View Full Version : Building Online Restaurant Ordering

03-26-2012, 02:32 AM
I was wondering what skills and technologies I would need to build an online ordering system for a restaurant.
I would prefer a way to do this with a Joomla CMS, perhaps integrate a shopping cart that is compatible and then the touches to make it a viable online ordering system.

Could it be that I would need to just send a fax or phone text after the client hits ORDER NOW on the shopping cart? Or would I have to generate schema for POS systems etc.

I am a web developer who tried to Google the question but kept coming up with paid services rather then how tos.


03-26-2012, 03:08 AM
I'm not the most experienced or knowledgeable person but I would think you would need at least some PHP and SQL (server-side coding) in order to do this. This is assuming that you would want to be able to actually bill the customer online. If you didn't have that feature then you'd be taking a risk that people would order something and either not actually pay for it or not actually be there when it was delivered.

That's for the basics. There are probably paid services but I can't comment on those. Just Google "e commerce tutorial" and you should get some good tutorials. Here's a start:

Good luck.

03-26-2012, 11:22 AM
Hi, thanks for responding.
I have some experience with databases and PHP, but I think mainly my question is not about payment gateways but more about "how the order gets translated". Response code that sets off a FAX in the restaurant, text message to the owner or chef, etc. I think payment is handled the way they usually are for any online business, but the actual interaction between the website and the restaurant is what I am focusing on.

I looked into Joomla extensions, but the closest thing they have to online ordering is a online menu, which is nowhere near what I am looking for, so I assume I must create the system myself, which may be more then I bargained for.

03-26-2012, 11:40 AM
Most e-Commerce plugins allow you to generate an email to the "shop owner" when an order is placed - would that work for you?

03-26-2012, 12:42 PM
If I could have that email translate into a printed "order" yes that would work.
Is that possible ?

03-26-2012, 04:09 PM
Well, the "standard" email from an e-commerce system tends to be a plain text listing of products and prices. You can (usually) amend the layout of the email - so depends on whether that meets your need for a printed copy.

I'd have thought that's a far simpler solution than trying to set up a text gateway....

03-26-2012, 09:50 PM
That seems fine to receive an email, is there a way that it can get printed out immediately on a system remotely? How would that be done, other then the obvious, make sure a computer and printer are on... what would trigger the print?

03-27-2012, 05:47 PM
That would have to be part of the mail client receiving the mail.

Pretty sure Outlook will do this and there's a Thunderbird Add-On as well - you'd need to look at what's available for your mail client. If you're using mail online that might be a bit more tricky, but still possible.

03-28-2012, 08:07 AM
If the host is windows, you could maybe use http://php.net/manual/en/book.printer.php

03-28-2012, 08:10 AM
Another way would be to have an ajax query to the database to check for new orders every so often, when a new order is found, load a php page with the javascript window.print for an example

03-31-2012, 04:54 AM
It seems Ajax would be the way to go since I searched my hosts php.ini file for any reference to printer.. did not have any :(


05-26-2012, 12:33 AM
I'm in the restaurant biz, we create an online ordering system, Im very interested in your feedback to improve the system and what do you think about this option for my restaurant,
I use Joomla, check it

05-26-2012, 05:22 AM
Could also (in theory) set up an XMPP solution to have an instant message sent to a screen with the order. Or at least notify the restaurant user that there is a new order in.

06-07-2012, 10:50 PM
We've been doing this for a while so I'll weigh. Faxing is your best way to go. It's the simplest way to get your foot in the door and make the sale. Most restaurants are already accepting orders by fax from what will be your largest competitors (think GrubHub, Seamless use it) so it's the easiest to start with. Then, if you become huge you can look at trying to get into their actual POS.

Small note: there are a couple of diff. fax API's to choose from an each has its upside. We used Phaxio (http://phaxio.com) because of the REST API, and it works great. We also looked at efax (SOAP) and interfax (SOAP).