Trying to navigate your way with online food ordering systems can make you stumble with the term “open source online food ordering”. Now you may start to wonder what that means and if learning about it can help you with your journey towards online food ordering systems, the answer is yes and no.
Open source online food ordering system is a technology solution developed by program developers that can be utilized by everyone for free. And because of this setup, it has gained popularity over a short time, and restaurateurs started to adopt it into their daily operations.
Now, you may start to consider this solution as a great package for your restaurant business. A software tool that provides you an open-source food delivery platform for free is too much of a good deal to be missed, but you also have to look at the bigger picture and start asking questions. How come a promising solution is offered free? Are there any restrictions? Would it help your restaurant business in the long run?
Read along to answer those questions and learn more about the pros and cons of an open-source system for food ordering, and if it’s worth the try.
Main Elements of an Open-Source Online Food Ordering System
Before diving into details of how this type of solution can help and harm your restaurant business, you must know first what are its main features that they can offer.
- Online ordering – Process orders placed online and send them directly to the kitchen.
- Delivery management – Starting from delivery zones and routing management up to the management of the team handling your online ordering and delivery service, you can easily monitor all elements of your delivery service. It can provide the best route for your delivery team, you can store information about your delivery team, and you can set the area that you want to deliver to.
- Online menu – Showcase your restaurant’s menu on your website, mobile app, and social media profiles.
- Kitchen management – Send notifications of incoming orders directly to your kitchen.
Pros of an Open-Source System for Food Ordering
One of the top, if not the top, advantages of open source online food ordering systems is breaking from the chains of paying high commissions to third-party apps. If you’ll take into account the extra charges that these third-party mobile apps are charging your restaurant, you’re almost losing 30% of revenue every order. And here are some of the main reasons why restaurateurs are riding on to this trend.
Programmers often offer this type of restaurant solution for free, but some require a one-time payment. Either way, it’s a perfect tool for you if you want to launch an online food ordering and delivery service for your restaurant without needing to commit to a monthly payment and extra charges.
This is a huge relief for restaurateurs, like you, as you can worry less about the cost of this new technology for your restaurant. But it is important to keep in mind that open source online food ordering systems are just free if you’ll take their features as is. If you want to make a few changes and make it more suitable for your restaurant’s concept, then you have to talk with the developer and see how much they’ll be charging if your changes will be applied.
For technology and solutions, one thing you’ll always think about is the maintenance cost. There’s no income with offline websites and websites that are always crashing. If you want to generate a generous amount of income, you have to make sure that your website or app for food ordering is well maintained. And with open source food ordering, there’s no cost for maintenance unless, again, if you want to offer new features.
Another advantage of this type of software tool is that it’s readily available and it is ready to use. If you decide that you want to offer takeaway but don’t want to commit in a specific period, then you may try out an open source takeaway ordering system. There’s no contract involved in it and you can start and end using it anytime you want to.
Introducing a new solution to your restaurant staff and employees might be challenging as not everyone is trained to deal with different types of restaurant technologies. But with open source ordering systems, you won’t have a hard time training your team as it is easy to use and well systemized to deal with the daily complexities of restaurant operations.
It is developed so that the staff will be more productive and effective with their tasks. This solution is made to increase the potential of the whole restaurant business and not to drag it down by providing a complicated solution.
Unlike other online food ordering systems, open source food ordering systems give you full control over the tool that you have. You don’t have to be a tech expert to make things work and do some adjustments with this software solution. Just try it out and you’ll see how much you can configure this type of solution.
This is one of the main reasons why restaurateurs and other industry experts love this type of solution, you have full control over it. And depending on what type of open-source food delivery and ordering you’ll utilize, you can add features and functionalities without paying an additional fee.
Other Beneficial Features of Open-Source System for Food Ordering
Now that you have an idea on what are the main advantages of this type of restaurant solution, here’s a list of what else it brings to the table.
- Marketing features namely SMS notifications, push notifications, and email notifications
- Food delivery tracking feature
- Sales reporting feature
- Social media integration feature
- Order monitoring and management feature
- Multiple payment processing features
- Multiple order type processing feature
Cons of an Open-Source System for Food Ordering
There are always two sides to a coin, and to fully understand this type of solution you have to know what are the possible setbacks it can cause for your restaurant business. By knowing this, you can easily navigate your way towards offering an online food delivery service.
Though it’s still meticulously developed and its basic functions can help you with your online food ordering service, it’s still inferior in quality compared to other types of online food ordering systems. The main reason for this would be that it’s being given free, therefore, there’s nothing that supports the programmer or developer in producing a higher-quality solution.
While its quality appears to be lower than others, there are basic features that it offers that are still beneficial for you and your restaurant business. Just make sure that before you decide to use one, all of the beneficial features are covered by that open-source system.
Just like what was mentioned above, if you want to add features or you want some additional functionalities with your solution, you have to do it yourself or pay your developer. Now, the expansion cost would depend on what are the additional features you want and how meticulous the process you want it to be.
Remember that every solution will cost you at some point, and you just have to identify those who offer lower costs or those who make these costs worthy. For online ordering systems, costs of lost orders, maintenance, and servers will always be present.
