If you’re considering integrating a WordPress restaurant menu plugin into your website, this guide will help you make the right decision. However, what if we told you that you may not need a WordPress restaurant menu plugin afterall? With a standalone digital menu platform like Menuzen, all you need to do is embed your menu link into your WordPress web page(s) of choice.
In this post, we’ll examine why Menuzen is a better choice for showcasing your myriad of meal options when compared to a WordPress restaurant menu plugin. We’ll also go over four great restaurant menu plugin options for WordPress.
Menuzen isn’t technically a plugin; it’s more than that. It’s a free menu maker that performs all the functions of a WordPress restaurant menu plugin and even more.
Menuzen’s integration into a WordPress page or post is quite easy. All you have to do is embed your designed menu as a link into your desired WordPress web page(s). Moreover, it’s a menu platform — a fully developed menu solution with a broad range of features.
If you have Menuzen, you have both a plugin and a menu platform. By menu platform, we mean a web app dedicated to restaurant menus only. Plugins lack this characteristic — usually, they’re jumbled with other plugins on the same website or platform.
So, if you have a menu plugin, then it’s just a plugin without a dedicated menu server. We can’t stress this huge difference enough. This is the main reason plugins have very limited features compared to fully developed menu platforms that also offer WordPress restaurant menu templates.
The way you design a menu on Menuzen is the same way it displays on your WordPress and social media pages. Whenever you want to make changes, you can just go to Menuzen and do so, and they reflect anywhere you publish the menu. You may even change designs altogether by browsing through our numerous free menu templates.
Of course, this functionality isn’t limited to menu platforms. Plugins can also give you accounts through which to make changes without logging into WordPress, but not all support this.
With that being said, here’s a rundown of the several Menuzen benefits:
Provides a dedicated menu platform.
Offers the broadest features.
Provides larger storage space.
Less vulnerable to technical issues.
Multi-platform menu publishing.
Unlimited number of images.
Unlimited user accounts.
A vast number of templates.
The best template designs.
Great customer support.
Deep market insights (upcoming feature)
If you use both menu options—plugins and menu platforms—in your restaurant or intend to do so, your WordPress restaurant menu plugin could become a problem someday. For example, you might want specific restaurant menu designs that plugins aren’t advanced enough to offer. It could be a design for offline or online use.
Such challenges can force you to significantly alter your website’s content. Since you might already have the plugin menu published on several pages of your website, removing the plugin would require editing all of the pages using it.
Our advice is for you to opt for a platform that never presents any unsolvable problems in the future regarding the design, management, or expansion of your business. Therefore, you need a menu solution that offers a wide breadth of templates with plenty of room for customisation and other features.
Here are some compelling reasons why a WordPress menu plugin may not be your best option:
The market insight you could acquire from people using your menu isn’t obtainable via restaurant menu plugins for WordPress. Menu templates are limited in numbers and adaptable design features, unlike Menuzen, where you have access to many unique designs, and each feature is customisable.
Another issue with restaurant menu plugins on WordPress is their tendency to conflict with some website features. Specific plugins won’t harmonise with the theme, WordPress version, and other plugins you’ve installed. On the other hand, Menuzen isn’t a plugin (though it performs the functions and doubles as a WordPress restaurant menu template provider), so compatibility issues will be a rarity.
There are many reasons why plugins conflict.
Here are two major ones:
This section discusses the top 4 restaurant menu plugin options available to use on WordPress. Here we’ll summarise their best features before analysing them in more detail.
1. Five Star Restaurant Menu — Best for sorting and filtering dishes.
2. WPCafe – Restaurant Menu by Themewinter — The best option for large menus.
3. Restaurant Menu – Food Ordering System by GloriaFood — The cheapest option for delivery service.
4. RestroPress – Online Food Ordering System — The best plugin for a seamless user interface.
While the other WordPress restaurant menu plugins discussed in this guide have filtering and sorting features, the plugin by Five Star is broader and more accurate. The designers clearly invested a lot of effort in building this function to make it as easy as possible for customers to find the dishes they want.
