We get it — there are a thousand and one digital ordering systems for restaurants. After all, mobile and online orders for carryout increased by 286%.
These digital systems were slowly gaining traction before the Covid-19 pandemic, but the pandemic brought rapid growth for restaurant digital ordering systems. Moreover, it doesn’t look like digital ordering’s going anywhere.
We've got the scoop for you if you’re still trying to figure out what it is and how to get in on digital ordering. We have a full list of tech to save you research time.
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What is digital ordering?
A restaurant digital ordering system is a technology that allows restaurant guests to order using a phone, tablet, or computer. This tech is sometimes referred to as order and pay technology. Digital menu ordering works for in-store dining experiences and remote ordering for delivery or takeout.
Here are a few examples of digital ordering in play:
- Pay at table technology for dine-in customers: Customers use a restaurant-provided tablet or scan a QR code with their phone to view the restaurant menu, place an order, pay, and tip.
- Self-checkout counter service in a restaurant: Venues use tablets for ordering, or customers scan a QR code to view the menu digitally at the counter and check out when they’re ready. Order info is sent directly to the kitchen to be processed and fulfilled.
- Ordering takeout online through the restaurant website: Instead of offering takeout only by phone or walk-in, restaurants host a digital menu on their site for customers to order from. The digital menu integrates with their POS and branding to create a seamless experience for customers and merchants.
- Ordering delivery through the restaurant website: Add on to your third-party delivery service by offering a first-party option for ordering delivery. Host a digital menu on your website and process payments there. You can partner with delivery services to create a secure and simple way to add commission-free ordering to your toolkit.
Restaurant digital ordering systems can either require customers to download an app or lets them pull up the digital ordering system right on their mobile device or tablet. Customers and restaurant staff can make changes to an order and process payments using digital ordering.
Digital menu ordering also offers more personalization. The technology saves customer payment info for future orders. In some cases, digital ordering technology even saves a customer’s favorite menu items, a feature 32% of consumers say would make them more likely to use digital ordering.
Your digital ordering technology menu of options
Shopping for the best digital ordering option for your needs? Look no further. We’ve curated a menu of the top contenders.
Lunchbox has online ordering that integrates with most major POS systems, and they have a goal of helping you grow your in-house digital sales. Their digital ordering service can include marketing services and loyalty campaigns based on customer ordering information. They also have design services to help your restaurant's digital ordering system fit in with your brand.
Hey, that’s us! Our digital ordering solution powers all your on-premise, takeout, and delivery needs. Diners can place an order and pay directly from their phones through your ordering site. It’s fully customizable to match your brand, including URL, images, colors, and fonts.
Features like order throttling and printer routing help you and your staff better manage high order volume. Our tabs feature lets diners order multiple rounds without flagging down their server. Group ordering enables guests to share their cart with the whole table or office and place a single order — speeding up delivery time and de-cluttering your KDS.
Bentobox provides full-service restaurant website development that includes online ordering. They may be the right service for you if you start from scratch and want intense design customization. Bentobox users can expect integrated analytics and tools to help them understand their customers better using the online ordering feature.
Toast digital ordering integrates with their other offerings, such as a POS system and loyalty program. Their digital ordering solution also allows restaurateurs to connect with Toast Delivery Services for an alternative to other delivery services.
Olo digital ordering can be used through any platform, including mobile, web, social media, messaging apps, in-car, and kiosks. They also have a digital interface for delivery and takeout phone calls to connect digital ordering with phone orders. And, their digital menu ordering helps you time orders if customers want to place them ahead of time.
With Square online ordering, merchants can sync the ordering system with any POS system and have their online menu up and running in minutes.
Users get integrations between in-house and online orders, so everything is in one place. And, Square online ordering can help you save on delivery commission fees.
Simple payment solutions and a less complicated sign-up process make GoTab shine. Customers can sign in to the service using just their phone number when they are already verified. Guests confirm their payment before ordering, so you don’t have to worry about walkouts anymore.
The final say on digital menu ordering
When it comes to implementing digital ordering, you’ve got options. Regardless of how you implement it, digital menu ordering is proven to improve sales and revenue for merchants, so it’s worth it. Some restaurants have seen order sizes increase 46% after implementing digital ordering.
Choosing a digital ordering system for restaurants should work for you. The pizza chain down the street might need different features than an independent brewery taproom. As you consider your options, consider the key elements that would help simplify digital ordering implementation for your restaurant. Also, consider the cost of the service and how it fits into your budget.