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Advantages and disadvantages of the open source system for food ordering


The online ordering open source system is a solution provided by programmers for free. Everyone can use it, change it, and add to it. That is why it has so many supporters. However, it has some restrictions that restaurant owners often don’t realize.

If you’re looking for an open source food ordering system, it’s worth considering whether this type of solution will be the best for you. Below you will find the pros and cons of this type of solution, and an alternative. It is worth thinking it over and counting the benefits.

Advantages of online ordering open source software

The fans of open source software enumerate several main benefits of this solution in the open source model. In the long term, the use of open source has disadvantages, but it must be admitted that there are also advantages.

No launch costs for online ordering open source system

You can find open source solutions on the market that are free, or you can buy them for a one-time fee. Many restaurant owners recognize that, because of this, an open source system for ordering is a very good solution.

And indeed, the lack of running costs in a restaurant is a huge advantage. However, you must remember that this only happens if you do not want to make any changes or you are the programmer yourself.

Full control over the solution

You can freely use an open source restaurant online ordering system. Add new features to it, configure it, change the layout, and integrate with other systems you use.

By using the open source solution, you definitely gain full control over the entire solution.

Of course, you need to have technical skills and take time to configure your open source system for ordering. Otherwise, the system will become useless over time.

No formalities

Open source means that you do not have to sign any contract with an external provider. You do not have to commit to working for a specific period, you do not have a notice period. You just take the ready solution and use it.

Consider, however, whether the quality of the solution you receive will benefit you. If you get something for free, it may not work so well.

Software code
Software code.

Disadvantages of an online ordering system open source

No support or help

As we mentioned — you have full control. The only problem is that you really stay alone. Dealing with configuration and maintenance for an online ordering open source system might be confusing. When running such software, you should allocate both time and money for it.

Using an open source system means you cannot count on technical support and solution updates. If such changes are possible, they will be charged extra. Suddenly, the free solution turns out to be very expensive.

High maintenance and expansion costs

Every solution (even free) generates costs in your restaurant. In the case of an open source system for food ordering these will be:

  • costs of maintaining your own solution
  • server costs
  • costs of lost orders.

No fee applies only to system startup. Later, you keep, configure, and expand orders on your own. Also consider the costs of your work. The quality of such a system can also vary. Its maintenance can be much more expensive than other solutions available on the market.

Also remember that if you don’t have programming knowledge yourself, you need to hire an external programmer. He or she will make changes and maintain the system for you; however, currently, this specialist’s working hour costs almost $120! Making changes to open source software is time-consuming. Consider if you can afford it.

Smaller possibilities of online ordering system open source

In the article Best Online Ordering System On The Market we described what solutions each food ordering system for restaurants should have. Check if the open source solution you choose has them, in most cases, you’ll definitely be missing some key elements.

If you want to add them — as we wrote earlier — you have to do it yourself or pay.

Inferior system quality

Online ordering is not only sales support functions. It is primarily an easy process for placing an order and picking it up. The online ordering open source system was not designed as a commercial product. So, no one was focused on how the end-user would handle it.

POS integration issues

One of main shortcomings of open source online ordering system is lack of integrations with most popular Point Of Sale systems. POS helps make handling restaurant operations easier and more streamlined, thus reducing time and effort waste.

Unfortunately most open source ordering systems don’t support integrations with popular POS systems, therefore stripping you of many exceptional functionalities.

Online ordering system on restaurant website as an online ordering open source system alternative.
Online ordering system on restaurant website.

Online ordering open source system alternative

An alternative and at the same time beneficial solution may be an online ordering system in the SaaS model. You pay a small monthly fee for access to a professional system and these are extensive solutions adapted to the needs of the catering business.

UpMenu system — online food ordering directly on the restaurant’s website works exactly like that. It also has a lot of additional marketing functions and just a few steps separate the customer from placing their order. This solution is completely adapted to mobile devices and technical support and continuous updates are provided, all for the price of a small monthly subscription.

Free start

As with an open source restaurant online ordering system, you don’t pay to start the system. You can do it yourself, whenever you like, with our support always right behind you.

Low cooperation costs

You will pay only a small monthly subscription for UpMenu. You can have customer service, technical support, and all the online ordering functions for just $49 a month! You don’t have to worry about software updates or maintenance.

Restaurant loyalty program on website and in mobile app for alternative of online ordering system open source.
Restaurant loyalty program.

The functionality of open source online ordering system

Take advantage of all the opportunities offered by UpMenu. These are not only sales support functions, but also marketing and building customer loyalty.

UpMenu is designed to help you earn more. Our clients have up to 40% online order conversion! This means that almost every second person who enters the restaurant website places an order. Up to now, 2.3 million online orders have been processed!

Such results are also an effect of the ease of using the online ordering system. Placing an order needs just a few clicks. It takes literally 2 seconds to collect it! The system is completely customized — you can easily adapt it to your restaurant’s image. Your customers will order more and make friends with your brand.


When you want to run an online ordering open source system, pay attention to the following:

  • do you have strong technical skills?
  • do you have time to configure everything on your own?
  • does the solution contain key elements such as marketing tools, automatic customer database building, and intuitive operation?

Otherwise, an open source solution may prove embarrassing. Alternatively, choose one of the commercial solutions in the SaaS model. So, if you’re looking for open source software, check to see if UpMenu will be the better solution for you. Start a free trial and sell more food online today!


❓ What is online ordering system open source?

Open source online ordering system is a software solution providing customers with an option to place orders through a menu published on a website or mobile app. It is offered for free by programmers and can be freely customized, edited, and developed.

Free open source ordering system creators don’t offer support, therefore full maintenance effort rests on the website owner. You should take into consideration your computing skills before adopting an open-source system.

❓ Advantages and disadvantages of the online ordering system open source?


No launch cost

Full control over the system

No formalities required


No support and dedicated help for system handling

High maintenance costs

High expansion costs

Poor system quality

Fewer functional features

Learn more

Online food ordering system – the ultimate 2020 guide

Food delivery website the Ultimate guide

Marta Szczakowska

Marta Szczakowska

Associated with UpMenu for over 8 years. Builds effective relationships with partners & clients.

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