Online ordering systems: what are the advantages of using one?

September 4, 2020

Implementing an online ordering system - sometimes called virtual ordering or contactless table ordering - is one of the best ways to turn a website into a customer acquisition channel.

By setting up your own e-commerce shop, you can start taking online orders. You've then opened up a new channel to cater to new and repeat customers!

An online ordering solution can be used to take orders, but it can also be used to order food in-person to make the ordering process more efficient. If your in-store point of sale/POS system is slow and inefficient, an online ordering platform is a great alternative.

Set-up an online ordering system with Pomelo Pay

Table of contents

  1. What is an online ordering system?
  2. How do online ordering systems work?
  3. What are the advantages of ordering online?
  4. How to get started with Pomelo Pay’s online ordering system
  5. Why pick Pomelo Pay’s online ordering system?
  6. How can I improve my online ordering system?

What is an online ordering system?

With online ordering software you can put in place a system that will allow your restaurant or cafe to take orders and accept payments from a distance - both online and in-person.

With this system, customers simply access a menu through mobile ordering. This can either be done by scanning a QR code, or entering a link into the search bar.

Once your customer makes their selection, they submit their order and pay all in one go. Once the order is received on the restaurant’s end, all that’s left is for the order to be taken to the customer’s table or packaged ready for delivery.

This drastically speeds up the whole online ordering process. Everything takes place through a smartphone, instead of constant back and forth with staff.

Learn how to build your own online menu with Pomelo Pay’s Menu Maker

How do online ordering systems work?

Online ordering systems operate similarly to an online takeaway. Your customer orders online, completes their payment and can then get their food delivered or pick it up at your store. The ordering process is easy:

  1. Your customer browses your online menu on their laptop or mobile phone. They can do this in front of your store (also called click and collect) or at home.
  2. They pick what they want to order, and add any delivery or meal instructions.
  3. They pay directly through the system by filling in their card details. You can also choose to send them a payment link if you are taking the order over the phone.
  4. The payment is processed securely and no payment details are stored on any device.
  5. Your customer's order is delivered to their house or they can pick it up at a specific time.

Simple, straightforward and contact-free!

Learn more: how to get started with click and collect

pomelo pay online ordering system

What are the advantages of ordering online?

1. Safer and healthier

To re-open, food businesses need to set-up a shop to meet UK government health and safety regulations. Owners must maintain social distancing, use contactless ordering/payment methods and ensure surfaces are cleaned regularly.

Even if you manage a small shop, social distancing doesn’t have to be stressful. Moving to an online ordering website for businesses means new customers walking in can order and pay from outside the shop or from a table inside. Maintaining safe distances is simple.

Get started: try Pomelo Pay for free!

2. Less room for error

One of the advantages of online food ordering for customers is that it ensures prices are accurate and there’s less room for error when it’s time to settle the bill.

That’s because customers need to physically pick an item on a menu with a corresponding price, ensuring the correct amount will always be paid.

This has some benefits for your business. There’s less chance of incorrect charging, less time wasted sorting out mistakes and fewer free products handed out to appease customers!

3. More customers

As social distancing continues, online ordering and payments are becoming more accepted and expected. If your menu and payment system is hassle-free your regular customers will be recommending you to their friends, and sharing on social media.

You can increase your customers, and your profit, simply by offering a seamless customer experience that sends orders to your back-end team in real-time.

4. Increased customer loyalty

Customers will choose your shop over a competitor’s if you give them a reason to keep coming back. Great products may be that reason, but you can also encourage their loyalty with a reward programme on your ordering app.

According to a recent study, a personalised digital experience is also a good way to encourage customers to keep coming back. Out of 1000 customers surveyed, 50% said they would switch brands that give them a poor online experience, whilst 73% expected online personalisation.

With a restaurant online ordering system you can send personalised offers, request reviews to boost your ratings and receive feedback about your service.

5. Higher customer spend

We know that a larger number of customers are now engaging with digital products and services than ever before.

Order values increase when customers order online. That’s because studying an online menu is different to standing in a queue.

Customers have more time to make an informed decision. Those with food intolerances can clearly read all the information necessary and take their time.

