The demand for online food delivery and take-out has been growing for a while now. 

During the pandemic, this demand skyrocketed and is expected to grow given the ease and convenience it offers for the customers. 

The growing vaccination rate and lower cases of COVID have led more restaurants to go back to their normal dine-in services. However, this doesn’t mean the online food-delivery market is going away anytime soon. 

The revenue for the online food delivery industry is expected to reach US$96.37 billion by 2026. 

It is also important to note that no matter what age group your restaurant caters to, some percentage of every generation would continue ordering takeouts

The switch to technology is inevitable and if your restaurant has not considered expanding through digital channels, you might get behind. When considering making this transition, understanding online ordering platforms for restaurants is a good place to start.

What is a Restaurant Online Ordering Platform?

A restaurant online ordering platform is a system that allows a customer to place an order online. The customer has the option of either getting the food delivered or ordering takeout.

There are two ways a customer can place an order online- either via third-party apps or through the restaurant website or app. 

Third-party food delivery apps are the most popular online ordering platform. Some of the popular examples of third-party apps include Uber Eats, DoorDash, GrubHub, Postmates, etc. 

A customer can also place an online order directly on the restaurant website or app. This is also known as a restaurant online ordering platform. This platform will enable customers to place orders online whether they are on-site or offsite. 

Growing concerns of high compensation charged by third-party apps, 15 to 30 percent of the total order price, are leading more restaurants to look into in-house delivery options. 

In this article, we look at the benefits of such in-house online ordering platforms and the best of these systems in 2022.

Benefits of a Restaurant Online Ordering System

1. Zero commission fees

The biggest reason restaurants should consider their own online restaurant online platform is the money saved on commission fees. Top online ordering platform providers such as Toast claim that one of their customers saved up to $25,000 in commissions over just one year. 

In the current market, inflation is likely to affect the third-party app market which will lead more people to consider options like dine-in or ordering takeout for pickup instead of delivery. 

It remains unclear how the third-party app market will respond amidst inflation and therefore, having an in-house online ordering system give restaurants can serve as a crucial backup.

It is equally important to consider how customer behavior has changed since the pandemic and an increasing number of customers now value contactless ordering

2. Expand your business online

As we mentioned earlier, online ordering is here to stay and the best way to maximize your profits is by expanding online. This gives your loyal customers an option to order takeout at their convenience. 

Not to mention, restaurants also benefit by offering built-in loyalty programs and other promotional offers. 

 3. Access to customer data

By switching to your online ordering platform, your business will also have complete access to customer data. This insight can help you better understand your customers and build customize marketing plans. 

Using this data, the online ordering platform can customize the menu, focusing on the bestselling items, and also provide reports on the overall sales, loyalty programs, etc.

How to choose the right Restaurant Online Ordering System

When considering investing in an in-house online ordering system, you want to start by looking at your financial resources. 

The amount of capital you will need will depend on whether you want just an online ordering system or an online ordering system with in-house delivery services combined. 

Investing in the delivery service will require more effort in terms of arranging vehicles, hiring drivers, tracking and managing orders, and so on. Starting with an online ordering platform excluding delivery service is an easier option especially when you want to focus on dine-in services while giving your customers an option for a pick-up.

3 Best Online Ordering Systems for Restaurants in 2022

While there are many options available in the market for an online ordering system, we have put together the top three that you should consider. All three options mentioned below have zero commission fees; You also get complete access to the customer data and the ability to customize your menu accordingly. 

1. ChowNow

If you are a local restaurant looking for online ordering solutions, ChowNow offers specially tailored to benefit the local community. Their ChowNow Direct product can help you build branded apps, website ordering, membership programs for the customer, automated email marketing, and much more with no hidden fees and zero commission. Pricing starts at as low as $139 per month.   

2. Toast

Toast is one of the most known brands in the restaurant software market. One of their clients says that placing an order through the business website (powered by Toast) is faster than compared to a third-party website that can take 3 to 4 minutes longer per ticket. If you decide to consider your own delivery service, Toast has a service dedicated to just that. You can also calculate your ROI Toast using its online calculator.

3. Upserve 

Upserve is another top restaurant software company that provides an online ordering system. The brand has several integration options along with preorder management. Upserve also offers an interactive online calculator for you to get an estimate of how much money you can save. According to the platform, the system can be up and running as soon as 48 hours. 

Why consider GRUBBRR?

GRUBBRR is an emerging restaurant software provider that has already partnered with restaurants,  stadium concession stands, school cafeterias, and more recently, SAMSUNG. From self-service kiosks and contactless ordering software to the online ordering system, check out all the GRUBBRR products and services here that are designed to lower operating costs, increase revenue and improve customer satisfaction.