The Best Online Ordering Systems for Restaurants

When you compare today’s options for restaurant online ordering systems to the ones from just five years ago, it’s amazing how much the market landscape has changed. 

Online ordering systems keep getting easier to set up and use, and in many cases, the systems are less expensive than they used to be. Plus, there are simply many more online ordering systems available to consider. 

In fact, it’s gotten to the point these days where the search for an online ordering system for restaurants can start to feel a little overwhelming. However, it’s worth taking the time to comb through options and find the best solution for your restaurant. The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated very clearly just how important it is for restaurants to have online ordering systems that can protect them against fluctuations in demand for in-person dining and competition with other restaurants with more convenient ordering options. 

Plus, finding the right online ordering system for your restaurant can boost revenue in other ways, such as by helping you better manage things like inventory waste, food cost, and food deliveries.

Below we’ll give you a brief overview of the best online ordering systems for restaurants. But first, let’s start with an overview of what you’ll need to be looking for. 

An Introduction to Restaurant Online Ordering Systems

As we mentioned in our post on the advantages of food ordering systems, restaurateurs generally can choose from among three general types of food ordering systems. 

There are third-party delivery apps like Postmates or Grubhub, which take significant commissions, limit your access to customer data, and are limited in their scope. There are also web store apps, which you can easily tack onto your website with the help of a generic web builder that was most likely built for retail purposes. 

However, the best online ordering systems for restaurants typically fall into the third category: the ones that come as part of a more comprehensive point of sale system for restaurants. 

Most modern restaurant POS systems have similar core features and advantages, including:

  • Flexible menu design
  • Inventory management
  • Full access to real-time data on sales and inventory, even across locations
  • The ability to create and run special promotions
  • The ability to track customer data and loyalty
  • Helpful reports designed for restaurants that give insights into things like food cost and shrinkage

If you’re choosing from among the many POS systems that cater to restaurants and include online ordering features, you’ll need to evaluate more subtle differences like these:

  • The equipment required to run the system – Some systems require certain hardware to run, and some require more hardware than others.
  • Multiple location readiness – Some programs are built with the expectation that you may add more locations of your restaurant, or even build a franchise.
  • Ancillary features: Beyond online ordering, different programs may vary on what kind of features they include or integrate with by linking to a third party program. Some of these features include email marketing, reservation management, and delivery tracking.
  • Pricing – Obviously, different POS companies structure their pricing in many different ways. Some may have different pricing tiers based on the features used, sales volume, or number of locations. The way these programs are priced can make a significant difference in overall costs, especially for new restaurants.
  • Payment processing options – Some systems come with restrictions on which payment processors can be used, which might result in a few additional fees or headaches for some restaurateurs.

With those factors in mind, let’s take a more in-depth look at some of the best online ordering systems for restaurants.

Truffle POS

Truffle POS is one of the best premium players on the restaurant POS scene. 

Our goal was to create an all-in-one restaurant management platform that gives restaurateurs full access to the features they need to boost profits while staying as affordable as possible. We also allow our customers to just use just the front-end checkout system alone without investing in the back-of-house tech (such as a kitchen display system) right away.

Truffle is an all-in-one restaurant management platform that gives restaurateurs full access to the features they need to boost profits — while keeping prices as affordable as possible.

Our platform is completely scalable, and it comes fully equipped with the latest features like driver delivery guidance, online table reservations, delivery management, and food locker pickup.

Our program is also “device agnostic,” which means that restaurant owners can run the system on their choice of hardware.

Micros POS

Oracle’s Micros POS has been on the market for more than 40 years and is used by businesses all over the world. It offers both cloud-based and on-site software installations. The primary industries served by Micros POS are restaurants, hotels, resorts, casinos, stadiums, arenas, cruise ships, transportation hubs, and retail stores.

If you’re uncomfortable with cloud-based systems for whatever reason, you might be looking into Micros POS, which touts features such as security and reliability as some of its main advantages due to its local installation (Newer programs store most of their information in the cloud) and specialized hardware. 

However, having locally installed hardware also generally means that owners will be on the line to pay for a full suite of Oracle hardware, including workstations and tablets. 

For example, Micros POS doesn’t have a suite of driver/delivery features that have become more important to restaurateurs in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. It also lacks modern features such as integrations with food lockers for contactless pickup.

Aloha POS

Aloha POS is a part of NCR Corporation, which was previously known as National Cash Register and established in 1884. NCR is an American company that produces both software and hardware, and Aloha POS caters mostly to restaurants. 

Aloha is similar to Micros POS in both its advantages and disadvantages. Because the software is installed on local hardware instead of running on the cloud, Aloha touts the fact that there’s no chance of ever losing a transaction to something like an internet outage or power outage. 

And, of course, with so many years in the industry, Aloha touts a lot of experience and plenty of customers all over the globe.

