Ritual ONE vs Chownow vs Toast - What is the best online ordering system for restaurants in North America?

As a restaurant owner, you have several options when it comes to selecting an online ordering system. In this article, we are hoping to provide clarity on the features and limitations of each of the three primary players operating in the space. The objective is to enable restaurant owners to make informed decisions about their business when it comes to signing up for an online ordering system. We highly recommend restaurant owners reading this article, examine the details below thoroughly. 

Toast

Toast is a company known for offering restaurants a point of sale system. Recently, the company rolled out a new digital ordering solution that enables restaurants to accept online orders across any device. There are three monthly subscription plans for their digital ordering solutions that vary from a basic online ordering product which costs $50/month (USD) to a more ‘comprehensive’ online ordering solution which costs $150/month (USD). However, there is no initial setup fee. 

Toast Now (Basic Tier)

Cost = $50/month (USD)

As part of this basic plan, Toast offers only three primary features to restaurants. 

  1. Online Ordering System for Restaurants - The system allows restaurants to increase their sales by enabling customers to order online through the restaurant’s website. The orders can be placed commission free. 

  2. Toast Takeout  - Restaurants have the ability to list themselves on the Toast app which gives access to thousands of potential customers in the area. 

  3. In-house Delivery - Restaurants have the ability to conduct deliveries using their own delivery drivers. 

Toast Now Plus (Mid Tier)

Cost = $75/month (USD)

As part of this mid tier plan, Toast offers the three features mentioned above in the Basic Tier plus just one additional feature. 

  1. E-gift cards - Restaurants can offer gift cards which can be purchased by their customers. 

Toast Now Premium (Top Tier)

Cost = $150/month (USD)

As part of this top tier plan, Toast offers the four features mentioned above in the Basic Tier & Mid Tier plans plus 1 additional feature. 

  1. Email Marketing - Restaurants can integrate marketing email campaigns to help them stay connected with their customers. 

Overall, while Toast does offer an online ordering platform for restaurants, this is not their primary business. The company’s primary business is related to their point of sale restaurant system. The online ordering plans mentioned above are generally independent of the costs associated with the point of sale system. 

Who is this suited for?

If you are a restaurant owner with needs that are extremely basic when it comes to an online ordering platform and you’ve partnered with Toast already for their point of sales system, the plans mentioned above might make sense for you. However, you will not be able to do any of the following:

  1. As a restaurant owner, you will not be able to customize your online ordering website to align with your own branding with no charge. Instead, you may likely end up with a templated website like every other restaurant.

  2. As a restaurant owner, you will not be able to integrate into a third party, on-demand delivery network at no charge. Toasts does offer this as an optional add-on which will cost you far more. 

  3. As a restaurant owner, you will not be able to offer a loyalty program to your customers to retain them and get them to reorder. Toast does not mention they have a loyalty program when it comes to their digital ordering solutions plans. However, they do offer this as part of their POS plans which cost more than their digital ordering solutions plans. 

  4. As a restaurant owner, you will not be able to integrate with other point of sales systems outside of the Toast POS. This means, if you’re working with a different point of sales system, you may have to either a) change your POS provider which means additional costs and effort or b) accept orders separately. 

ChowNow

Chownow is a company primarily known for their online ordering system which is built for restaurants. Chownow integrates directly on a restaurants’ websites to offer customers the ability to place their orders online for pickup and delivery. Chownow offers three plans for their digital ordering solution which are based on different commitment lengths, rather than different features like Toast above. 

The plans all have high priced initial setup fees which can be costly for restaurants. The Monthly Plan costs approximately $149/month (USD) with an initial setup of $399 (USD). Their most popular plan is the Annual Plan $119/month (USD) with an initial setup fee $199 (USD) per location. The last plan is the Two-Year Plan which costs $99/month (USD) with an initial setup fee of $199 (USD) per location. It should be noted that Annual Plan and Two-Year Plan require a full upfront payment which can be extremely expensive for restaurant owners. For example, a quick calculation suggests that the upfront cost before taxes for a Two-Year Plan is approximately $2,400 (USD) + initial setup fee of $199 (USD) per location. This means that a restaurant owner with one location will need to pay over $2,600 (USD) on Day 1 when signing up for the Chownow service. 

The prominent features of the online ordering platform provided by Chownow are as follows:

  1. Chownow Wi-Fi enabled tablet that enables you to accept orders in your kitchen to prepare for your customers. 

  2. Online Ordering System allows restaurants to increase their sales by enabling customers to order online through the restaurant’s website. The orders can be placed commission free. 

  3. Chownow Dashboard that restaurants can use to understand their sales and most popular items. 

Who is this suited for?

