Manage your homemade food business' orders

Castiron is a software platform purpose-built to help independent food artisans start, build, and grow their businesses.

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Castiron is 100% free for artisans to use. We know how important a professional digital presence is, which is why our platform is free forever. And because we know you’re wondering, we make money when you make money, applying a small transaction fee that’s paid at checkout.

What we do for you

We’ve tailored Castiron to fit the needs of kitchen-based creators who are selling their products to family, friends, and followers through word-of-mouth and social media. After a super fast setup (if you can create a social media profile, you can set up a Castiron shop!), you’ll have a single place to sell, manage orders, and communicate with customers.

Build a Customized Shop

No code required. Add products, upload your logo, share your story, and link to your social profiles from your flexible store.

Make Buying Painless

Never track down a payment or oversell products again. Real-time inventory tracking and secure payment processing make life easier for you and your customers.

Promote Without the Effort

With our magical marketing tools, email and social media marketing are on autopilot. We make it easy to promote your latest products and deals.

Food Order Management Software

For a modern restaurant to survive, it needs access to online orders. Online food ordering software is what makes that possible, and there are countless forms of this technology. There are online ordering systems for businesses of all sizes. There are platforms that focus on helping you build your own website, packages built around delivery and countless other options. You can find many examples on the food-ordering system GitHub.

There are three things that matter most when considering your software options. The first is the POS. A point of sale system allows you to conduct transactions on the premises of your restaurant. It can also be adapted to provide a restaurant POS with online ordering. This combination gives you access to all kinds of orders and expands your business capabilities.

The second thing you need from software is online organization. Your online ordering aggregator helps to manage orders that come through that resource, which keeps you on track and fulfilling requests properly.

Finally, you need a system that provides a good customer experience. A web based food ordering system has to be accessible, easy to use and reliable. These are the primary concerns when you shop for a system that can help you manage a restaurant.

Delivery Management Software

Modern customers expect food delivery to be part of the deal. Delivery platforms provide you with many ways to live up to this expectation.

Online food delivery software typically partners with existing delivery services to pair your restaurant with someone who can handle delivery. These are providers like Ubereats or DoorDash.

Online food delivery software can also help you build your own in-house delivery service. This enables you to keep up with requests and manage your own method of getting food to customers.

In all, a food delivery management system should provide you with the means to interact with customers, receive orders (and payment) and fulfill the orders. It should also provide proof of delivery — pictures of delivery are a common option.

Food delivery software for small business will cater to smaller budgets. There are free platforms as well as paid services. Payment is often per order (usually a fraction of a dollar). Some online delivery software will charge a subscription fee and allow a certain number of orders to be fulfilled without a per-transaction commission.

Ultimately, you can find a food delivery app for small business that suits your operation and helps you keep up with modern trends and demands.

Free Food Delivery App

One thing that can help any food entrepreneur is access to delivery apps and services. A lot of software has flooded the market since app-based food delivery became popular a few years ago, and there are many free options that can work for small business ventures. As a business grows to enterprise scales, a paid service is going to become an inevitable necessity.

For any free food delivery software for small business, you want to look for a few features. The first is scalability. Almost all free online food ordering systems have a cap on how much food a business can deliver before they are charged a fee. When your business is just getting off the ground, you can likely stay below that threshold.

You also want to consider how delivery is tracked and guaranteed as well as how it might integrate with other software you use.

Two strong examples can show you how free delivery apps work. The first is Shipday. Shipday charges businesses nothing at all for the first 300 orders each month. Once you go beyond 300, there is per-order pricing. Even then, the pricing is competitive. Shipday is open software which means you can adapt it as you see fit. It is designed to integrate with Toast, and it has a feature that allows the delivery providers to show photo proof that the food arrived at its destination.

Zippykind is another great example. It is free for up to 50 deliveries a month. The premiums beyond that level are very low compared to most of the market. Zippykind includes real-time driver tracking and supports two-way texting so that customers and your business can stay in touch until the transaction is fulfilled.

