From Click to Plate: Exploring Online Food Ordering

Are you looking for a way to spice up your offerings and reach a wider audience? It’s one click away to start switching up your online food ordering game! As more consumers turn to technology for convenience and safety, providing an option to order online has never been more important.

In this blog post, we’ll explore how online food ordering for restaurants works, the types, and the benefits of utilizing it for your restaurant. Keep reading to learn more!

What is Online Ordering Food?

A woman ordering sushi online
A woman ordering sushi online

Online food ordering refers to the process of ordering food from a restaurant through a digital platform, like a website or mobile app for restaurants.

Customers can browse restaurant menus, place their orders, and pay online without the need for phone calls or visiting the restaurant in person. Then, the restaurant receives the order electronically and prepares the food for pickup or delivery.

This food ordering system has become increasingly popular in recent years due to its convenience, speed, and ease of use for customers and restaurant owners.

How Does the Online Food Ordering System Work?

Placing Orders on The Website
Placing Orders on The Website

The online food ordering system typically works in the following way:

  1. Customers browse restaurant menus on a website or mobile app and select the items they wish to order.
  2. They can customize their orders by specifying any special requests or dietary restrictions.
  3. Once the order is complete, customers typically pay online using a digital payment method.
  4. The restaurant receives the order electronically and begins preparing the food.
  5. Customers can choose to have the food delivered to their location, or they can do “self-pickup”.
  6. Restaurants can track orders through the online platform and update customers on their order status.

Overall, the online food ordering system streamlines the ordering process for customers and restaurants, making it faster and more convenient than traditional ordering methods.

Types of Online Ordering Food

From restaurant-controlled to meal-kit delivery services, we’ll take a closer look at the different types of online ordering food available so that you can choose the best option for your restaurant.


Restaurant-controlled website and app
Restaurant-controlled website and app

Are you familiar with McDonald’s or Domino’s Pizza mobile apps? Yes, those are examples of restaurant-controlled online ordering. With this method, the restaurant creates its own website or mobile app, receives the order directly, and fulfills it by assigning the task to its delivery staff or by having customers pick up their orders in-store.

One of the main advantages of this system is that it allows restaurants to build their own brand and establish a direct relationship with their customers. It also gives restaurants more control over the ordering process, which can result in faster service and fewer errors.

However, restaurant-controlled online ordering requires a certain level of technical expertise and an investment in building a website or mobile app, which may not be feasible for all restaurants.

Independent Websites

A woman ordering coffee from a mobile-friendly website content
A woman ordering coffee from a mobile-friendly website content

Like the previous type, independent websites allow restaurants to create and operate their own platform to facilitate online food ordering.

On the other hand, the customers are free to choose whichever and how many menus they like to order without feeling confused about too many options—since it’s solely the restaurant’s independent website.

Traditional Food Delivery Services

Food Delivery Man with Food Boxes
Food Delivery Man with Food Boxes

Traditional food delivery services have played a vital role in the restaurant industry since long ago. Local eateries and fast-food chains have always gone above and beyond to deliver their cuisine’s deliciousness straight to their patrons’ doors.

With the help of dedicated in-house or third-party delivery drivers, freshly-prepared meals are transported safely and quickly to customers who value convenience and quality.

It’s no secret that some of the biggest global brands in the food industry have been offering delivery services for decades. Domino’s Pizza, Pizza Hut, and Papa John’s are just a few examples.

Delivery Platforms

Implementing new service delivery models
Implementing new service delivery models

Unlike traditional food delivery services, delivery platforms provide their own drivers or couriers to make deliveries rather than relying on the restaurant’s own delivery staff.

Some examples of delivery platforms include Deliveroo, Foodora, Postmates, and Uber Eats. These platforms operate similarly to traditional food delivery services, offering additional features such as real-time tracking of orders and personalized recommendations based on past orders.

Food Cooperatives

Fresh vegetables on a dark wood table
Fresh vegetables on a dark wood table

Food cooperatives are a unique type of online food ordering that allows customers to purchase fresh, locally-sourced produce and other grocery items directly from farmers and producers.

These cooperatives are typically community-owned and operated, with members contributing to the management and upkeep of the cooperative.

Examples of food cooperatives include OurHarvest and Macomb Co-op. These platforms connect customers with small-scale farmers and producers in their local area, providing a sustainable and ethical alternative to mass-produced grocery store items.

Customers can browse through a range of fresh, seasonal produce, meats, dairy products, and pantry staples and place orders for pickup or delivery.

Meal-Kit Delivery Services

Meal kit
Meal kit

Meal-kit delivery services are a type of online food ordering that provides customers with pre-measured and prepped ingredients to cook their own meals at home. These services offer a convenient and healthy alternative to traditional take-out or delivery options.

Examples of meal-kit delivery services include Blue Apron, HelloFresh, and Sun Basket. These services typically provide a range of meal plans to choose from, including vegetarian, low-calorie, and family-friendly options.

Customers can select the meals they want to prepare and have all necessary ingredients delivered directly to their doorstep weekly.

