Guide to Online Ordering Systems for Restaurants

By Holly Hargett

      May 24, 2020     Solutions    

Your restaurant can thrive by providing online ordering for customers. Whether your business used to do 100% in-store sales or had already been receiving some online ordering through 3rd parties, you now have an opportunity to expand your revenue opportunities.

As you navigate through our complete guide to online ordering systems for restaurants, keep in mind how you communicate with customers, what systems you have in place and what systems you should have in place to fully leverage online ordering.  Also, online ordering does not necessarily mean delivery.

Questions you may ask when researching an Online Ordering System

  1. Who owns the customer data?
  2. Does your current POS have an online ordering capability?
  3. Does the online ordering system integrate with your current POS?
  4. What website platform do you currently use? 
  5. Would you need to change websites platforms or does it easily integrate with online ordering systems?
  6. How much does the online ordering system cost?  Do they charge per transaction, a flat fee, or a combination?
  7. Does the online ordering system integrate with your local marketing platform?

What are the Best Features of Online Ordering Systems to consider?

Every online ordering system is different.  It is important that you compare the features that they offer to make the best choice for your business.  Here are some of the features to consider:

  1. Unique & Single Use Promo Codes - So you can do more personalized marketing to each of your customers and enhance the capability of your marketing.
  2. Delivery or Take-Our Options - If you want to offer a delivery service or integrate into a delivery service, you will need to consider these features.
  3. Image or Visual Features - Some online ordering platforms have more visually appealing features where you can feature specific items with pictures.
  4. Payment Options - Apple Pay, Google, and other mobile payment options are growing rapidly.  Make sure to consider the best and easiest options for your customers.
  5. Data Portability - Online ordering systems are usually really good at online ordering, but are not the masters when it comes to data management, data-driven marketing.  Ensure you can easily access or port the data into other data/marketing platforms.

Related: Drive More Online Restaurant Orders with These 8 Tips

What is the Best Online Ordering Systems for Restaurants?

That is a really loaded question. It comes down to what is the best online ordering system for YOUR restaurant. Only you can really answer that question but we will continue to help guide you to make the best choice.  Keep in mind the questions, keep in mind the features, and certainly think about how you engage with your customers and the experience you want to provide your customers.

Here are some of the top online ordering systems to consider.

The Best 3rd Party Online Ordering Platforms

Every market area is different.  Some online ordering and delivery platforms have far greater reach and customer depth in different markets.  You do not necessarily want to market the 3rd party platforms and instead use them to gain customers.  Be sure to have capabilities in place to turn those customers into direct ordering customers.

  1. Uber Eats
  2. DoorDash
  3. Grubhub
  4. Yelp
  5. Postmates

The Best Direct to Customer Online Ordering Systems

Again, to determine the best online ordering system for your restaurant, do research and ask the questions.  Here are some of the best systems for you to consider.

  1. ChowNow
  2. Toast
  3. Lunchbox
  4. MenuDrive

What is the Best Marketing Platform for Online Ordering?

mySuite is the best local marketing platform for both online ordering and driving in-store traffic to your restaurant. No matter what online ordering system you use, you need to market it and you need to grow your customers and revenue. The mySuite platform has an all-in-one solution combining marketing data with sales data to help increase customer frequency, gain new customers, and maximize your overall ROI. Certainly the thing restaurants need to consider most when growing their business.