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5 Best Online Ordering Systems for Restaurants in 2023: Reviews & Key Features

5 Best Online Ordering Systems for Restaurants in 2023: Reviews & Key Features

April 18, 2023

According to the PYMNTS’ “12 Months Of The ConnectedEconomy™” study, 56 percent of American consumers ordered food for home delivery in 2022, indicating a significant shift towards digitalization. Time-starved and convenience-seeking millennials are the bigger spenders in cyberspace, with an average millennial spending $24 per meal.

Now that's a trend that you, as a restauranteur, can’t afford to miss.

Online ordering software provides immense opportunities for restaurants to simplify their operations and expand their customer base. However, with a plethora of options available, selecting the right restaurant online ordering system can be challenging.

Whether you're a new restaurant owner or looking to upgrade your existing system, this guide will equip you with the necessary information to choose the best online ordering software for your restaurant in 2023.

But before we dive into the top software in the market, let's begin with the fundamentals.

What is an online food ordering system?

An online food ordering system is a software application that enables customers to order food from a restaurant through a website or mobile app. It allows customers to browse the menu, select items, customize their orders, and pay online. The order is then transmitted to the restaurant's kitchen for preparation and delivery or pickup.

Restaurant online ordering systems have become increasingly popular in recent years, as they offer convenience and flexibility for customers and help restaurants streamline their operations as well as increase sales.

What are the benefits of online ordering systems for restaurants?

Online ordering systems can improve the efficiency and profitability of restaurants while providing a better experience for customers. Some of the noted benefits of online ordering systems are:

  • Increased sales: Online ordering systems allow customers to place orders at any time, which can result in increased sales for restaurants.
  • Improved accuracy: With online ordering, customers can directly input their orders, reducing the chance of errors caused by miscommunication over the phone.
  • Streamlined operations: Food online ordering systems can integrate with restaurant management software, streamlining the order-taking process and reducing the workload for staff.
  • Enhanced customer experience: They provide customers with convenience and flexibility, allowing them to place orders from their own devices and schedule pickup or delivery at their convenience.
  • Increased efficiency: The most underrated advantage of restaurant online ordering systems is that they can reduce wait times for customers as orders are received directly by the kitchen and prepared immediately.
  • Access to customer data: Online ordering systems can track customer orders and preferences. This allows restaurants to personalize their marketing and improve customer retention.

Which are the best online ordering systems for your restaurant?

Restolabs

With its ability to adapt to the constantly changing demands of the industry, it's a no-brainer that Restolabs is considered one of the top online ordering systems in the US and Canada.

What makes Restolabs so impressive is its commitment to streamlining both online and offline operations. With features like curbside, takeaway, and QR menu ordering, restaurants can efficiently manage all aspects of their business.

And the best part? You can access all of these features for just $99 per month, making it an affordable choice for small to medium-sized restaurants or new establishments.

But what truly sets Restolabs apart is its personalized assistance. Unlike other online ordering systems, Restolabs offers a dedicated virtual assistant to all its clients. This virtual assistant not only helps restaurants set up their online ordering system but also takes care of day-to-day operations, such as technical glitches or menu modifications. This level of personalized support is unparalleled in the industry and is a testament to Restolabs' commitment to its clients.

Key Features:

  • Customizable Menu Management
  • Multilingual Ordering
  • Pre-ordering System
  • 50+ Payment Gateways
  • Integrated POS System
  • Advanced Analytics and Reporting
  • Loyalty Programs and Discounts

Pros:

  • Easy to set up with the magic wizard
  • Excellent customer support
  • User-friendly interface for both restaurant owners and customers
  • Seamless integration with existing POS, delivery, and payments
  • Affordable pricing plans
  • 90 Days Free Trial

Cons:

  • Dashboard UI/UX needs an overhaul
  • Limited templates for online ordering

GloriaFood

Created by Oracle, GloriaFood online ordering system that allows restaurants to receive orders from their customers through their website, Facebook page, or mobile app. One of the main selling points of GloriaFood is that it is marketed as a "truly free" online ordering system, which means that there are no setup fees, transaction fees, or monthly fees.

GloriaFood's free plan includes basic features such as order management, menu customization, and order notifications. However, restaurants may have to pay for additional features such as branded mobile apps, advanced reporting, and custom domains. These features are available through their "GloriaFood Plus" plan, which is priced at $29 per month.

While GloriaFood is free to use, there are some potential hidden costs that restaurants should be aware of. For example, if a restaurant chooses to use GloriaFood's payment processing system, it will be charged a commission fee of 2.9% plus $0.30 per transaction. Additionally, if a restaurant wants to use GloriaFood's delivery management system, it will be charged a fee of $1 per order.

For restaurants that are just starting or have a limited budget, GloriaFood can be a great option as it offers basic features for free and allows them to receive orders from multiple channels without any monthly fees.

Key Features:

  • Free Website Ordering Widget
  • Free orders with Facebook smart links
  • Vacation Mode and Pause Services Option
  • Multi-Template Receipt Editor
  • No-contact Delivery & Minimum Exposure Pickup Options

Pros:

  • The basic plan is completely free
  • Simple setup and integrations
  • Very stable, with next to no downtime
  • Responsive customer support

Cons

  • Limited feature development
  • Lack of local bank's online payment
  • Lacks order cancel and refund functionality
  • Customer support is limited to email and online chat

Clover

Clover was founded in October 2010 and was later acquired by First Data Corp. in December 2012. Following this, First Data Corp. was acquired by Fiserv in July 2019, which means that the Clover POS system is bundled with a Fiserv merchant account. This backend payment processing system is integral to Clover POS and cannot be dissociated from it.

