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The best online ordering system for restaurants

Marta Szczakowska

She has been with UpMenu for 8 years and her current position is Customer & Partners Program Specialist. Marta’s tasks include building good relations with current clients and business partners and acquiring new contacts. A horse riding enthusiast, dog and horse lover, chocoholic, 10-year-old boy’s mother, mentally an Italian.

Table of contents

The best online ordering system is hard to determine. “The Best” of anything is relatively subjective. After all, just because something is high quality doesn’t always mean it’s going to appeal to all people. However, when it comes to online ordering systems for restaurants, quality matters.

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A lot.

As a result, when we talk about the best online ordering systems, it’s pretty easy to narrow the field. 

You need an online ordering system that is easy to set up, customizable, feature-rich, user-friendly, support your marketing needs, and generally makes your life easier and your business more profitable. It should house all tools that you will need to boost your income.

So let’s take a deeper dive into the best online ordering systems for restaurants and see what we’ve got to work with.

best online ordering system website with order button highlighted

Why you should implement an online ordering system?

Why do you even need an online ordering system for your restaurant? To determine what exactly you can get out of implementing an order handling system, take a look at a couple of compelling statistics:

  • Almost 60% of U.S. consumers order delivery or takeout at least once a week
  • 34% of customers spend at least $50 per order when ordering food online
  • 20% of consumers state that they spend more on online orders compared to on-premise experience.
  • 70% of consumers say they would rather order directly from a restaurant website or mobile app, than from 3rd party delivery platform
  • The value of online orders has grown 3 times more than profits from dine-in experience over the past 6 years.
  • 57% of Generation Y say that they choose restaurant food delivery so they can watch movies and TV shows at home
  • 59% of food orders made by millennials are takeout or delivery
  • 33% of purchasers say they are willing to pay more for a faster delivery
  • 45% of consumers state that mobile ordering and customer loyalty programs would encourage them to use online ordering services more often.
  • 63% of consumers admit that it is more comfortable to order delivery than dining out with a family.
  • Customers who ordered online from a restaurant, visit that establishment 67% more frequently on average

The numbers speak for themselves.

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You get a chance to tap into a fast-growing market and answer to emerging customer demands for convenient ordering.

Among other profits and possibilities that come with offering mobile ordering, don’t forget about multiple additional tools and functionalities that you can utilize to enhance your restaurant operations even further.

best online ordering system in  mobile app for restaurant

Mobile app with online ordering for restaurants

Additionally, if you decide to run a mobile app, you’ll receive access to loads of data about your customers. This not only allows you to market to them directly, but it also supports more efficient operations on your end, enabling more accurate demand forecasting, scheduling, ordering, and more.

You can additionally utilize this data to improve the menu with principles of menu engineering and prepare tailor-made promotional campaigns or loyalty programs.

online payment panel in ordering system for restaurants

How to choose the best online ordering system

Before you start shopping around for an online ordering system, think about how you are going to use it and make a list of the “wish list” features. Make a column for the features you must have as well as one for the “nice to have’s”.

Consider all possible traits and functionalities of the online ordering system that would support the food ordering process on your website or mobile app.

Ultimately, you know your restaurant best, but don’t sell yourself short. Think big and shoot for the stars. At this stage, it’s just ideation.

reports in online food ordering system

Get the most out of the free trial period

Compare the best five online ordering sites for restaurants to see if they have the functions you need, and try a few out to see if they deliver what they promise. You can check free trial periods for most ordering systems.

Your trial is also an excellent time to check how responsive their customer service is.

A good way to find out how their support works, is to ask them a question and see how quickly they respond.

You can additionally compare the projected costs of working with every ordering system for restaurants, and the impact it would have on your business.

Choose error-free ordering system

Time is essential for your business, imagine having a fatal error that prevents your customers from placing orders during peak traffic time. You are not only losing purchases that weren’t placed at this time, but part of customers will also be discouraged from further ordering on your site.

Select the best pricing offer for your establishment

When you compare prices of top online ordering systems you should consider additional costs of selected solutions. Many additional fees are hidden behind access to extra features.

The system that at first glance may appear as cheapest or even free, in reality, can cost you much more than other propositions because functionalities necessary for proper handling of restaurant operations are locked behind a paywall.

Here is a table that compares some of today’s best online ordering systems for restaurants:

Table comparing features and costs of different ordering system providers


As you can see, there is a pretty significant price gap between these online ordering solutions for restaurants, but let’s dig in a bit more to see what’s what.


UpMenu provides every feature you could possibly want. The cost of entry is quite low, there is no commission, and you have access to a seven-day trial to see if it’s the best online ordering system for your restaurant. Additionally, you won’t be charged extra for a set up of the system, even more, you can easily install it on your website by yourself, implement code in HTML or perform easy to handle integration with popular CMS (WordPress, Squarespace, WiX, and Magento).

UpMenu also integrates with most POS systems, 3rd party delivery providers, payment systems, and more via custom API. 

