Online Ordering Systems

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Olo in New York provides an on-demand interface for the restaurant industry, designed to drive digital ordering and delivery for restaurant brands.

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Olo in New York provides an on-demand interface for the restaurant industry, designed to drive digital ordering and delivery for restaurant brands.

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Learn More About Online Ordering Systems

What are Online Ordering Systems?

Online ordering systems allow restaurants to provide guests with on-demand delivery or reservations via a web or mobile app. Through these systems, customers are able to browse the full menu and place an order all without leaving the comfort of their own home. Upon ordering, a delivery person employed by the online system brings food to the location you entered. Many of these applications will also offer delivery of necessities such as groceries. The application will usually allow you to rate your experience and give feedback about the delivery.

Online ordering systems are more commonly used today than they have been in years past. Consumers have a growing desire for convenience and practicality, especially during times like the COVID-19 pandemic where in-house dining was prohibited and takeout and delivery were the only options. These applications are also becoming a more important feature for restaurants to offer in order to stay relevant with the competition. Offering delivery helps restaurants to develop more loyal customers and persuade new customers to try their dining experience.

Online Ordering Systems Features:

All online ordering systems should strive to provide the best delivery service available, from time spent to customer interactions. It is therefore important to take a look at the features to see which apps will best fit your business needs. Common features across online ordering systems include:

  • Online ordering website or menu integration widget
  • Online ordering
  • Order scheduling
  • Mobile ordering
  • QR code ordering
  • Live order tracking
  • Real-time order notifications
  • Contactless delivery and pick-up options
  • Menu customization and branding
  • Multi-device compatibility
  • Multi-location support
  • Integration with payment gateways
  • Analytics/Reporting
  • Food Delivery Dispatching
  • Menu Management
  • Loyalty Program
  • Order Management

Online Ordering Systems Comparison

Before deciding to use a free or invest in a paid online ordering system for your restaurant, consider the following factors:

  • Ease of use: Ease of use is definitely a strong factor to look out for when deciding which online ordering system to use. Having an application that’s difficult to use will be more of a headache for customers than going to pick up the food or item themselves. It is essential to invest in an online ordering system that will be easy for both your customers and employees to use. Be sure the application you’re considering is user-friendly and offers a quick and painless ordering and delivery process.
  • Customization: As a restaurant owner, it is best to find an online ordering system that is customizable to your needs. This may include the ability to create a branded menu, include logos on the widget or ordering website, and the flexibility to configure the menu formatting so it matches your in-person menu. Look for an application that allows you to use your own logo, branding, and food photos.
  • Location: Not all ordering applications are available for every given area. Be sure that the vendor is available for your region. There may also be local online ordering systems available depending on the size of the city you’re in.

Pricing Information

Look to spend anywhere around $45 to $299 per month, with $99 per month being about the average cost. Some will allow the option to pay yearly which would decrease the monthly amount. There are also multiple vendors, such as Favor, which offer free basic online ordering widgets in which restaurants can embed on their site.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What do online ordering systems do?

Online ordering systems allow users to order food or other items from a restaurant through a website or a mobile app. They offer full menu selection from selected restaurants using the application as well as delivery. Aside from food, online ordering systems may also offer the delivery of items such as groceries, alcohol, and bathroom necessities. They are growing in popularity due to convenience and ease of use.

What are the benefits of using online ordering systems?

A major benefit of using an online ordering system includes time saved for both the restaurant and the customer. For customers, ordering food via their laptop or smartphone is convenient and means they don’t need to call the restaurant in order to place an order. For restaurants, online orders come directly to their own systems and can be filled as they come in.

Restaurants also benefit from offering their customers online ordering options, as many consumers now expect to be able to place orders online. This can help generate new customers and retain existing ones.

What are the best online ordering system products?

Some of the most popular online ordering systems today include:

How much do online ordering systems cost?

Restaurants searching for an online ordering system should look to spend about $45 to $150 per month. Yearly options are available which may be attractive if you’re looking for something more long-term and to save on the monthly rate. Some vendors do offer free online ordering systems for restaurants with rather limited features.