A Comprehensive Guide to the Best Restaurant Ordering Apps

Tanu Chaturvedi Tiwari11/5/2021

What is restaurant ordering app?

A restaurant ordering app allows customers to order food online from their favorite restaurants without ever having to call the restaurant or place the order in person. The app will have a list of your most frequently ordered items, special offers, and the restaurant's menu so you can quickly find exactly what you want.

What are Restaurant Ordering Apps?

Restaurant ordering apps allow customers to order food online from a distance. With food ordering systems, customers place online orders from a website/mobile app and access an online menu. Online food ordering platform allows restaurants to accept orders and payments online and in person.
An online food ordering system generally has two components a website or app that allows customers to view the menu and place an order, and an admin interface that enables the restaurant to receive and fulfill customer orders.
Online food ordering systems are a great option for restaurants looking to respond to a rapidly changing operating environment and most are relatively easy to set up. If you've been considering adding an online sales channel to your restaurant but you're not sure where to start, read on for insights and tips on choosing the right online ordering system for your business.

What to look for in a Restaurant Ordering App

As more and more of us eat on the go, meal-ordering apps are popping up to meet the needs of on-the-fly consumers. But what to look for in a restaurant ordering app? Here are five things to look for when choosing a restaurant ordering app, so your next meal is just a download away.
1. Easy Order Placement- Most customers place orders on ordering apps that have a user-friendly interface design as it allows customers to communicate with the app and order food. The online ordering app must include features that allow customers to explore and discover the app easily and quickly.
2. Push Notifications- You can send push button notifications to your customers to stay ahead of your competitors and increase your visibility. Restaurant owners can grab the attention of new customers by sending messages about loyalty programs, discounts, and special offers.
3. Offers and Discounts- Restaurants can attract new customers and retain their patrons by routinely updating app-only discounts and cashback on their food delivery apps. Many customers use food ordering apps to look for additional discounts and earn loyalty points.
4. Real-Time Delivery Tracking- Online ordering apps let customers and restaurants to track the location of the food orders through real-time GPS. Real-time tracking enhances customers' ordering experience as it allows customers to know where is their order and when will it be delivered. Food ordering apps use several APIs including Google Maps, MapKit, or Waze's Navigation for real-time tracking.
5. Easy Payment Procedures- Online food ordering apps should provide simple to use payment procedures for customers that list all possible payment options including debit/credit cards, online, and cash on delivery for the customers. Restaurants can also include several popular payment gateways and e-wallets services on the app.
6. Online Marketing- Social media plays an important role in improving the overall ratings and customers of any restaurant ordering app. You can post pictures of the latest features of your ordering app or positive reviews of your customers that can attract new customers and increase followers on social media.

How do they work?

Restaurant ordering apps are an efficient way to order food for pick-up, delivery, or dine-in, but how do they work? The process of ordering food online is similar to ordering food at a takeaway. A customer checks a particular restaurant's online menu, selects the menu item, and orders it. Customers can pay for the order at their convenienceeither in advance or when it is delivered. Here are the steps you'll need to follow to use a restaurant ordering app-
1. Register on Restaurant Online App- Restaurants display an online menu on the restaurant website or their app. Customers can register themselves on the app by entering basic information, such as name, address, email address, etc.
2. Browse Online Menu- Once the registration process is complete, they can browse the online menu from their laptop or smartphones. The online menu includes names of the menu items offered, their ingredients, and their prices.
3. Select Dishes of Choice- After browsing the online menu, they can select dishes of their choice. The online Ordering System allows customers the use the app at their convenience. They can order any number of dishes as they wish to. Customers can personalize their orders by adding special meal instructions.
4. Add to Cart- Customers can add restaurant menu items to the cart. The cart page displays the selected items, their prices, and any additional payments. Customers can add or delete or change the quantity of the selected items on this page. The page displays the total amount to be paid and also provides various payment options.
5. Pay and Confirm Order- In this step, the customers complete the order, pay the amount, and provide the delivery address. Customers can select a payment option including credit cards, gift cards, or pay on delivery. The payments are processed securely on the apps as they adhere to the customer policy terms and no payment details are saved on any device.
6. Order Preparation- After completing Online Ordering, restaurants receive order details and notify customers about delivery details including the exact time of delivery and information related to the person delivering the food.
7. Food Delivery- Once the order is prepared, the restaurant can deliver it to the customer via its in-house delivery services or a third-party pickup delivery system.

