Start Online Food Ordering With These 4 Popular Free and Open Source Software

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Tired of paying commission to third-party delivery partners? Want to set up your own food delivery but without heavy investment? We’ve got you covered!


Restaurant consultant Giuseppe Badalamenti recently posted a receipt of orders from food delivery platform Grubhub on Facebook. On orders worth $1,042.63, the restaurant earned only $376.54. The remaining ~$666 were lost in deductions for delivery commissions, processing fees, and promotions.

While such high deductions and low revenues would make any restaurant or food service business struggle, the truth is that Grubhub is not the only one charging such high fees. Most third-party food delivery service providers charge roughly 30% commission on every order.

The receipt of orders from Grubhub posted by Giuseppe Badalamenti

The receipt of orders from Grubhub posted by Giuseppe Badalamenti (Source)

Restaurants and foodservice businesses usually find themselves stuck with such third-party providers because they feel that setting up their own delivery infrastructure will cost a lot. Truth is, with the right technology, setting up an online food ordering service can be done within a day and, virtually, without any technology costs.

To help restaurants and foodservice businesses find the right tools to set up delivery, we’ve prepared this list of five popular free and open source online food ordering tools. The tools were selected based on how frequently they appeared on Google Search Engine Results Page (SERP), the features they offered, and the presence of a stand-alone free module.

To know more about how we selected these tools, read our methodology here.

We’ll cover the following tools (arranged alphabetically):



Flipdish

Flipdish helps users build websites, put up menus on websites, and set up online ordering. It also helps set up Android and iOS apps.

The free version of the tool supports one location, an unlimited number of orders, order notifications, preorders, takeaway orders, multiple web pages, menu images, and free web hosting. It also provides a web app that customers can pin to their browsers.

On the marketing front, the free version supports unlimited notifications, loyalty campaigns, customer retention SMS’, and discount codes. The free version, however, hosts the user’s website on the my.flipdish.com domain. It charges a 7% fee to process each order and an additional 2.5% to process card transactions.

Mock-up of website and app created via Flipdish.

Mock-up of website and app created via Flipdish (Source)

Some of the highlights of the tool include:

  • Dashboard with a quick overview of online sales performance, average order value, and order location/source.
  • Built-in marketing features such as push notifications to enable businesses to retain customers, build loyalty, and enhance communication.
  • Delivery tracking via integration with third-party logistics and field service management tools.

Upgrade cost: One-time payment of $445 for additional features such as custom website URL and the ability to generate gift cards.

Support: The free version includes email support, 24/7 help desk support, and live chat.

Mobile apps: Android and iOS apps created by Flipdish.

GloriaFood

GloriaFood is an online system that helps restaurants and cafes receive orders from their own website or Facebook page and manage table reservations. It also offers mobile apps for businesses to manage incoming orders.

The tool’s base version is offered free of charge. It supports website and Facebook orders, an “order for later” option, pictures in online menus, detailed reporting on incoming orders, and the ability to generate promo codes for discounts.

Option to accept or reject the orders received in GloriaFood

Option to accept or reject the orders received in GloriaFood (Source)

Some of the highlights of the tool include:

  • Widgets to embed online ordering and table reservation in users’ existing business websites.
  • Integration with Facebook to set up online ordering via the “shop now” button on the business’s Facebook page.
  • Accept and reject buttons on the app to quickly respond to orders.
  • Delivery tracking via integration with restaurant delivery tools, such as Tookan and QuestTag.

Upgrade cost: Multiple paid add-ons such as online/credit card payment service at $29 a month, advanced promo marketing at $19 a month, and branded mobile apps at $59 a month.

Support: The free version includes email support and a frequently asked question (FAQ) knowledge base.

Mobile apps: Android and iOS.

Ontabee

Ontabee helps restaurants streamline online ordering and manage home deliveries via in-house agents. The tool also helps users build branded Android apps as well as accept orders via phone calls.

The free version allows setting up one branch of the restaurant and receiving unlimited orders from it. Businesses can use their own domain, set up website ordering, and create mobile-responsive ordering systems.