Just like with Micros, though, if you use Aloha POS, you’ll be locked into using specialized hardware and may need to pay a little more upfront for it. More traditional programs may not have some of the latest integrations that restaurants have embraced in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, such as driver delivery apps and apps that connect to food storage lockers for completely contactless pickup.


TouchBistro Inc. was founded in 2010 specifically to “support the passion of restaurateurs through cutting-edge technology.”

Touchbistro is a really popular, cloud-based POS choice for restaurants, and it powers thousands of restaurants worldwide. 

Touchbistro was developed for Apple products, and it still only runs on iOS — specifically, iPad tablets. You can get a special checkout stand for an iPad for workstations and checkout, and servers can input orders in tableside with iPads, as well.

One thing that sets Touchbistro apart is the fact that most of its features are in-house, meaning they come as a direct part of the software and aren’t connected to other vendors. For example, they have an integrated reservations system, customer loyalty system, and inventory system.

However, Touchbistro doesn’t have a lot of options for managing food delivery, which is increasingly crucial for restaurants in light of COVID-19. You’ll also have to pay for a separate email marketing system, and you’re required to get both front- and back-of-house software together. Finally, Touchbistro doesn’t come equipped for multiple restaurant locations, which might be an issue if you plan to expand or start a franchise.


Lightspeed POS was founded in 2005 and was designed especially for retailers, but it launched its hospitality branch to cater to restaurants (Lightspeed Restaurant) in 2014. Today it still caters to these two industries, and it also has a product for golf courses. 

Lightspeed was founded in Montreal and has since expanded significantly internationally, with offices throughout the world. It’s also one of the most commonly used POS systems for restaurants.

Just like TouchBistro, Lightspeed runs on iOS and Apple iPad tablets. Its biggest difference from TouchBistro is its reliance on third-party integration partners. Lightspeed restaurant integrates with other programs to manage inventory, online ordering, marketing, and scheduling, while these features are part of TouchBistro’s core software. 

One special feature that Lightspeed has over other systems is its retail feature for restaurants (which makes sense, as Lightspeed began as a retail product). So, if your restaurant has a strong retail presence, such as selling a signature sauce or other products, you may be particularly interested in Lightspeed.

However, Lightspeed does lack some of the newest features that other restaurant POS systems have, such as a table reservation feature, a smart food locker system for contactless pickup, and delivery driver tracking.


Revel Systems’ Restaurant POS System was among the first cloud-based POS to be designed for the iPad. This startup was founded in 2010, is headquartered in Atlanta, and serves some of the largest restaurant franchises in the world. 

Revel offers specialty POS systems for pizza restaurants and cafes, and it also has a retail POS system. 

It has both standard and advanced POS features, including loyalty, gift cards, online ordering, and customer relationship management. The program also integrates with plenty of third party apps to add even more functionality to the program.

You should note that Revel cannot handle multiple restaurant locations, so it’s not the best choice for franchises or growing restaurants. And, if you want to track online reservations or manage a smart locker for food with your POS system, Revel doesn’t have those features.


Toast, Inc. is a cloud-based restaurant software company based in Boston, Massachusetts and founded in 2012. Toast was also designed specifically for restaurants and is used in cafes, diners, fine dining establishments, bakeries, and other restaurants.   

One of the first things that distinguishes Toast from other popular cloud-based POS programs for restaurants is that it’s built on the Android operating system and has a line of dedicated hardware. Toast claims that this hardware —unlike Apple iPads — is designed for the high-heat, high-impact world of restaurants.

Another thing to note about Toast is that its pricing structure is a little unique. The basic package includes a minimal number of features, with features such as loyalty, marketing, and online ordering considered “add-ons” to the basic package.

Similar to Revel, Toast also doesn’t come with features to manage online reservations or smart food lockers. You’ll also have to pay for a separate email marketing program, as email marketing is not included.

Top 4 Reasons Why To Choose Truffle Over Others

1. Enterprise-level functionality with flexible pricings

You can gain access to a full range of options with enterprise-level functionality that fits all budget types. Scale your restaurant from one location to thousands with Truffle POS – faster at innovation than any other legacy systems in the marketplace.

2. It’s more than just a POS

Instead of using other POS systems that provide 10% of what we offer, you can gain access to our Restaurant Management System – Everything you need to run and scale your restaurant. From Marketing to customer engagement and rewards.

3. Future-proof your restaurants

We make sure your restaurant stays at the top of the industry trends, with features such as Cloud Kitchen Management, Contactless Food Locker Pickup System, Restaurant Automation, Marketing Analytics. Working with TrufflePOS also means working for other social causes – We integrate with systems that allow you to offer unsold food as donations to those in need.

Our platform is completely scalable, and it comes fully equipped with the latest features like driver delivery guidance, online table reservations, delivery management, and food locker pickup.

4. Cross-platform compatibility

A core difference between us and the competition is our ability to run on any hardware platform, Windows, IOS & Android, so as technology changes we are always ready to deploy (hardware agnostic)

Book a demo today to learn more about Truffle POS.