Advantages of Online Ordering for Restaurants

Incorporating online ordering have several benefits for restaurants, including:

Efficient customer and order management

Restaurant operations assessment
Restaurant operations assessment

With online ordering, restaurants can streamline their operations and improve their overall efficiency by automating many customer and order management processes.

This system allows restaurants to easily manage and track orders from start to finish. Since orders are automatically entered into the restaurant’s system, it reduces the risk of errors or miscommunications.

This streamlines the entire ordering process and ensures that orders are prepared and delivered to customers promptly and accurately.

Free and cheap marketing

Restaurant Marketing
Restaurant Marketing

Online ordering platforms offer several built-in marketing tools to help restaurants increase their visibility, reach new customers, and promote their brands at little to no cost.

Here are some examples of free and cheap marketing opportunities that online ordering platforms offer restaurants:

  1. Search engine optimization (SEO): Online ordering platforms such as Grubhub, Uber Eats, and DoorDash have strong SEO capabilities that can help restaurants improve their website’s search engine rankings and drive more traffic.
  2. Social media integration: Many online ordering platforms allow restaurants to integrate their social media accounts into their online profiles, making it easy to share promotions and menu items with followers.
  3. Customer reviews and ratings: Online ordering platforms often include customer reviews and rating features, which can help restaurants build their reputation and attract new customers.
  4. Loyalty programs: Some online ordering platforms offer built-in loyalty programs that enable restaurants to reward loyal customers and encourage repeat business.

Monitor your expenses incurred in real-time

A man monitoring restaurant expenses
A man monitoring restaurant expenses

With an online ordering system, all transactions are processed digitally, allowing for easy expense tracking and analysis.

Restaurants can quickly access reports and data on their sales, costs, and profits via their online ordering platform’s dashboard.

This real-time data can help restaurant owners and managers make informed decisions about their restaurant’s operations, such as adjusting prices or menu items to improve profitability.

The convenience of mobile ordering

A woman ordering healthy food online
A woman ordering healthy food online

Mobile ordering is a convenient online ordering feature that allows customers to place orders at any time, from anywhere, using their mobile devices.

It offers real-time order tracking, improved accuracy, personalized menu recommendations, and payment flexibility. As a result, restaurants can improve customer experience, increase sales, and build customer loyalty.

Better customers data

Collect and Use Guest Data
Collect and Use Guest Data

Online ordering platforms collect valuable customer data, including their order history, preferences, and feedback. This data can be used to personalize marketing efforts and improve customer satisfaction.

Restaurants can use this data to identify popular menu items, adjust prices, and offer targeted promotions to boost sales and attract new customers.

By analyzing customer data, restaurants can gain insights into customers’ preferences and behavior, allowing them to make informed decisions about their business operations.

Grow your bottom line

A restaurant owner smiling and knowing about restaurant marketing
A restaurant owner smiling and knowing about restaurant marketing

Growing the bottom line is a significant advantage of online ordering for restaurants. By increasing sales and reducing costs, online ordering platforms can help restaurants improve their profitability and financial performance, allowing them to reinvest in their business.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which online food delivery is the cheapest?

Based on a recent survey, the cheapest online food delivery service for restaurants is Grubhub, with a $1.50 minimum and 2.9% average of total orders. The list continues to Uber Eats, DoorDash, and Postmates.

Which site is best for online food delivery?

Some popular and widely recognized online food delivery platforms known for their quality service are Uber Eats, DoorDash, Grubhub, Postmates, and Deliveroo.


In conclusion, the world of online food ordering has revolutionized the way customers order food and enjoy it. If you’re a restaurant owner seeking to streamline operations and boost sales, online food ordering is definitely a must.

Online food ordering systems are a prime example of how technology can help restaurants thrive in a competitive industry by delivering a seamless customer experience and increasing revenue.

If you want to know more about the benefits of incorporating online food ordering system for your restaurants, or you want to optimize your restaurant’s site with the help of professional teams, contact us now at SEO for Restaurants!

Andrea Abbondanza

Andrea Abbondanza, born in Milan (Italy) and now a proud Australian citizen, is a passionate food lover and the dynamic CEO of With his rich culinary background and deep understanding of online marketing strategies, Andrea helps restaurants and cafes around the world elevate their online presence. His journey from Italy to Australia has infused his work with a unique blend of European flair and Aussie charm, making him a go-to resource for cafes and restaurants looking to elevate their digital presence and grow their businesses.

Triple Your Restaurant Bookings And 2x your deliveries

Seo for Restaurants is a boutique agency specialised in Google Business Management, SEO and Local SEO for restaurants and Cafes.

What can we do for you?

  • Be on top of Google in your local area
  • Reach new customers
  • Increase the number of phone calls
  • Increase the number of bookings and most importantly, increase revenue for your restaurant

Andrea Abbondanza is a passionate food lover and the CEO of Seo for Restaurants. With his rich culinary background and deep understanding of online marketing strategies, Andrea helps restaurants and cafes worldwide elevate their online presence and increase

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