Free Online Ordering System for a Business

Outside of delivery, there are free software resources that specifically help with point of sale (POS) transactions. These enable people to make direct purchases at your restaurant (or kitchen or otherwise). They also allow for online transactions, and many of them integrate with delivery services.

There are three online ordering systems for free that are worth noting. First is GloriaFood. This is a cloud-based system that handles POS orders. The platform can also manage pickup, delivery and dine-in orders. It allows you to create custom digital menus, add your own images and handle pricing details. It integrates with social media and is available on Android and iOS. The base package is free, and add-on services start at $9 a month.

Another free online ordering system for restaurants is Shift4Shop. Like the previous entry, this system is cloud-based. It allows you to create and track food orders and invoices. It has shipping and payment options, and you can build your restaurant website from scratch using Shift4Shop tools. There are free resources, and you can add to them for $29 a month.

Our third free online ordering system for small business is Square for Restaurants. Square is a big name in the world of small business transaction systems, and it’s going to come up again below. Square for Restaurants is a cloud-based resource designed for restaurants to handle POS transactions and food delivery. There are tons of features for managing your business via the Square dashboard. It integrates with common apps. Beyond the free services, monthly plans start at $60.

Square Delivery

Square Delivery is run through Square Online. This is another in the large suite of available Square services, and this one, in particular, handles the courier part of small business operations. It partners with local delivery services, like Uber or DoorDash.

Square mobile ordering allows you to combine POS services with delivery integration, and together, they help you manage deliveries, tracking, pricing and fulfillment. The Square online subscription also gets you a delivery discount for things run through the service. Square UberEats integration gives your restaurant free delivery for orders over $50. Otherwise, there is a flat fee of $1.50 on each order.

Obviously, any Square food order integrates with other Square resources like Square for Restaurants. Together, these services allow you to tap into existing platforms and delivery service markets in your area with no leg work. You just sign up and get access. All you have to worry about is making and selling your food.

Multi Restaurant Delivery Software

For businesses with multiple locations, a different level of electronic assistance is necessary. You can find a multi-vendor food ordering system WordPress managed or otherwise. With these three examples, you can see competitive and different approaches to taking care of delivery. Some partner you with delivery services. Others help you build your own.

Yo!Yumm is the first on the list. This is a scalable, customizable platform that works nationwide. It is designed for fast and easy launch. It’s great for new and existing businesses with flexible payment options. The idea is that Yo!Yumm allows you to create your own ordering service from scratch. You can cut out the middleman food delivery businesses and improve your bottom line.

Another app that can help multi-vendor restaurants is NoshWay. This app is designed to help you manage orders, menus deliveries and reservations, all from a single platform. The software can handle multiple locations, and it sets you up with contactless delivery options.

UpMenu is another form of multi-restaurant delivery software. This one handles ordering management and customer experience. It’s designed to help you set up an in-house delivery system, or it can pair you with an existing delivery service to make things easy.

Best Online Ordering System for Restaurants

If you want access to online sales, you need an online ordering system for your restaurant. They come in many shapes and sizes. Among the competition, there are three that stand out as some of the most powerful, easy-to-use and worthwhile platforms for small restaurants.

It’s hard to say which is the absolute best open source restaurant management system, but Toast is quite competitive. Toast is an online ordering system, open source and widely available. It uses Toast POS and, because it is an open source food ordering system, integrates with a number of other prominent apps (some listed in the sections above). It is designed for a seamless digital ordering experience. It tries to simplify design and focus all energy on a great user experience. Though it is online food ordering software that is open source, it comes with a monthly subscription fee.

BentoBox is another great system. This is a full eCommerce platform. It includes everything from online ordering to event management. It lets you control order management with easy automated features through your website. There are no commissions, only a small monthly fee.

ChowNow is the other great competitor. Another resource with no commissions, this one is designed to make things as easy as possible for you. It’s more of a hands-on, manage the experience for you, kind of service. ChowNow gives you access to online ordering, but things run through their website and system. While your name will appear on their list of available food vendors, you can’t upload your own images or even a logo. It’s simple, but simplicity comes with limitations in freedom and creativity in this case. That said, it’s one of the most competitive online ordering systems in the industry.

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