Restaurants that are looking for a simple, straightforward solution with limited features and have plenty to spend out of pocket would consider Chownow as an option. The company takes pride in providing dedicated resources to help grow sales, but their online solution is quite basic. The platform is on the expensive side relative to industry standards.

There are several limitations of this platform that are highlighted below:

  1. As a restaurant owner, you will not be able to customize your online ordering website to align with your own branding with no charge. Instead, you may likely end up with a templated website like every other restaurant.

  2. As a restaurant owner, you will not be able to offer a loyalty program to your customers to retain them and get them to reorder. 

  3. As a restaurant owner, you will not be able to integrate with any point of sales systems. Chownow does partner with third parties that can do this for you, but there is a significant add-on charge for these additional services. 

Ritual ONE

Ritual ONE is a newly released online ordering platform for restaurants that allows customers to accept orders directly from their own website. The product offers the most competitive, affordable pricing to restaurants relative to other players in the industry. There are three primary plans which are distinguished by term commitment rather than features. The Monthly Plan costs approximately $49/month (USD) with no initial setup fee. The Annual Plan costs $39/month (USD) with no initial setup fee. This plan requires all payments to be upfront for the year. The Two-Year plan costs approximately $29/month (USD) with no initial setup fee. This plan requires all payments to be upfront for the year. There is also a 30-day free trial that comes with each of these plans. 

The features for Ritual ONE are the same for all of the plans mentioned above and have been listed below. 

  1. Online Ordering System allows restaurants to increase their sales by enabling customers to order online through the restaurant’s website. The orders can be accepted for commission free for life. 

  2. Integration with multiple POS systems for no additional monthly cost - Ritual has partnered with several point of sale systems like Square to help integrate their menu and operations directly into Ritual ONE. This enables a seamless experience for restaurant owners. 

  3. Integration with third party, on-demand delivery networks for no additional monthly cost - Ritual has partnered with third party delivery networks like DoorDash to provide restaurants an option for on-demand delivery. Restaurant owners will be responsible for managing the operations and any fees charged by third party delivery companies. However, Ritual will not be charging any fees for the integration - this will come standard. 

  4. Customizability of the Ritual ONE ordering platform - Restaurant owners will have the ability to customize their digital solution to match the branding of their own restaurant. This is the only platform that offers this feature. This gives restaurant o

  5. Integration with the Ritual’s Loyalty program at no additional monthly cost - Restaurant owners will be able to offer their customers custom loyalty programs to help retain business and encourage repeat orders. 

  6. Email Marketing at no additional cost - Restaurants will be enrolled into all of Ritual’s email marketing and push notification efforts to help grow sales. 

  7. Table Ordering at no additional cost - Restaurants will be able to offer contactless table ordering to their customers. Customers have the ability to place orders without touching the menu when seated in the restaurant.  

  8. Social Ordering at no additional cost - Ritual integrates with social platforms like Instagram to allow customers to order directly from the social platform. This allows for a a convenient experience for customers. 

  9. Access to the Ritual Marketplace app - Ritual has built a marketplace that has thousands of restaurants and millions of customers on it. Restaurants can attract new customers to their door by listing them themselves on the app. 

Who is this suited for?

Restaurants that are looking for an affordable, but truly comprehensive online ordering platform for their restaurant to grow their sales and business. The cost of this platform is much lower than all other competitors, yet it offers several features the others do not. 

On top of all that, there is a 30 day, risk-free trial available with the platform. If you’d like to sign up please click the link here…..Overall, Ritual ONE is the perfect online ordering solution for all restaurants, bakeries, and small grocers as well.

As shown in the table below, here is a direct comparison of the features and pricing for each of the online ordering platforms for restaurants mentioned above.

Ritual

ChowNow

Toast Now

Ritual

Fees

Subscription

$49/mo (per location)

$149/mo (per location)

$50/mo (per location)

Setup

$0

$399-$499 per location

$0

Transactional Fees

2.8% + .20

2.8% + .10

$3.5% + .15

Functionality

Pickup & Delivery

Yes

Yes

Yes

Web Ordering

Yes

Yes

Yes

Scheduled Orders

Yes

Yes

Yes

Curbside Pickup

Yes

Yes

Yes

Table Ordering

Yes

Yes

Customization

Menu Photos

Yes

Yes

Custom Branding

Yes

Yes

Customer Profiling

Yes

Yes

Upgrade to $150/mo

Digital Loyalty Program

Yes

Automated Marketing

Yes

Yes

Upgrade to $150/mo

Integrations

Instagram Ordering

Yes

Yes

Yes

Google Food Ordering

Yes

Yes

Get more orders with Ritual ONE

Ready to set up online ordering for your business? Have more questions? Request more info and we’d be happy to share how everything works and get you started.

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