How to Look for the Best Ordering System for a Restaurant

The heart of a restaurant is not only its chef, cuisine, or decor, but also its ability to smoothly process orders and serve meals to customers with grace and efficiency. Gone are the days when jotting down orders on a notepad was sufficient; modern diners expect a seamless ordering experience that often begins on their smartphones or tablets.

For a restaurant owner or operator, choosing the best ordering system is a pivotal decision that can significantly impact business performance.

1. Importance of a Reliable Ordering System for Restaurants

In a world where convenience is king, a reliable restaurant ordering system can mean the difference between a one-time visitor and a loyal fan of your eatery. From the moment a guest sets foot in your establishment to the minute their plate is cleared, each step must be well-orchestrated.

An end-to-end ordering system streamlines this process, reducing errors and wait times, and elevating the overall dining experience.

2. Benefits of Using a Modern and Efficient Ordering System

Efficiency and convenience are just the beginning. A modern ordering system can offer much more:

●      Streamlined Operations

With features like tableside ordering and check splitting, staff can service more tables, leading to an overall boost in restaurant throughput.

Improved Accuracy

Automated systems drastically reduce human error, which is crucial for delivering the right dish to the right customer, every time.

Customer Insights

Sophisticated systems can track customer preferences and ordering habits, allowing you to tailor your menu and marketing efforts.

Real-Time Reporting

Live data on sales, inventory, and staff performance can be at your fingertips, helping you make informed decisions on the fly.

Integration with Delivery Services

Many systems offer integration with popular food delivery apps, enabling your restaurant to tap into the growing trend of food delivery.

3. Research and Analysis

Identify the Specific Needs and Requirements of Your Restaurant

Every restaurant is different, and so are its ordering needs. Do you need a system that handles reservations? Or perhaps you’re more focused on quick turnover and require a system that integrates with table-turn incentives. Make a detailed list of what you need the system to do to best serve your customers.

Assess the Available Ordering System Options in the Market

There is a staggering array of ordering systems available, ranging from simple handheld devices to robust POS systems that handle every aspect of your business. Research is key here; consider reaching out to industry associations, attending trade shows, or asking for referrals from colleagues.

Consider the Scalability and Compatibility of the System

You might be a small, single-location restaurant now, but you could have plans to expand and franchise in the future. Ensure that the ordering system you choose can grow with your business. Compatibility with other systems you currently use is also important to keep in mind.

4. Key Features to Consider

User-Friendly Interface and Intuitive Design

A system that’s hard to use won’t be used. Look for systems that have a logical flow and are easy for your staff to learn.

Integration with Other Restaurant Management Systems

Your ordering system should seamlessly integrate with your point-of-sale (POS), inventory, and kitchen display systems. This integration ensures smooth operations and a fold-out experience for both staff and customers.

Customisation Options to Match Your Restaurant’s Branding

Branding is everything in the restaurant business. Your ordering system should reflect your unique look and feel, from colors and fonts to menus and images.

Mobile Compatibility and Online Ordering Capabilities

As the trend of ordering ahead or from a table rises, a mobile-friendly, simple app or online ordering system is a must-have in your arsenal.

Robust Inventory Management and Reporting Features

Advanced systems can track inventory in real-time, alerting you when stock is low. And reporting features can provide insights into your most selling items and peak service hours.

Payment Processing and Security Measures

Your system must be up to date with the latest payment security standards like EMV and PCI compliance. Look for features that offer secure and convenient payment processing options.

5. Budget and Pricing

Determine Your Budget for an Ordering System

What can you afford to invest in a new ordering system? Remember to consider any additional hardware you might need, as well as ongoing maintenance and support costs.

Compare Pricing Plans and Subscription Models

Some vendors offer software as a service (SaaS) models, while others might require a one-time purchase. Assess their pricing plans and understand the total cost of ownership over time.

Consider the Potential Return on Investment (ROI)

A better restaurant ordering system  can lead to higher sales, fewer errors, and faster turnover. Calculate how quickly you expect to see a return on your investment, and whether the benefits outweigh the costs.

6. Customer Support and Training

Evaluate the Support and Training Options Offered by Each Company

It’s essential to have a reliable customer support team available to help with any technical issues or questions that may arise. Look for companies that offer multiple channels of support, including phone, email, and chat.

Inquire About Onboarding and Ongoing Training Processes

A new system often requires staff training.

Evaluate the Training Process for Your Staff

A new system is only as good as the staff using it. Consider how much training your team may need, and look

Evaluate the Level of Customer Support Provided by the Vendor

What kind of support do they offer? Is it 24/7? Do they have a hotline for urgent issues? Good customer support can mean the difference between a smooth service and a chaotic one.

Availability of Training Resources and Tutorials

Your staff needs to be trained on any new system. Look for vendors that offer comprehensive training resources, including videos, manuals, and in-person sessions.

Look for User Reviews and Testimonials About Customer Support

What do other customers say about the support provided? Are there common issues or praises that keep coming up in reviews?


Reliability, efficiency, and scalability are just a few of the important factors to keep in mind. Your system should address the specific needs of your restaurant and enhance the overall dining experience for your customers.

This is a crucial investment in your business. Take the time to thoroughly review all options and make sure the system you choose aligns with your short and long-term business goals.

Always ask for a demo or a trial period. This is the best way to get a hands-on feel for how the system will integrate into your operations and for your staff to see the changes in action.

Lastly, remember that technology is a tool to enhance, not replace, the human touch that makes dining out a special experience for customers.

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