Clover Online Ordering System provides two options for restaurants to start accepting online orders: a Clover-powered web page created for them or The. Ordering. app. With Clover Online Ordering, restaurants can create an online menu, increase their visibility to customers, and receive orders directly to the kitchen. The system also keeps track of customer information, allowing businesses to add rewards, promo, and customer feedback programs to reward loyal customers.

One potential drawback of Clover Online Ordering is that it requires a Clover POS device (Station, Station Pro, Mini, or Flex) connected to a printer. This may not be the best solution for businesses that are not yet ready to invest in commercial restaurant equipment and supply. However, there are no fees associated with Clover's ordering services and the 1.5% per order fee for The.Ordering. app is currently waived by Clover.

Key Features

  • ACH Payment Processing
  • Clover supports English, French, Spanish, and German language
  • Electronic signature
  • Safe and Secure app

Pros

  • No setup or subscription fees for 30 days
  • Supports partial payments and returns
  • Seamless third-party integrations
  • Beautiful user-interface

Cons

  • Terrible customer service
  • Lacks pricing transparency
  • Costly machines with mandatory purchase
  • Not a very flexible system if you plan to switch later

FreshBytes

FreshBytes is a mobile ordering and customer service solution that specializes in providing branded mobile ordering apps and website services for small and medium-sized restaurants. Despite being designed for smaller businesses, it offers powerful features that are available to large chain restaurants. The platform has been praised for its simplicity and emerging presence in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. FreshBytes is commission-free and provides fully integrated online ordering services.

Talk about their USP? Unlike other systems that share customer information via an Excel sheet, FreshBytes provides automated marketing strategies to personalize customer engagement. This means that the system synchronizes customer analytics with marketing automation software to keep customers connected with the restaurant's brand.

Key Features

  • Menu pictures for every item
  • One-touch reordering
  • Real-time order status
  • Easier to use
  • Smart messaging

Pros

  • Simple and intuitive system
  • Easy setup
  • Affordable pricing
  • Responsive customers support

Cons

  • Training sessions can be improved to suit the restaurant’s unique needs
  • UI/UX needs some work to beat competitors

Oddle

Oddle is a holistic ecosystem of online-to-offline (O2O) solutions serving the restaurant industry in the Asia-Pacific region. Its 'Always Restaurants First' philosophy empowers restaurants to take charge of their growth by offering future-proof solutions.

The company's merchant-centric approach has convinced many restaurateurs to make it their revenue partner of choice. They recently launched their three expertise-based solutions, including Oddle Reservations, Oddle QR Ordering, and Oddle Payment Terminals, in addition to existing capabilities and services.

Oddle's mission is to help all of its merchants succeed as they leap from one business milestone to the next.

Key Features

  • Web Ordering
  • Branded solutions
  • Responsive customer support
  • Supports QR Ordering and Takeaway businesses

Pros

  • They boast more than 5 customer support channels
  • Strong suite of automated marketing tools

Cons

  • It doesn't support any other platform apart from the Web.
  • Lacks multi-lingual ordering
  • Most features are under-developed or in beta

What are the factors to consider when choosing an online ordering system for your restaurant?

Every restaurant has unique requirements and considerations, so it's essential to choose an online ordering system that aligns with your specific needs. While the factors to consider may vary, there are certain key elements to keep in mind when selecting an online ordering system to ensure it meets your business requirements. Let’s take a look at these factors in detail…

  • Ease of use:There are enough complexities to tackle in a food business, you really don’t want to add another. The system you choose should be easy to set up, operate and navigate for both you and your customers.
  • Integration with your POS system: The beauty of digitizing restaurant processes is that you no longer have to manage multiple accounts. With easy integrations, the online ordering system that you choose will enable seamless communication between your point-of-sale (POS) system, last-mile delivery services, and other apps to avoid any manual errors or discrepancies.
  • Customization: The ability to customize the system according to your restaurant's branding and menu is important to ensure consistency and recognition.
  • Payment processing: The system should have a secure payment processing system that accepts multiple payment methods to cater to customers' preferences.
  • Customer data management: Access to customer data gives you the power to optimize marketing efforts and improve loyalty. A comprehensive restaurant online ordering system takes care of this element very well. It allows you to capture and manage customer data and insights to personalize their experience which can have a positive impact on your business’s bottom line.
  • Customer support:Every tech product must have solid customer support. Check the support offered by the provider, including training, technical assistance, and customer service, to ensure smooth operations.
  • Mobile compatibility:The system should be mobile-friendly and accessible through multiple devices, as more customers are turning to mobile devices to order food online.

Which is the most popular online food ordering system?

There are several popular online food ordering systems available in the market, each with its unique features and benefits. The choice of the most suitable system for your restaurant will depend on your specific business needs and requirements.

As a restaurant owner, it is important to consider all the factors mentioned above before investing in an online ordering system. It is recommended that restaurant owners take advantage of free demos offered by various providers to better understand the functionality and capabilities of different systems before making a decision.

Ultimately, choosing the right online ordering system can help improve efficiency, streamline operations, and increase revenue for your restaurant.

Conclusion

The digital revolution in the food industry has made online food ordering systems an essential tool for restaurants. As a restauranteur, it is imperative to adapt to this changing landscape to stay competitive and meet the evolving demands of your customers.

From Restolabs to Clover, there are numerous online ordering systems available, each with unique features and benefits, and it is crucial to choose one that aligns with your restaurant's specific needs.

Ultimately, by embracing an online food ordering system that fits your restaurant's unique requirements, you can improve efficiency, streamline operations, and increase revenue while also enhancing your customers' dining experience. So, take the plunge and equip your restaurant with the right digital tools to thrive in this ever-evolving, tech-driven culinary landscape.