Complete Guide to Order Management Systems for Restaurants

Complete Guide to Order Management Systems for Restaurants

Hospitality venues are forced to handle orders coming in from many sources. If your venue has expanded its offerings to take orders for takeaway or home delivery, it can be difficult to manage all these various channels at the same time.

That's where order management systems come in. These systems allow you to take orders and track their progress in a centralised location. They can integrate with various parts of your restaurant, from inventory management to kitchen display systems.

A great order management system (OMS) will enable your venue to process a range of orders and get your customers served with ease. In our complete guide, we'll analyse all the critical aspects of an OMS, and how to implement the perfect solution for your venue.

What is an order management system for restaurants?

An order management system is a system that takes and tracks orders customers make. It's a pivotal tool for restaurant managers and customers alike, enabling the smooth function of the ordering process from placement to tracking to inventory management.

In a traditional restaurant setting, order management could be as simple as a waiter taking an order, giving a paper ticket to the kitchen and delivering the food when it's ready.

However, modern innovations have necessitated a different approach. Restaurants now need to cater for online orders for delivery or takeaway, as well as at-table online ordering.

As such, your OMS must be able to house orders taken by various means and create a single reference point for your entire staff to use.

Depending on the specifics of your business, an OMS could take various forms. One of the best ways to utilise an OMS in your restaurant is by using a table management system.

Table management systems include functionality and integrations including POS systems, inventory tracking and more. By utilising these various features, you can create your very own OMS. This enables staff to view all pending orders in a single centralised system.

Alternatively, there are various programs designed specifically to function as restaurant order management systems.

Elements of an order management system for restaurants

Order management systems come in many forms. Whatever route your venue chooses to take when it comes to order management, here are the key stepping stones you will need to account for.


This is the process by which customers can place their orders. If your venue is involved in a partnership with a delivery app, often this process is simply handled for you.

Other examples of order placements include at-table ordering. For a comprehensive order management solution, it's ideal to consider orders placed in the traditional manner of speaking to a waiter, as well. This can generally be easily accomplished by integrating your POS system into your OMS.

Customers can even place orders before setting foot in your venue with pre-ordering. For instance, ResDiary's Pre-Order feature allows customers to place orders as a part of the booking process.


With the potential for orders to come in from so many different sources, keeping track of your orders can require some technological assistance.

Order management systems enable your staff to access a single source of all orders, no matter how they have been placed.

The tracking process also benefits consumers. If you are using popular delivery apps or your own proprietary one, customers enjoy having the ability to track their orders from cooking to delivery.


Once an order has been placed, this must be communicated to employees in the kitchen. This is traditionally done with the use of paper tickets.

However, recent innovations like kitchen display systems can automate this process, allowing for smoother operation.

If your restaurant offers delivery, the communication process may also involve digitally notifying drivers that orders are ready to be collected and delivered.

Menu management

Menu management is the process of maintaining and updating your menu on the various channels in which customers can place orders.

When serving customers in-house, it can be simple to update them on changes to the menu during service. This can range from chef's specials to particular dishes becoming unavailable.

However, when it comes to online orders being placed, menu management can become far more difficult. It's necessary to have an OMS in place that enables real-time updates to be made to your menu.

This ensures customers do not face disappointment when placing orders that cannot be fulfilled.

Inventory management

Another important function of order management systems for restaurants is inventory management.

Integrating inventory and menu management can be a highly effective way to automate order management. Items ordered from the menu can automatically be reflected in your venue's inventory management, enabling your online menus to be updated with little oversight.

Inventory management capabilities also help to produce useful data regarding the demand for certain ingredients. This data can be used to save money by reducing waste and identifying opportunities to purchase in bulk.

What are the benefits of an order management system in your restaurant?

Taking the steps to implement a comprehensive OMS in your restaurant takes some effort on the part of restaurant owners and managers. So what are the advantages of order management systems, and why should you consider using one in your venue?

Take advantage of ordering methods

Customers increasingly expect to have a range of options when it comes to placing orders at your restaurant. Implementing an OMS ensures you can enjoy all the benefits of online ordering.

These benefits include:

  • Attracting new customers, from people living with disabilities who can't visit your venue, to those who would simply prefer to stay home that night.
  • An increased opportunity to incentivise customers to purchase upsells.
  • Collecting more customer data to be used in your restaurant's marketing efforts.

Smoother service

An OMS is critical for streamlining operations in a restaurant. By taking orders from various channels and allowing your staff to manage them in a single location, you can vastly improve the quality of service in your venue.

This smooth process makes handling any issues that arise much easier. It also reduces stress on your staff, allowing them to spend more time attending to customers and ensuring they are satisfied.

Shorter wait times

One of the most significant upshots of smoother service is shorter wait times for customers. It seems like customers are more time-poor than ever, and research shows short wait times are of great importance to customers.

With a streamlined order management process, you can swiftly satisfy the orders of customers, no matter how they place them. When customers know they won't be kept waiting for their meals, they will be happy to return to your venue.

What makes a good restaurant order management system?

There's no doubt that implementing an OMS in some form is an important step for your hospitality venue. When deciding on the right solution for you, here are a few of the most pivotal factors to consider.


A critical element of an OMS is successfully managing orders coming from all sources. Therefore, the ideal OMS for your venue must be able to comprehensively accept orders from these various channels.

That includes any third-party apps used to make orders for delivery or takeaway, as well as any internal systems you are using. The system must also be comprehensive in the sense of handling all stages of the ordering process, from placement to inventory management.

Easy to use

Turnover rates are high in hospitality. You don't want to go through a laborious process every time you train a new hire to use your OMS.

Your OMS should be as simple for members of staff to pick up as possible. This reduces the chances of complications arising during its usage. There's no reason to implement an OMS in your restaurant if it doesn't make your operations run more smoothly.


Growth is a key goal for hospitality venues. This is why scalable solutions are essential in your venue. You want to be able to stick with the same OMS even as your restaurant experiences exponential growth.

A scalable OMS should also allow for additional integrations as the need arises. In this area, utilising a TMS as part of your order management can be extremely useful.

Your TMS might even add new integrations that can add to the functionality of your order management. A scalable solution ensures you are never trapped in the past, and can always make the necessary adaptations.

Elevate your restaurant with ResDiary

The ResDiary table management software is an excellent tool for order management. It has functions and integrations allowing you to enjoy all the benefits of order management within the same tool you use for your bookings.

Whether you're taking advantage of Pre-Orders to take the stress out of large party bookings, or utilising Promotions for takeaway or delivery, ResDiary makes it easy to see all your orders in a single location.

ResDiary also boasts integrations including a range of EPOS systems and inventory management through partners like Square.

Book a demo today and discover how ResDiary can simplify your order management process.