The Best WordPress Restaurant Plugin (And How to Set It Up)
If you want to create a restaurant website with online ordering for home delivery, there are plenty of services built to help you do that…for a hefty commission! A WordPress restaurant plugin lets you skip the commission and keep your margins for yourself.
Look, people want to be able to get food delivered over the Internet. Online food ordering more than doubled between 2010 and 2015, and those trends are continuing. Customers clearly prefer ordering online rather than over the phone, and the right WordPress restaurant plugin will let you satisfy that demand without needing to pay a 15% commission rate.
In this post, you’ll learn how you can use a system of WordPress restaurant plugins to create your own online restaurant ordering system like the example above, complete with:
- Delivery options and time slots
- Pickup options
- Notifications (so that you know when a new food order comes in)
You’ll be able to customize it to your needs, and you won’t need to be a tech savant just to get it working!
The two big benefits of using a WordPress restaurant plugin over the alternatives
There are two big benefits to using a WordPress restaurant plugin over alternatives like GrubHub, JustEat, etc.
1. You’ll save money
First, the big one – saving money!
Just for getting listed at GrubHub, you’re giving up a whopping 15% commission rate. And if you want a sponsored listing, you’ll give up 20% or more. That’s crazy!
The margins for food just aren’t that high, and giving up 15% commission makes a huge difference on your bottom line.
With a WP restaurant plugin, there are no ongoing commissions. Instead, you’ll pay a one-time fee for the plugins that you need. After that, everything is profit.
After that, you might want to further enhance your system with some extra plugins for delivery options or menu customization.
However, even with those customizations, you’ll probably only spend $200-300 to get the whole system up and running. And again, there are no ongoing commissions after that.
2. You can offer a better user experience
Sites like GrubHub or Deliveroo are, for the most part, one size fits all. That is, your menu and listing pages look exactly like other restaurants.
However, what if your restaurant is unique? What if you make these awesome customizable burgers and you want to create a custom way for people to choose all their ingredients?
With the other tools, you’re out of luck. But with a WordPress restaurant plugin, you can tweak things to make them perfect, which helps you create a better ordering experience.
The best WordPress restaurant plugin system
To create your online restaurant ordering system, you’ll need two key parts:
- An eCommerce plugin This is the backend system that will help you manage food items, accept orders and payments, etc.
- An order form plugin This is the frontend system that will create a user-friendly restaurant menu for your hungry visitors to browse. It lists your foods in a one-page table layout. You can divide your menu up into different categories, offer customization options, etc.
For the eCommerce part of the equation, the most popular option is WooCommerce. This free, open-source plugin comes from Automattic (the billion dollar company behind WordPress.com) and is the most popular way to build an eCommerce store. However, you can also use other options like Easy Digital Downloads, WP eCommerce, and others.
Both of these plugins let you create a customizable frontend food menu that you can adapt to your restaurant’s unique needs:
Great Plugin and Outstanding Support
Below, we’ll show you how it works with WooCommerce and Woo Product Table, as that’s the easiest option for most restaurants.
If you want to see the process in more detail, you can also check out our full guide to creating a WooCommerce restaurant ordering system.
Use your eCommerce plugin to manage food items and orders
To get started, you’ll need to install and configure your chosen eCommerce plugin. For example, WooCommerce.
From there, you can add all of your menu items as “products”. For example, if you sell a pepperoni pizza, you’d add that pizza as a product:
If your menu item is customizable, you can use either product variations or product add-ons to give visitors the option to customize their orders:
- VariationsVariations are good if people will select a single option from a list. For example, the size of a pizza.
- Add-ons Add-ons are good if people can select multiple items. For example, selecting one or more options from a list of toppings. If you want to use product add-ons, you’ll need the official WooCommerce Product Add-Ons plugin.
Again, we explain this process in much greater detail in our full online restaurant ordering system guide.
Use a table plugin to create your front-end menus
Once you’ve added all of your food items as WooCommerce products, you’re ready for the next step: Creating your online menu.
See, by default, WooCommerce displays your “products” in a traditional eCommerce layout. For example, something like this:
Now, that’s fine for an eCommerce store, but it’s not a good option for a restaurant menu!
That’s where the WooCommerce Product Table plugin comes in. WooCommerce Product Table lets you take all your food items and display them in a user-friendly menu layout like this:
You can use tabs to divide your different menu categories (as shown above). Or, you could also just create separate headers for each menu category.
Furthermore, shoppers will be able to select the variations and add-ons for each food item right from this menu.
The great thing about WC Product Table is that you have 100% control over all the information that displays.
Want to add a column that marks vegan or gluten-free options? You can do it! 🥗
Want to add a column that lists the calorie count? Yup, you can do that, too! 💯
The end result is that you can create a restaurant ordering system that’s totally unique to your restaurant’s needs and offerings.
Enhance your WordPress restaurant plugin system with other plugins
At this point, you’ll have a working WordPress restaurant plugin system. However, you still might want to adjust things to tweak how your ordering system works.
For example, you could add product quick view functionality that lets shoppers open a popup to configure their order (and see some larger pictures of your delicious food!):
To do that, you could use the WooCommerce Quick View Pro plugin, which offers a built-in integration for WooCommerce Product Table.
Some other good options for third-party plugins to enhance your system are:
- WooCommerce Opening Hours & Chosen Times Lets you add your restaurant’s opening times and automatically stop people from ordering when your restaurant is closed.
- WooCommerce Dynamic Pricing Lets you create special deals, like buy one get one free.
- Twilio SMS Notifications Lets you receive SMS notifications for new orders (by default, WooCommerce only sends email notifications).
- WooCommerce Delivery Slots Lets customers place orders for pick up, and choose when they want to pick up their order. Learn more in our WooCommerce takeaway guide.
Example of a WordPress restaurant plugin in action
Wondering how a WordPress restaurant plugin actually works in the real world? Here’s a real-life case study…
Deliciously Clean Eats uses this exact approach to let customers order their own custom lunch or dinner meals:
Build your own WordPress restaurant ordering system today!
Stop giving up your hard-earned margins to middlemen!
With your own WordPress restaurant ordering system, you’ll be able to offer the convenience of Internet ordering to your customers, without paying a 15% commission.
At a basic level, all you’ll need is an eCommerce plugin (like WooCommerce) and a table plugin (either WooCommerce Product Table or Posts Table Pro). From there, you can enhance your ordering system as needed using other tools, like WooCommerce Quick View Pro.
Finally, for a more detailed tutorial on how to set up your system, check out our full WooCommerce restaurant ordering system tutorial.
Do you have any questions about these WordPress restaurant plugins? Ask away in the comments!