And even though it’s a user-friendly solution, you don’t have much luxury of monitoring and maintaining it all by yourself. At some point, you have to hire a tech expert to monitor this type of solution, which leads you to spend more, but at this time it’s in the form of labor cost.
You must already have an existing POS or EPOS system of your own, and trying out an open source food ordering system means that you have to integrate it with your existing POS or EPOS system. And this is where the conflict usually arises because open-source systems are usually not compatible with the most common POS and EPOS systems available in the market.
Leading to employing a different type of online food ordering system that is more compatible with your existing work process.
Open-source food delivery still comes with support but it’s often not enough. The usual support for this type of solution comes in the form of email and FAQs, but with online ordering concerns, customers want a fast and specific solution. They don’t need a system-generated response or a response that needs a lot of work, the main reason that they opt for online food ordering is that they crave convenience and hassle-free service, and filing a report for an issue via email is not what they signed up for.
As a restaurant owner, your utmost priority will always be your customers. And to be able to take care of customer satisfaction, you have to equip your online ordering system with the best support team, and open-source food ordering systems do not come with that.
In short, if you want a reliable support team for your online ordering service, then you may have to ask your developer to provide you one or you have to outsource a tech support team. Both options will cost you additional expenses.
FAQs About Open-Source Food Ordering System
While the main concerns for this type of solution are mostly covered by the mentioned topics, here are the answers to some of the most commonly asked questions which can serve as your guide with open source systems.
What is included with open-source food ordering systems?
This depends on what type of open-source system you’ll utilize as the features of each product are different. But the basic features to be expected of this type of solution are online ordering, delivery management, online menu, and kitchen management.
Do reservation and advanced orders part of their system?
There are software tools that allow this type of feature, but these are the features that come with a price. The main reason for this is because table reservation and advance orders require a more advanced type of technology which are commonly not found with the free online ordering systems.
What are the types of restaurants that can operate using this type of solution?
Technically every type of restaurant can use this solution. Size and concept don’t matter because this software can support your online ordering service and can help you improve your sales in time. But due to its lack of stability, you may want to invest in a more reliable software tool that can support your restaurant business in the long run.
How can you prepare your restaurant and your team for this type of solution?
Before trying to integrate and incorporate this software tool into your restaurant business, you must assess yourself, your employees, and the capacity of your restaurant business. Do you have sufficient technical skills to support your entire online ordering operations? Do you have adequate time to figure out everything about this solution? Lastly, how will it benefit your restaurant operations?
What are the other features to look out for before choosing the best open-source ordering system?
Make sure that the solution you’ll get is not just about online ordering and sales, it must also empower your marketing efforts, build you a customer base, and guide you for more effective restaurant management.
How can you build customer loyalty using this system?
First, you have to ensure that the solution you’ll utilize has the feature of capturing customer details. Through this, you can build a customer database where the important information about your customers is stored. With this in hand, you can now launch promotions, giveaway vouchers, gift cards, and other types of discounts through your website or mobile app.
Some open-source food ordering systems will allow you to generate vouchers, discounts, and other types of promotions to build your customer base, and customer loyalty in the long run.
Key Players in the Restaurant Industry
Should you decide to try this type of solution for your restaurant, here are the most popular and seen effective providers of open-source systems for food ordering.
This is an open source system for online food ordering that processes orders from the background of your restaurant’s website. You can either build a website using the extension link provided, or you can just plug this solution on your existing website.
If you’re operating multiple branches of restaurants, this is the perfect solution for you as you can manage online orders from your different restaurant branches without an additional fee. You can also customize and manage your delivery routes and zones for smooth delivery operations.
Lastly, TastyIgniter also offers marketing support for your restaurant. It can provide newsletters, promotions, marketing campaigns, exclusive special discounts for your customers.
GloriaFood can help you process online orders not just on your website, but also from your Facebook page. It also allows you to manage table reservations, advance orders and sends notifications from your mobile app for incoming orders.
One main feature of this solution is that you can track your delivery. Though you may need to integrate additional delivery tracking tools for it, the good news is that it’s compatible with the most popular and common delivery tracking tools available.
Preorders, free web hosting, unlimited online orders, multiple web pages, are just some of the functions that Flipdish supports. This solution will guide you throughout the setup process of your online ordering service.
It has a dashboard where you can check the business overview of your restaurant. From online sales average value, sales performance, and order location. These are helpful data for you, as it leads you to create better business decisions. It also has marketing tools that can help in building customer loyalty and engagement.
For its free version, you can also cater and process unlimited numbers of online orders from your website or mobile app. In addition to this, loyalty points are given to customers, and you’re allowed to integrate a third-party live chat system for customer interaction to boost customer engagement.
Customers can use its digital wallet feature where they can complete an order without hassle, making contactless delivery possible for your restaurant. It also allows your customers to provide special notes for food allergies or other special instructions for their orders. Lastly, profiles of your delivery team can be stored using this solution making it easier for you to manage them.
Every day we are presented with different innovations to make our lives easier. With all these helpful solutions, it’s hard to believe that there once was a time when online ordering was considered impossible and a waste of time. But this doesn’t mean that you’re required to take in every technology and solution available.
It is still important that you’ll employ what can be helpful for your restaurant, or it may end up producing opposing results for your restaurant.