Are Free Online Ordering Systems for Restaurants Worth It?

Online food ordering is becoming increasingly popular among restaurant patrons. Restaurant operators and managers are always looking for ways to allow consumers to make orders online and have meals delivered quickly. Indeed, as more restaurants embrace this business strategy, online ordering platforms are becoming increasingly common.

A contemporary restaurant with a robust online ordering and delivery system adds increased sales volume and customer satisfaction. According to the data, the potential is large and appealing. Approximately 60% of clients purchase meals online at least once every week, with another 31% purchasing at least twice each week.

Despite all the stats favouring the switch from conventional to digital food ordering, many people are skeptical investing in the online ordering software and hence, look for free online ordering software. But should you really consider Free Online Ordering System for your restaurant?

Let’s find out…

Should you Consider Free Online Ordering Systems for Restaurants?

Free online ordering might sound appealing at first glance. You can take and manage orders, and handle payments and deliveries, all for free.

Yet, the free version always lacks some of the most essential features that you need to successfully run digital operations. These include POS integrations, loyalty programs, live chat, customer support, and multiple location support. Sometimes, it even limits the number of orders you can take in a month.

👉 Also Read: Top 10 Questions To Ask When Choosing A Restaurant Online Ordering Software Provider

You wouldn’t want your restaurant business to be restricted by a certain number of orders or be at the mercy of a free online ordering system, would you?

Behind the Scenes of Free Online Ordering Systems

To clearly understand what goes behind a ‘free’ online ordering system, let us look at some examples.

Flipdish is one of the most popular free online ordering systems that offer features like unlimited orders, preorders, menu images, and a web app for free. While it may sound ‘mouth-watering’ for you, there’s a flip side to it.

The supposedly free version will host your website on the domain and charge you a staggering 7% processing fee for every order. Along with that, if your customer makes a card transaction, you will be charged an additional 2.5% for it.

Iron Man Eye Roll GIF

Another quite popular software, GloriaFood, boasts of offering users numerous features like a mobile app, Facebook and website orders, promo code generation, and a lot more. However, if you want to give your customers the option to pay online for their orders, you will have to spend $29 EVERY month.

Considering that nearly 70% of customers prefer online payments for their food orders, there’s a large customer base you’d be missing out on if you don’t upgrade your ‘free’ plan.

The Downside

Free online ordering systems may offer you several attractive features. However, they are not as secure as a paid system. With restaurant fraud increasing every year, if your restaurant ever gets caught up in fraud like a credit card chargeback, you’ll find yourself all alone with absolutely no support from the company.

Also, it doesn’t matter how good you are at using software, at some point in time, you will need the help of a customer service representative. Most of the time, the customer care of a paid ordering service will go above and beyond to solve your issues. This is because they care about you.

After all, if you go out of business, they will too, unlike a free software provider which doesn’t get affected much.

Security is always a major concern when using free software or an application. Most of them may not be PCA complaints and thus put customers’ as well as your private data at risk. Furthermore, hackers first target freeware and open source applications because they are much more easier to get into.

If you’re looking for a more secure option, consider paid platforms like RestoLabs your go-to option. It is not only PCA complaint but also uses advanced encryptions to keep private data secure from hackers.

👉More On Restolabs Features

Is There an Upside to Free Online Ordering Systems?

Free online ordering systems are good if you are just starting to take online orders and don’t know which features you might need. Sometimes, restaurant owners can get swayed by ‘shiny’ advertisements and ‘too-good-to-be-true’ offers and end up paying a hefty subscription fee; Only to realize later on that they do not need half of the features the company offers.

However, that’s where the benefits of free software ends.

As mentioned before, these free software may look promising at first, but they will ALWAYS lack essential features. If you want to expand your restaurant business, or learn about your business analytics and take educated marketing decisions, you’re on your own. Most of the time, you won’t even have your own customized website ordering system which may leave a poor impression on your customers.

Wrapping Up

Online ordering and delivery systems give eateries a clear sales channel. Customers use the restaurant app or website to explore menu items, choose what they want to buy, place their orders, and pay. When the restaurant receives an order, it makes the dish and delivers it to the given client location.

This allows the restaurant to expand its market share and serve clients without forcing them to visit the eatery.

RestoLabs is a feature-packed paid online ordering system that helps you scale your restaurant business through tools that you truly need in an ordering system. Also, if you are looking for something free, they do offer a 60-day free trial!