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Why choose online Ordering apps?

More and more people are ordering their food online, thanks to all the best food ordering apps that are available. But are these apps that much better than traditional means of ordering? There are some advantages to using an online ordering app. Read below to find out more-
1. Better customer experience- Customers prefer faster and easier ordering apps, increasing the likelihood they will complete the orders faster with an easier interface design. During online ordering, restaurants and customers alike do not appreciate longer wait times due to slow order delivery. Food ordering systems allow customers to take their time to browse the menu before deciding their order that resulting in a better experience for customers. Several restaurant ordering apps provide customer support services and answer customer queries.
2. Simplified restaurant business- Online Ordering simplifies your kitchen process as it reduces mobile ordering. It streamlines your kitchen operations as your staff engages more in preparing orders than spending time taking orders on phone. Restaurants can employ website builders to create their branded mobile apps that eliminate the need for a third-party website/mobile ordering apps and boost their overall restaurant business. Many restaurant ordering apps offer free trials that allow restaurants a trial period before opting for them.
3. More customers browse ordering apps- Online platforms allow customers to browse the apps and know about the specifics of menu items as per their convenience. Several restaurants enlist various details such as origin, ingredients, and total calories, along the menu items to attract customers who are looking for healthier food options.
4. More food options- When customers have more time to go through the menu, there are higher chances of them including additional items in their cart. Since online restaurant ordering apps are a faster and convenient way of ordering food, customers tend to order additional menu items.
5. No more missed information- During rush hours, there are chances that staff might miss small order details related to specific customer orders. With restaurant ordering apps, customer order information goes directly to the point sale system and then to the kitchen display system, leaving no room for any human error.

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What are the cons of using Restaurant Ordering Apps?

There are many benefits to using a restaurant ordering app. However, there are also some potential downsides to keep in mind before you download one. Let's go through the cons of using a restaurant ordering app-
1. Higher Prices- Ordering food from delivery apps can be expensive for customers with a limited budget as third-party delivery apps may charge up to 40% fees per order. Online food ordering systems cost more for customers than on-premises dining.
2. Longer Wait Time- When customers order food using restaurant ordering apps, it may take longer to prepare and deliver the order that may not be suitable for customers in every aspect. After ordering, the delivery may get delayed due to bad weather conditions, rush hour, and traffic.
3. Issues with POS integration- Many Restaurant Management apps face issues with POS system integration as they fail to support popular POS systems, resulting in a waste of time and effort.

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Delivery or Pickup?

Ordering food online is a great option when you don't feel like cooking or eating out. But what if you don't want to wait for food to be delivered? Let's read on to find which is betterdelivery or pick-up?
Ordering delivery of food is convenient as customers can enjoy their meals in the comfort of their house, having food delivered to their door. Customers have a broader choice of restaurants from where they can order food online, as more numbers of restaurants are providing online food delivery options. However, online ordering also provides the choice to pick up food orders. Customers can check and make sure they are receiving the correct item when they pick up resulting in customer satisfaction and repeat orders in the future. Restaurants and customers can save on paying heavy fees for third-party food delivery apps when choosing food pick-up order services that could eat up a restaurant's revenue.

The best Restaurant Ordering Apps

Restaurant ordering apps have been around for a while, but they have been steadily improving and expanding their offerings. In the last few years, several new apps have popped up to offer a wider variety of delivery options and to meet the needs of a growing customer base. Here's a rundown of the best online ordering apps for you-
1. DoorDash- DoorDash allows customers to order breakfast, lunch, and dinner from an array of restaurants. You can also order alcoholic beverages from stores, breweries, and restaurants.
2. GrubHub- GrubHub offers delivery and takeaways services in more than 1,100 cities from over 50,000 restaurants. It is a free-to-download app that is compatible with Android iOS devices and allows customers to order food up to 4 days in advance.
3. Uber Eats- Uber Eats has a presence in over 500 cities and allows customers to order from restaurants and grocery stores. Customers can use their Uber profiles for ordering food.
4. Postmates- Postmates cover over 3,000 cities and allows customers to order food and groceries from over 10,000 restaurants and retail stores, restaurants in the United States.
5. Instacart- Instacart delivers grocery items, alcohol, and other household items within a few hours for a delivery fee of $6 per order.