Best 9 Online Ordering Systems for Restaurants in Australia [Updated 2022]
Deciding on the right online ordering system for your restaurant has become one of the most critical decisions for your long-term success.
Customers love the convenience of placing orders online with the ability to customise their food to exactly how they like it. For customers balancing work, family and chores, a simple, painless ordering experience can turn them into repeat customers who bring recurring value every week.
Online ordering can work like magic for restaurants: Orders wonderfully appear with payment handled, and all that’s left is to make the food. Staff can focus less on taking orders and more on the customer service experience. And as restaurant owners, you can get back to why you opened in the first place – serving great food that customers love and keeping them coming back.
But when poorly executed, online ordering can turn into a nightmare. Orders can be lost from a lousy ordering experience, and the customers you worked so hard for can become someone else’s. In addition, excessive order commissions can make operating downright unprofitable and make even the most modern operators nostalgic for the days of taking orders over the phones.
The rise of online ordering apps in restaurants
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, ordering food online from restaurants steadily increased. In fact, in 2019, about 60 percent of food restaurant sales came from off-premise ordering.
After the pandemic hit, online ordering and food deliveries were salvation to restaurants struggling to keep their doors open and sales flowing in. With dining in and going inside storefronts to order no longer an option, online and mobile ordering increased by 286 percent.
As the world re-opens and customer habits have forever changed, ensuring you have a great online ordering system for your restaurant is more important than ever before.
What to Look for in a Restaurant Online Ordering System
So, how do you find the online ordering system that suits your restaurant best? First, we need to look at the following factors:
Ease of Ordering
As more customers now digitally interact with your restaurant, the experience with your online ordering system has become one of the important faces of your brand. A smooth and easy-to-use ordering system that your customers will love to use can convert more visits into revenue and build long-lasting brand customer loyalty.
When comparing different systems, making sure that the ordering experience works well and will make your customers happy is super important.
Some providers offer an ordering experience from your restaurant’s website and mobile app. In contrast, others will direct customers to their platform and can distract from building your restaurant’s strong brand.
Some of the questions you should ask yourself when comparing online ordering systems:
- Does the online ordering platform support photography of your food? 56% of customers judge whether to order from a restaurant based on the food photography. Certain providers, such as Next Order, can even offer free professional photography and make sure your restaurant looks great online.
- How well does the online ordering system work across mobile browsers and apps? 78% of customers now order food through their mobile devices. As a restaurant, ensuring an excellent ordering experience is critical to keeping your customers happy.
- How can customers customise and be upsold on their food? 62% of customers feel that modifying their food is essential to them. And supporting customisations with a well-designed ordering flow can help you keep ahead of your competitors.
POS System Integration
How your restaurant receives online orders and how the process fits into your kitchen workflow can be just as important as your customer’s ordering experience.
First, it is recommended to evaluate whether the online ordering solution can integrate with your existing Point of Sale (POS) system and how orders can be sent automatically to your kitchen, making the experience smooth and easy for your staff.
If a POS system integration isn’t possible (which can be expected with Legacy Windows POS systems), you should see how the online ordering system can work standalone.
For example, some providers include an order receiving tablet with an in-built printer or can connect to compatible printers in your kitchen. Ideally, if running unintegrated from your Point of Sale, you should try to connect the tablet to multiple printers across your restaurant and help your kitchen run as efficiently by sending menu items to the suitable stations.
Unfortunately, like certain things in life, some POS system integrations can cause more issues than it’s worth if your POS technology isn’t properly in sync, and it’s always advisable to test any integration before going live in your kitchen thoroughly.
When comparing online ordering systems, one of the most critical deciding factors can be how much they charge for the service.
Most providers in Australia charge a commission percentage on every sale, which can widely vary and may work well when sales volume is low at the beginning. However, costs can quickly add up once you generate a higher percentage of sales through the online ordering system, and commissions can become unviable. Restaurants can quickly regret the excessive fees that order commissions can charge, and it’s always advised to calculate the expected amount the charges add up to.