Additionally, you get access to multiple tools that support the creation process of best online ordering sites for restaurants. A thorough website builder will help create your website with an online ordering system, adapted for restaurants that would like to start selling food online.

Solution provided by the UpMenu also includes a thorough promotional engine that lets you engage customers with custom loyalty programs and coupons that enhance food ordering experience. You can customize promotional campaigns and make tailor-made discounts for loyal customers or orders including a certain set of products.

UpMenu simply offers more features and functionalities than other competitors, for a price that will not consume your profits.


While the pricing for ChowNow might be attractive when you compare it to third-party systems, the cost is pretty high (especially compared to UpMenu). You’ll pay a setup fee plus a monthly rate that starts at $149 per month per location, and it goes up from there. 

They do offer a month-to-month plan, but you’ll pay a premium for it, and the setup fee is on top of that. A branded mobile app is extra, a desktop ordering app is extra, there is no loyalty program, and no trial period. You’re basically paying a premium for features that UpMenu gives you for free. 


Oddle is feature-rich and commission-free, though they currently only accept payments through Stripe and PayPal. They offer a 14-day full-featured trial and don’t charge any setup fee. However, they don’t support pick-up in-store orders or Facebook ordering. You’re also forced to host your app and website on their platform, so if you ever want to jump ship in the future, you’ll lose it all. Finally, it’s pricey, at $129 per month. Even though there is no setup fee, there doesn’t seem like a whole lot of value. 


For a free online ordering software, GloriaFood is pretty good. However, you get what you pay for. On the plus side, it’s free to get started, and it does offer Facebook ordering, pickup, dine-in, and delivery support. It also supports a loyalty program. Desktop and mobile app support are extra, as are payment processing and marketing features. Therefore all are necessary instruments for proper handling of restaurant marketing and operations are hidden behind an additional paywall.

With a full-featured plan, the cost of GloriaFood is still more than twice what you’d pay for UpMenu, so unless you’re using the free version of the service, you’re not getting the best bang for your ordering software buck.

orders reciving dashboard in upmenu


What are the key features of the best online ordering system for restaurants?

An intuitive user-friendly interface – The easier it is for your customers to order, the better they will like it. A complicated system causes frustration and may actually do the opposite of what you want it to do. On a side note, restaurants that choose UpMenu often see up to 40 percent conversion, and that’s huge. Almost every second-page visit results in a sale. 

Mobile Application – Customers use mobile online ordering apps both for convenience and to earn reward points at their favorite restaurants. With a mobile application, you’ll be satisfying a need for your most loyal customers and providing easy access for new ones.

Enable online payments – Online payment is a prominent feature in the best online ordering systems for restaurants. Customers today trust online payment platforms like Stripe, for example. Offering the option to pay through your website or mobile app increases sales, eliminates errors, and streamlines your end-of-day processes.

Customer database – The best online ordering systems retain a database of customer information, supporting customer service best practices, and supporting your marketing efforts.

Competitive pricing – Third-party ordering systems take a commission of each sale, taking a big chunk out of your profits. The best online ordering systems will offer a straightforward pricing structure; ideally, a flat monthly subscription with no commissions or hidden fees. A full-featured UpMenu subscription is just $49 per month, and there are never any hidden charges. 

Responsive customer support – The best online ordering systems are the lifeblood of your business. That means, when you need help, you should have every expectation of receiving it quickly and reliably. Best-in-class support means dependability, openness to customer problems, and fast response times. 

Marketing support – One of the main reasons you should have an online food ordering system is to leverage the data you collect. Better data means more targeted marketing. The loyalty program needs to work both online and offline, and you should have the option of sending communications via email, SMS or push campaigns. Personalized product recommendations and marketing automation are a plus and should be included with all the best online ordering systems to consider. 

What is the best online ordering system ?

Taking every aspect into account UpMenu ordering system offers all substantial features for the best price. Choosing the UpMenu ordering system you pick the best online ordering system available on the market.

Conclusion: What’s the Best Online Ordering System?

You’ve clearly got plenty of choices, but when it comes to choosing the best online ordering system for restaurants, UpMenu wins every time. UpMenu helps you stay competitive, reduce costs, and delight your customers with a superior food ordering experience, all for a price that is just a fraction of what the others think it’s okay to charge. 

UpMenu is a perfect solution for restaurants that would like to start providing an online food ordering for their customer base.

Ready to experience a free trial of UpMenu? Reach out today to get started. 

Learn more

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Online food ordering system – the ultimate 2020 guide

Multi-restaurant online ordering system that will help you earn more

Marta Szczakowska

She has been with UpMenu for 8 years and her current position is Customer & Partners Program Specialist. Marta’s tasks include building good relations with current clients and business partners and acquiring new contacts. A horse riding enthusiast, dog and horse lover, chocoholic, 10-year-old boy’s mother, mentally an Italian.

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