It also allows the ability to offer loyalty points to customers, accept preorders, generate coupon codes, and integrate with third-party chat applications for interacting with customers.

Taking orders via Ontabee

Taking orders via Ontabee (Source)

Some of the highlights of the tool include:

  • Digital wallet that can be recharged and used by customers for smoother checkout.
  • Comment field for customers to provide cooking instructions on any allergies or preferences.
  • Built-in delivery agent profiles with their personal details.
  • Reports to better understand the business on the basis of hourly sales, total orders, and total sales.

Upgrade cost: $59 a month for multiple outlets and a branded Android app.

Support: The free version includes email support and a FAQ knowledge base.

Mobile apps: Android.

TastyIgniter

TastyIgniter is an open source online ordering system that works on the background of a website to receive and process food orders. Users can either plug the tool into their existing websites or build a website by using an extension offered by the vendor.

The tool is distinct from the others on this list because it can be used for multiple restaurant branches without any additional charge. Since the tool is open source, it provides complete access to all features free of cost.

Receiving orders with TastyIgniter.

Receiving orders with TastyIgniter (Source)

Some of the highlights of the tool include:

  • Customized delivery zones to define delivery areas and set charges accordingly.
  • Multiple order types, such as takeaway, pick-up, or delivery, to offer customers different ways to get their food.
  • Marketing campaigns with customized e-newsletters delivered to customers’ inboxes.
  • Promotional campaigns and special discounts on select menu items or the whole menu.

Upgrade cost: The tool is free to all. However, extensions such as SEO manager are available starting $10.

Support: The free version includes support via Slack chat, community forums, and a knowledge base of FAQs.

Mobile apps: No dedicated mobile apps.

FAQs to consider when choosing online food ordering software

Even with all this information on the popular free and open source online food ordering tools, it can be difficult to select one. To make the process slightly easier, we’ve answered some questions people usually search on Google.

Can all restaurants use food delivery software?

Yes, restaurants of all sizes can use food delivery software. However, the software only gives a platform to showcase the menu and make sales. Restaurants would still need to market the platform and get customers to use it. Therefore, it’s advisable that restaurants with a stable customer base adopt the tool alongside a dedicated plan for customer outreach.


What is included in food delivery software?

Apart from the specific features mentioned for each product, there are some additional ones that are common for all. These include online menu, online ordering, kitchen management, delivery routing, delivery team management, and delivery zone management.

Do food delivery software solutions offer table reservations?

Some food delivery tools, including a few tools in this list, do provide the option of allowing customers to reserve tables. However, (typically) these are advanced tools and offer other restaurant management features as well.

For more information, explore the following resources:


Methodology

To select the products mentioned in this article, we identified the top products for food delivery software searches via Incognito Google search on May 7, 2020. Products that appeared either individually on the first SERP page or on third-party listings at least twice during this research were shortlisted for further evaluation.

The shortlisted products were evaluated against the definition and feature set of food delivery software: Food delivery software enables and supports the delivery of menu items from your restaurant to your customers’ locations. It automates delivery management processes such as processing delivery orders, assigning deliveries to drivers, and capturing delivery order payment. Food delivery platforms also record and analyze delivery order data for reporting. This provides operational insight which helps you make informed decisions about your delivery business and determine the resources necessary for its success.

The tools were further evaluated for:

  • A stand-alone free module that does not need purchasing after a set time or usage limitations.

  • Popularity via 10,000 search results in Google SERP.

The tools that met all the above criteria were selected for the article.

Note: The applications selected in this article are examples to show a feature in context and are not intended as endorsements or recommendations. They have been obtained from sources believed to be reliable at the time of publication.

Looking for Restaurant Management software? Check out Capterra's list of the best Restaurant Management software solutions.

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Rupal Bhandari

Rupal Bhandari is a specialist analyst covering Sales and Account Management markets. She received her Masters degree from the University of Delhi, India, and has created content for some of the world's leading technology products and companies.

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