Online Restaurant Ordering

How to Customize Your Online Restaurant Ordering System with WP Food Manager

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WP Food Manager offers excellent food business management features to simplify the process of managing your food business online. Combined with Woo, you can use the Online Order add-on to customize your online restaurant ordering system based on your needs. In this post, we'll show you how!
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For most typical restaurants, online ordering is a crucial part of the customer’s experience. Given that most people will get out their smart devices to check you out, it’s important to customize your online restaurant ordering system. In short, you want to maximize the impact it is, and the revenue it can generate for you.

For this post, we’ll look at how to customize your online restaurant ordering system with WP Food Manager. However, let’s begin with introducing WP Food Manager itself.

A Quick Introduction to WP Food Manager

We won’t spend too long at the start of this post is explain what WP Food Manager does. There’s a full WP Food Manager review already on WP Mayor.

The WP Food Manager header banner from WordPress.org.

In that review, we talk about several aspects of the plugin that we like:

  • It integrates with Woo to help you take payments on-site. You’re even able to include an Add to Cart button for each menu item.
  • Speaking of which, menu creation is central to WP Food Manager. You’re able to customize yours in many ways – which we’ll discuss later in the post.
  • You can expand the functionality of WP Food Manager through a number of add-ons. Again, we’re going to feature the Online Order add-on throughout the post.

To customize your restaurant’s ordering system with WP Food Manager, you’ll need the Pro premium plan. This gives you the Online Order add-on and access to the full feature set of the core WP Food Manager plugin.

What Customizing Your Restaurant’s Ordering System Can Help You Achieve

There’s something valuable about having a similar and typical ordering system to your competitors. For starters, customers will know how to navigate around your menus. Also, your setup will feel comfortable and familiar.

A front end cart screen from WP Food Manager.

However, a customized restaurant ordering system is arguably a better move. In fact, there are plenty of benefits in doing this:

  • You can streamline the ordering process. In turn, this can boost efficiency, be less prone to error, and let you take more orders.
  • The information your customers give you will have a use in the future. For instance, you can mail out physical menus, or email offers. What’s more, you could set up a loyalty program to encourage repeat business.
  • By extension, you can improve the User Experience (UX) on site. Part of this strategy could be to recommend menu items based on previous orders, for one example.
  • You’ll have the scope to optimize your menu for specific holidays, seasons, or events. This personalization is important for building customer loyalty.

Combined, all these aspects result in more income for you. Given this, you should begin to think about what your online ordering system will include.

What Your Online Ordering System Should Include

Before you get into which solution can help you set up an effective online ordering system, it’s vital to know what yours should offer. Given that this will be a central part to your site, you should think long and hard about how your own system will look.

With this in mind, here are a few different components of a solid online ordering system:

  • An intuitive User Interface (UI). Moving around your menu, selecting items, and finalizing an order should be effortless. This will mean using high-quality images and detailed descriptions. Your layout will need to be easy to navigate too.
  • Customization options. You should give customers a way to personalize their order. For food, adding the option to include toppings or extras, and allowing for special instructions, should be available.
  • Multiple payment options. Of course, your site should support different payment methods – as many as you can include. This removes a key barrier for completing a purchase in the eyes of the customer.
  • Order updates. Don’t underestimate notifications about orders. Customers rely on these to understand what they’ve bought, and its current status. As such, they can provide transparency and increase customer satisfaction.

Because WP Food Manager integrates with Woo, you can also leverage that platform’s analytics too. This can help you find out more about how customers order from you. What’s more, you have all the expandability of WordPress at your disposal.

A food order stored within Woo's WordPress admin panel.

With this in mind, you could add even more functionality to your site. For instance, you could implement loyalty points using a plugin such as MyRewards.

How to Customize Your Online Restaurant Ordering System with WP Food Manager

This part of the article will get down to business! We’re going to assume that you already have a premium version of WP Food Manager, including the Online Orders add-on. Of course, they will also need you to install and activate them as you typically would with any other WordPress plugin.

From there, you can begin to customize your online restaurant ordering system. You’ll likely already have a menu in place that also matches your visual branding – our review of the plugin walks you through this. What’s more, once you install the add-on, all of the functionality you need will be ready to use. All you’ll need to do is begin customizing the experience.

The best place to start is with your menu. We recommend fill out as many fields as possible, especially the taxonomies, ingredients, nutritional values, and type:

A food item from a front end menu showing the Add to Cart button and the Cart floating icon on the right hand side.

While you’re in the Edit Food screen, check to see whether you can offer any toppings or extras for your dish. This is a great way for the customer to tweak their order before they check out:

The Food Data metabox on the WP Food Manager back end.

Away from the edit screens, the WP Food Manager > Settings page gives you all of the customization options you’ll need to tailor your UX and UI:

The WP Food Manager Settings page.

For instance, one option from the General tab lets you either show an Out of Stock message, or hide the item on the menu. Either of these options could fit your needs. The same goes for the choices on the Food Listings screen:

The Food Listings page within the WP Food Manager settings.

In short, the options here let customers multi-select the various categories, types, and menus you have. We like this, because a greater choice on offer means the likelihood of an order increases. However, there are many more options that the WP Food Manager documentation covers.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Before we conclude the post, you may have a few extra questions about how to customize your online restaurant ordering system. The answers to some typical questions are here. However, if you have your own question, feel free to pop it in the comments section at the end of the post.

1. Which WP Food Manager Plan Includes the Online Order Add-On?

WP Food Manager’s pricing includes three bundle tiers that combine various plugins and add-ons with the core functionality. To purchase the Online Order add-on, you’ll need WP Food Manager Pro.

2. What Does WP Food Manager Include to Help Me Run an Online Ordering System?

The core WP Food Manager plugin is the best way to create gorgeous and interactive menus. However, with the premium Online Order add-on, you get even more functionality. It lets customers place orders through a dedicated page, add toppings or extras to their food, and more. You even get a customizable Add to Cart widget so customers can order wherever they are on site.

3. Can I Use My Favorite Page Builder Plugin to Customize My Online Ordering System?

You can! WP Food Manager integrates with one of the most popular page builders around – Elementor. Of course, the native WordPress Block Editor has full support too!

Our Final Thoughts

Woo is the number one way to sell through your WordPress website. WP Food Manager is also a fantastic way of creating menus for your site. This is the WordPress equivalent of combining the right red wine with a tasty cheese! Even better, WP Food Manager’s Online Order add-on lets you link up with Woo to set up online ordering, create order pages, send updates and confirmations to customers, and more.

Together, you can leverage what Woo offers to customize your online restaurant ordering system to your needs. As such, you’ll have a complete online ordering process that works for your business. Even better, a WP Food Manager Pro plan will net you both the core plugin and the Online Order add-on.

Do you have any questions about how to customize your online restaurant ordering system using WP Food Manager? Ask us in the comments section below!

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Tom Rankin

With a discerning eye for detail and a passion for innovation, Tom brings a wealth of knowledge to the table in WordPress products and content creation. His expertise, honed over years of hands-on experience, has solidified his reputation as a leading figure in the WordPress ecosystem.

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