I’m a fan of the plugins developed by Barn2Media. This is the company that makes the plugins that allow you to turn a WooCommerce store into a fully functional wholesale ordering platform. So when they recently released a new plugin in response to the Covid19 pandemic specifically for restaurant ordering, I was intrigued. I’ve had several restaurant customers who have recently gone to online ordering with takeout and curbside pickup as their only options for keeping the business afloat during these times, so I had to take a look.

Installing the Woocommerce Restaurant Ordering plugin is simple and straight forward. In fact, the only thing you really need to do after you’ve entered your products is to tell the plugin what category or categories are to be used for displaying on your menu. It builds the page for you, which you can add to your navigation on your site and you are ready to go. Here is an example of what this looks like to the customer.

All the customer has to do is click on the + sign to add an item to their order, which is displayed in the sidebar. If you decide you don’t want something, just click on the X to remove it. You’ll notice that there are some prices the say, for example, $3.99+. this indicates that it is a variable product with options. In this case, when you click on the + sign, a lightbox pops up allowing you to choose your options.

When you go to checkout, you are given a choice of pickup or delivery. As the site administrator, you can include pricing for this if desired.

Now as the restaurant owner, the biggest downside that I see is that when people are ordering takeout, it is during the time that you are busy and probably not checking your email to see if you got a new order. This is especially bad if someone is expecting their food right away. So, I recommend adding another plugin to get SMS text message notifications on your phone when a new order comes in. That way you can get a notification on your phone whenever a new order is placed and you can have it ready when the customer arrives.

But as I was evaluating this plugin, my first thought was, why is this limited to restaurants?

There are lots of businesses that are providing curbside pickup and local delivery. I don’t see anything about this plugin, other than the name, that would limit this to restaurants. I could see lots of different types of businesses benefiting from this simplified order form, such as a hardware store selling fencing materials and the customer swinging by to pickup their order. So ,I went into the settings and changed the name of my page from “Restaurant ordering” to “Online Ordering” and the category of my test site to “Fencing.”

On the front end, the order form now looks like this:

It turns out that that this simplified ordering form, along with local pickup and delivery can be used by anyone wishing to provide this capability to their customers. It actually makes the entire ordering process easier than going from one product to another to add them to your shopping cart. This may not be applicable to every type of product where you need to provide detailed specifications and sales videos to get customers to purchase, but it is an excellent alternative interface with lots of applications.

WooCommerce is the most flexible shopping cart software in the market and can be used not just for retail sales, wholesale sales, and now restaurant sales, but for any number of revenue generating business models. Whether you are a coach, craftsman, teacher, consultant, contractor, practitioner, retailer, or wholesaler; whether you offer physical products, digital products, or services, you too can create a website that goes beyond being a digital brochure. If you are interested in creating a website that generates real revenue, be sure to get on the wait list for my new online course starting on September 9. Now is the best time ever to start or expand your ecommerce business and this course will teach you how. We will cover all of these topics including this new Woocommerce Restaurant Ordering plugin. As this is a live online course, class sizes are limited, to get on the wait list now!

Disclosure: I may receive a small commission if you purchase this plugin through the link provided. Please note however that I would not recommend this if I had not tried it myself and believe in its usefulness. WebStores Ltd would be happy to help you set up your own online ordering system for your restaurant – give us a call at 303-688-6560 or send us a message on the contact page.