dedicated hardware for the POS system
2. Square Online
Square Online is a simple online ordering system that lets restaurants accept orders directly from their websites.
The tool is part of Square’s larger commerce platform, which lets you sell online through different channels, market your business, manage your customers, and more. In terms of an online ordering system, Square Online is a versatile tool.
This platform can help your restaurant accept and manage orders both online and in person. You can apply the ordering tool to your website, social channels, and front-of-house system. It’s also mobile-friendly. With Square, it’s easy to manage your online orders.
One of the noteworthy features of Square is that you can set up your restaurant’s menu profile, and then let customers access it on their phones. You can place QR codes on tables and then let customers scan them to see the menu.
You can add options for pick-up, dine-in, and delivery through Square Online. The platform also lets you accept a variety of payment methods.
If you’re looking for a versatile restaurant online ordering system, then this is one of the top options.
- Accept online orders through your website or apps
- Tools to automate order page creation
- Part of Square’s larger commerce platform
3. Gloria Food
Gloria Food provides free restaurant online order software, which makes it an attractive option for small businesses. You can take unlimited online orders with this software at zero cost.
This makes Gloria Food a good option for businesses planning to scale up their online ordering.
You can use Gloria Food by adding a clear menu and online ordering widgets to your website. The platform also lets you accept orders through Facebook and your restaurant’s app. All of these orders can be managed via the Gloria Food online ordering app.
This software is free and simple to set up. If you want to extend the functionality of your website and introduce a new sales channel, then Gloria Food might be useful.
Gloria Food lacks the features and versatility that other platforms offer. However, being cost-free, it’s far from a bad option. Note that you need to use their online ordering app to manage orders, so it can be tricky to introduce the new system to your existing restaurant operations.
- Free online order widgets to add to your website
- Accept online orders via your website, Facebook page, or app
- Gloria Food app to manage online orders
Lunchbox is an online ordering app that offers an extensive range of features. Their all-in-one ordering and guest engagement system gives you power over how you can accept orders and provide a great customer experience.
You can use Lunchbox to create a customizable digital ordering experience. You can make use of web and app ordering, and you can offer self-order kiosks. Beyond the online menu tools, there’s also a marketing CRM to help you manage customer data. You can access tools for customer loyalty, and online ordering software for catering businesses.
This platform also lets you create automated guest engagement workflows which can help you market your restaurant, improve customer retention, and increase online orders.
Lunchbox is relatively straightforward and allows you to use UI and UX customization options to ensure a seamless guest experience. The tool can be used by all kinds of restaurant owners, regardless of business size.
- Web and app ordering
- Guest marketing CRM
- UX and UI tools
- Loyalty and scan-to-pay tools
ChowNow is a third-party online ordering solution that any kind of restaurant can use. This online food ordering system lets customers order for in-store pickup, curbside delivery, or contactless dine-in. The restaurant ordering system will easily integrate with your POS and offers plenty of options for capturing online orders.
You can use ChowNow to get a branded mobile app designed for your restaurant. You can also add online ordering functionality to your restaurant website. The platform also integrates with Yelp, Instagram, and Google to help you promote online ordering.
ChowNow offers a commission-free online ordering system, which makes it appealing for restaurants that operate at a high volume. However, the flat monthly fee for using the software can be expensive for smaller businesses.
- Online ordering via your restaurant app or website
- Google and Instagram integrations
- Commission-free online orders
- Easy POS integrations
6. Clover Online Ordering
Clover Online Ordering is just one part of Clover’s larger POS system.
Just like Toast, this restaurant's online order software is only suitable if you already use Clover as your main POS.
Clover lets you accept orders via the Clover app or through Clover-powered web pages. You don't get as much online ordering flexibility as other platforms offer, but using Clover to accept and manage orders is very simple.
The platform makes it easy to set up an online menu and send orders through to the kitchen. If you use Clover as your main POS, it’s also very easy to manage online orders and generate sales reports around them.
- Accept orders through apps or your website
- Part of the larger Clover POS system
- Clover payment processing
- End-to-end ordering management
You can use the online ordering platforms listed above to help you accept online orders directly and access new sales channels.
The solution you choose should depend on your CRM and existing restaurant software, as well as your specific online ordering needs.