Some other providers in Australia charge a flat monthly fee with no order commissions. It is a much more predictable way of knowing how much your restaurant pays each month for the online ordering system.
Paying a flat monthly subscription model may initially cost more than a commission model, but a commission-free model doesn’t penalise your restaurant when you are successful (which is what all restaurant owners strive for). By removing order commissions, most restaurants can be much more profitable and provide more capital that can otherwise be spent to reinvest in their business.
To make things a bit more confusing, certain providers in Australia charge both a monthly subscription fee and commission fees per order. As a result, calculating the expected average costs is more challenging, but advised to ensure the pricing model fits into your restaurant’s profitability.
A product can only be as good as its support, and when comparing providers, it’s critical to make sure they are ready to help you when you need it. In addition, making sure you can operate your online ordering system as hassle-free as possible can differentiate a great provider from the rest.
Hospitality doesn’t work from 9-5, with some of us opening our cafes before 5 am and others working late into the night. To make life harder, some providers only offer support during their regular business hours (9-5) and can leave you in the dark when you need help the most.
Choosing a provider with 24/7 round-the-clock support can be a massive advantage and ensures you can always get the help you need as quickly as you need it. In Australia, some providers offer round-the-clock support and can always be available to help.
We’d suggest finding providers with the support timings that suit your business, and testing out their business hours with a support call can be a great way to know what you are getting into when you are signing up for their service.
The support services that each company offers can also quite widely differ, and you should make sure they cover the type of support you need. For example, some providers can complete free menu changes as required, and others force you to make any menu changes yourself, distracting you from running your business.
Once you have found the right online ordering system for your restaurant, the setup process is how you will then make it yours. Having the right mix of customizability and speed to getting your online ordering system live is critical to a successful setup.
Some providers require you to upload your menu and have a low-touch setup model, which requires more heavy lifting from your side. Therefore, you should ensure that you have the time to dedicate to the process if you sign up with such a provider for your restaurant.
An easier option can be choosing a provider that offers a more high-touch set up and they offer a menu upload service to help you save time and get online quickly. You are often also assigned a dedicated account manager that can ensure that your setup is for success from the beginning. Getting your menu and system setup right by ironing out any early issues can provide a smooth long-term experience with your online ordering system.
Handy tip ✏️
Although the menu upload may be completed on your behalf, you should make sure that you can easily make any ongoing changes when it makes sense yourself from a web/mobile interface.
The 9 best online ordering apps in Australia for your restaurant business
Next Order is an all-in-one software provider for restaurants and offers a commission-free online ordering system with one of the highest customer satisfaction rates in the industry. Next Order helps restaurants take orders for takeaway, delivery and at the table with contactless-QR code ordering.
Next Order’s online ordering system is an excellent solution for restaurants wanting a complete online ordering system that covers all the features they need.
With features such as real-time driver tracking, easy to use item customisations and automatic item upselling, Next Order sets itself apart from other providers across Australia in functionality and pricing.
- Commission-Free Ordering from your website and own mobile app.
- No Setup-Fee and Dedicated Onboarding with a Customer Success Manager.
- Fully customised to your restaurant’s brand.
- Use your drivers with driver tracking or access an on-demand driver fleet network for delivery.
Next Order has a fully-featured free plan, and their paid plans start as low as $49/mo. By avoiding commissions on each order, restaurants have saved thousands of dollars by using Next Order, which they can reinvest to help their business expand.
Next Order includes free 24/7 support with access to immediate assistance across the phones, live chat and email. The support team is located across Australia and has quick response times to ensure you always get the help you need.
The support team also offers a wide range of services, such as free menu item changes and free staff training to help run your online ordering system smoothly.
HungryHungry offers the ability to accept takeaway, delivery and contactless-QR code ordering in your restaurant. The company was founded on the back of its Ordermate POS system, initially known as “Ordermate Online”, and has since spun off to become its own independent company. They introduced features such as curbside pickup that helped restaurants during the pandemic.
Restaurants can customise HungryHungry’s ordering experience with the restaurant’s logo and colours to make it feel branded for each store.
