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The Best Online Ordering System for Restaurants in 2022

Pros and cons of eight industry-leading direct online ordering systems for restaurants in 2022

a hand holding a cell phone

Direct Online Ordering is a vital aspect of a restaurant’s operation as consumer demand is only set to increase in the near future. For restaurants, the list of direct online ordering systems can be quite dizzying. We compare and contrast a few of the major players, to help operators make the most informed decision that works best for their operations.

Bento Ordering

BentoBox Online Ordering Example

BentoBox is an all-in-one website, eCommerce and marketing platform for restaurants that includes online ordering, catering, events management and more. Bento Ordering is an online ordering solution that allows restaurants to capture and easily manage orders for pick-up and delivery, directly through their website. Bento Ordering is commission-free. Restaurants only pay a low-cost monthly subscription with no contract. Bento Ordering comes with advanced, industry-leading features such as Dine-In Order and Pay for on-premise digital ordering, Automated Marketing Campaigns that drive repeat orders and a Digital Loyalty Program that increases lifetime customer value and drives more revenue. Restaurants retain complete ownership of their customer relationships and the online ordering experience with an emphasis on agency-level design best practices. 

Restaurant Type: Upscale fine dining, fast-casual, neighborhood spots, cafe & coffee shops, dessert shops, bakeries, ghost kitchens, bbq, breweries, taprooms and bars

ChowNow

ChowNow Online Ordering Example

ChowNow is a commission-free online ordering platform that connects guests with restaurants but is limited when it comes to helping a restaurant own its digital presence and customer relationships. Restaurants can sign up for a monthly subscription and have the ability to capture orders through their website or through a branded mobile app. ChowNow appeals to orders for in-store pickup, curbside pickup and delivery through a network of delivery partners. For restaurants that prioritize the customer ordering experience, ChowNow takes a utilitarian approach to the online ordering experience. Restaurants do not have the option to use their logo or add banner images to simulate a cohesive brand experience throughout the process. ChowNow offers marketing tools for a fee and does not include a customer loyalty program or digital ordering solutions for on-premise dining. 

Restaurant Type: Upscale fine dining, fast-casual, neighborhood spots, cafe & coffee shops, dessert shops, bakeries, bbq, breweries, taprooms and bars

Toast

Toast online ordering example

Toast is an online ordering system that integrates into a restaurant’s Toast POS. This allows for a seamless digital ordering experience for operators but with less emphasis on design sensibility, impacting the guest experience. Although packages exist, Toast’s online ordering system is a monthly subscription fee that promotes commission-free transactions. Toast is useful for new restaurants that have no POS, printer, or online ordering systems in place. While Toast offers email marketing, customer loyalty and digital ordering tools, Toast excels best in on-premise operations versus other competitors that prioritize the digital operations experience — website, events management, catering software and eCommerce capabilities. The online ordering experience includes the restaurant’s logo and optional banner images but is not design-forward or brand-first as other competitors. 

Restaurant Type: Upscale fine dining, fast-casual, neighborhood spots, cafe & coffee shops, dessert shops, bakeries, bbq, breweries, taprooms and bars

Bbot

Bbot online ordering example

Bbot is an order and payment software for restaurants, hotels, breweries and more that leverages their platform to allow restaurants to sell online ordering and catering. Bbot is trusted by thousands of restaurants to manage online orders for in-store takeout, curbside pickup and delivery. For restaurants that prioritize design and the customer ordering experience, Bbot is not design or brand-focused, emphasizing functionality over form. Bbot has digital ordering capabilities but does not host customer loyalty programs and marketing tools, bringing the guest ordering experience full circle. 

Restaurant Type: Bars, Restaurants, Hotels, Breweries and Ghost Kitchens

DoorDash Storefront

DoorDash Storefront example

DoorDash Storefront is an online ordering solution for restaurants. Customers order directly through a restaurant’s existing website. For restaurants that already use DoorDash’s marketplace, this is another alternative to capture additional orders, however, restaurants do not have the option to differentiate the direct ordering menu from the marketplace. Storefront contains typical service fees that the marketplace charges diners. For restaurants that rely on remarketing to drive orders, Doordash retains all customer information versus other online ordering solutions that allow restaurants to own their customer data and drive repeat orders. Storefront has no digital ordering, marketing or customer loyalty tools for the business to directly own its customer relationships.

Restaurant Type: Fast Casual, Neighborhood Spots and Ghost Kitchens

Menufy

Menufy

Menufy provides online ordering websites for restaurants with a variety of tools for digital and print marketing. Diners can order directly through the website, the Menufy portal, or app. The customer experience is dated and not optimized for web. Menufy focuses much less on design and more on functionality to a point. For restaurants that are searching for a cohesive brand experience throughout, Menufy is not as flexible or customizable as other competitors. Additionally, Menufy charges a 12% commission fee on delivery orders and $99/month for email marketing services. 

Restaurant Type: Fast Casual, Neighborhood Spots, Takeout Restaurants

Popmenu

Popmenu example

For a monthly subscription, per location, Popmenu will host an online menu for diners to order pickup and delivery through. Operators should note that a restaurant’s website is more than just a place to view menus, it’s a restaurant’s digital storefront where guests can inquire about events and buy branded merch, gift cards and more. Therefore, restaurants that value the website experience should look to other competitors. Additionally, Popmenu prioritizes customer reviews and embeds them in the online ordering experience similar to marketplaces like Grubhub or DoorDash. Popmenu emphasizes people first, platform second. For restaurants that are brand-focused, design takes more of a backseat than other online ordering and website platforms. 

Restaurant Type: Fast Casual, Neighborhood Spots, Takeout Restaurants

Upserve

Upserve

Similar to Toast, Upserve is a restaurant management software and includes POS, online ordering, marketing and inventory management. Less a direct online ordering solution, Upserve prides itself on being an all-in-one solution for all restaurant operations. For new openings, Upserve is a viable option but not for restaurants who are only looking for an online ordering solution through their restaurant website. 

Restaurant Type: Upscale fine dining, fast-casual, neighborhood spots, cafe & coffee shops, dessert shops, bakeries, bbq, breweries, taprooms and bars

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