Read more: QR Code Payments: What They are and How to Get Started

6. Highly customisable

Menu apps are highly customisable so you can easily promote your logo, brand colours or other features that make your business unique. Plus if you want to delete or add an item to the menu all you have to do is log in, make your changes and it’s done!

customise online menu pomelo pay
Easily customise your online ordering system with Pomelo Shop 

7. Reduced costs

With a card terminal you’re looking at a number of accompanying fees that can seriously reduce your bottom line. An ordering system for small businesses is a lot cheaper because it’s all digital, and in many cases the only cost is a small processing fee on transactions.

Set-up your own online ordering system with Pomelo Pay for free

How to get started with Pomelo Pay’s online ordering system

What’s the best way to move forward when picking an online ordering system? Most solutions involve website builders, which are often too complicated and too expensive.

With Pomelo Pay, you can create your very own online store for free. This feature has great functionality and allows customers to view your online menu through a QR code or link, as well as order and pay for items - just like a normal website!

Here’s how to get started with Pomelo Pay’s online ordering system:

  1. Open the Pomelo app or Dashboard.
  2. Click on My Shops and then Create New Shop.
  3. Add your shop name.
create new shop pomelo pay

4. You’ll then be able to add products, along with their names, prices, descriptions and categories.

delicious coffee pomelo pay

5. Once you’ve added a photo, you can save your product to your library.

6. You're now ready. You’ve got your first product in your online shop!

7. You can share your shop by clicking on Share Your Shop on the top right corner, where you can share it via QR code or through a link.

8. When a customer accesses your shop through a QR code or link, they’ll be able to see all your products on one screen, pick what they want to order and then pay online.

9. You’ll be able to see all your orders come in through the Order section and fulfill them as they come through.

10. Each payment will be deposited within one working day into your bank account.

Get started with Pomelo Pay’s online ordering system

Why pick Pomelo Pay’s online ordering system?

Easy to use

Pomelo Pay’s mobile app is incredibly easy to use and works with both Android and iOS. You can upload products from your laptop or phone, and the intuitive design makes it easy to manage your online shop. You can add an image, description, pricing and easily edit products as your shop grows over time.


You get to add your own logo, branding and colour so your shop stands out and aligns with the rest of your business. Whether you're a coffee shop or restaurant owner, you can create an order management system that slots in seamlessly with your brand.


Setting up an online shop with Pomelo Pay is free. Forget about monthly contracts or high fees. With our ePOS, all you need to pay is a 1.49% payment processing fee per transaction.

25+ payment options

Signing up to Pomelo Pay enables you to accept over 25 of the most popular payment providers immediately.

Offer itemised billing

You can also charge your customers for specific items by sending them an itemised bill. This makes it very useful if you’re taking a payment over the phone for food delivery or taking an order at the table.

Want to see a Pomelo Pay shop live? Check out Beefcakes, a pen and paper shop based in London.

beefcakes pomelo pay online ordering system

Businesses around the UK have been using Pomelo Pay’s online shop and restaurant management and are incredibly happy with the results.

Tom, a street food vendor based in Kingston, uses Pomelo Pay’s online menu to accept both in-person and online orders. Thanks to his all-in-one customisable menu, he can take quick orders in-person, as well as large online orders.

Ever since getting started with Pomelo Pay, his revenue has grown substantially.

Read the case study: how a street food vendor increased business revenue by 10%.

How can I improve my online ordering system?

There are quite a few ways you can improve your online ordering system and increase the number of online orders. Here are some strategies:

  1. Let customers you see in-person know that you have an online ordering system.
  2. Run and send exclusive offers to those who order online.
  3. Promote your ordering system on social media.
  4. Offer click and collect.
  5. Ask for feedback so you know what to improve.
  6. Provide free delivery for orders over a certain amount.
  7. Allow customers to checkout as guests so they don't need to sign up.

Read more on how to get started with pre-orders

A free online food ordering system like Pomelo Pay works as your one-stop solution to start accepting online orders, which will help you beat your competition.

Forget about complex and expensive website builders - we do all the heavy lifting for you. Most importantly, it’s free, you won’t lose anything by just testing it out!