HungryHungry’s pricing works on a commission pricing model and charges around 6-8% on each order transaction.
Deliverit provides an online ordering system alongside their integrated POS system, DPOS (a legacy Windows POS), built-in for takeaway/delivery-focused stores. They are one of the oldest providers in the market and are among the few providers that offer both an online ordering system and an integrated POS system.
Their online ordering system can appear dated to customers, as the ordering was built so long ago and may not fit restaurants looking for a more modern brand.
Deliverit’s pricing also works on a commission pricing model and charges around 7% on each order transaction.
Mr Yum offers a contactless table-ordering solution with the ability to contactless order from your tables with a QR code. They also can provide takeaway and delivery orders from their platform.
Mr Yum’s ordering experience isn’t very customisable, and restaurants cannot add their own logo/brand colours. Mr Yum requires you to use their domain name when your customers place orders and can defect away from your own restaurant’s brand.
Mr Yum’s pricing works on a commission model that can vary between restaurants and charges an average of around 4.5% for each transaction.
Eat App offers a takeaway/delivery focused online ordering system that helps restaurants connect with customers from their website. They also provide web ordering for table ordering or in-room service for hotels.
The ordering experience can feel a bit dated for customers and isn’t as customisable as other providers in Australia to each restaurant’s brand.
EatApp offers a commission-free model and charges a monthly subscription fee, which can be attractive to larger restaurants. But unfortunately, they aren’t transparent with pricing and require each restaurant to contact their team to determine the pricing for their store.
Mobi (formally known as Mobi 2 Go)
Mobi provides restaurants with their ordering website and mobile app for takeaway and delivery. They can also offer their ordering for QR-code and contactless tableside ordering.
Mobi has been around in the Australian market for a long-time. However, they are now primarily targeted toward larger chains. This is because they have a more lengthy set-up/sales process that may not suit independent restaurants that want to quickly get their online ordering system live.
Mobi has frequently changed its pricing structure and can vary widely between when a restaurant first started using its system. They have charged monthly-fee, commissions and a mix of both for restaurants using their services. Unfortunately, they require a restaurant to contact them to find specific pricing for their stores.
Order Up providers restaurants with online ordering services for collection, delivery, table-ordering and room service. The platform is web-based, so customers don’t need to download an app.
Order Up can be customised to a restaurant’s brand and hosted under your restaurant’s brand domain name.
Order Up’s pricing isn’t very transparent and can widely vary, but it mainly works on a commission model and charges around 5% for each transaction.
Loke provides a hybrid ordering solution allowing restaurants to offer several online ordering options and customer loyalty programmes. Loke’s ordering platform has options for customers to order and pay at the counter, from their table or for collection and delivery.
Loke’s pricing works on a commission model that can vary between restaurants and charges around 5% for each transaction.
Abacus provides restaurants with an online ordering system from their branded website and accepts online takeaway/delivery orders that can be integrated directly with their POS system.
Abacus’s pricing works on a commission model and charges around 5% for each transaction. They mainly target restaurants already using Abacus’s POS and are willing to pay the order commissions to have orders integrated into the POS system.
Here is a list of frequently asked questions about restaurant online ordering systems and online food delivery:
What is a restaurant online ordering system?
A restaurant online ordering system is an easy automatic software that enables your restaurant to process internet-based food orders from your customers online through your branded website or mobile app.
As a restaurant, you can then accept online orders, control wait times in real-time, and streamline your kitchen operations with an integrated POS system or standalone printers. In addition, your customers can be updated on the order progress in real-time once they place orders, and you can automatically gather feedback after the order is placed.
How do I set up an online food ordering system for my restaurant?
When you sign up for an online ordering system for your restaurant, you usually first upload your menu, set up your opening hours and get your store verified for online payments. Once you have the online ordering solution setup, you can then configure your
Depending on the online ordering system provider, you can be assigned dedicated onboarding help from their staff team. This can help you get live quicker for your customers to place orders and increase your business online.