Five Star has other apps and software that complement the plugin to enhance your digital menu experience. This is a great advantage lacking in many restaurant menu plugins for WordPress.
With some plugins, whatever you do on your restaurant’s menu has to come from the plugin itself. Thus, receiving and managing orders will be done in the plugin — provided it has these capabilities. The Five Star restaurant menu plugin, however, easily integrates with other supportive apps, like the Restaurant Manager mobile app by the same developers, to simplify your order management tasks.
This restaurant menu plugin for WordPress has an in-built SEO feature that we love. It has an entire menu schema that organises your menu items in an orderly format so Google can easily identify your menu pages and ranks them accordingly.
The Five Star restaurant menu plugin’s filtering and sorting features are considerably more advanced than other plugins. They let your customers filter out menu options according to their special dietary requirements, such as vegan items, vegetarian items, etc.
The plugin is also designed to be compatible with any page editing system. So, if you switch CMS (content management system) in the future, it’ll still work for your website.
Has other supporting apps
Full menu schema
Advanced sorting & filtering
Has other supporting apps
Due to its sub-categories feature, we consider the WPCafe restaurant menu plugin the best option for extensive menus (featuring more than 32 items). This is especially important if people access the menu using smartphones since the screen size can’t display all items at once. Using the product add-on feature to create these sub-categories provides room to add many more food items.
One of the unique characteristics of this WordPress restaurant menu plugin by Themewinter is the option to enable and disable images and links associated with your menu items. If you don’t want a particular food picture to appear, all you need to do is disable it.
The same thing applies to the links from your menu items. You can have a page on each menu item that provides in-depth info on the dish. You can disable these links whenever you want to — for example, in a case where you significantly alter the ingredients of a dish but haven’t yet updated the page describing it.
The WPCafe restaurant menu plugin has another design feature that many others lack. Some plugins display the same layout for all food categories. However, with this plugin, you can give any food category a distinct layout — perhaps according to the number of dishes, types of foods, etc.
Let’s say you combine several similar items under the same category, and each item has a sub-category — some of which require specific menu layouts. You can use a special feature in the Themewinter WordPress restaurant menu plugin to create different layouts for each sub-category within the main groups.
Different layouts for categories
Enable and disable links & images
Sub-categories within categories
Lacks fluent and impeccable English
With this food ordering system WordPress plugin from GloriaFood, you can receive unlimited orders and reservations for free. Most other plugins would offer free trials on features like receiving orders and reservations. Still, such offers are always limited to a small number of daily or even monthly orders.
We think the menu software from GloriaFood is the best option if you want to use a WordPress restaurant menu plugin for free to complete as many online orders as possible. However, note that you can only receive payments online with a premium upgrade of $29. With the free plan, you can only receive payment in person or cash on delivery. If that’s okay with you, then go ahead and install the plugin.
The GloriaFood plugin offers almost all its features for free; however, this doesn’t mean it’s in any way substandard. It does most of what high-end plugins do — only at a considerably lower price. For starters, online ordering and reservation, templates, and even pre-collected food images are available for free.
Another great feature of GloriaFood’s food ordering system for WordPress is the broad menu customisation option. If your cuisine has a complex collection of preferences, this may be the best plugin for your restaurant. The themes are designed to accommodate complex dishes (dishes with an extensive option for ingredients).
GloriaFood’s Wordpress restaurant menu plugin also has a simple yet important feature that we haven’t seen in many others. The user interface is so intuitive that customers will use it for the first time correctly without any challenges or need for guidance.
The food ordering system WordPress plugin developed by GloriaFood also saves a lot of time with an autofill option for returning customers. Any of the 11 templates available for use allow you to capture and save certain information to help customers who don’t have their details offhand or appreciate not having to type much whenever they order.
Unlimited free orders online
Free food images available
Simple UI (user interface) with auto-fill
Very limited menu layouts
Users of the RestroPress WordPress restaurant menu plugin can easily manage their profiles and orders as this software already has a pre-built dashboard for this purpose. This means setting up an account is quick and easy, and users can quickly find things they saved, their activities, order status, and much more. Still, the overall user interface doesn’t beat what Menuzen offers.
Although all the plugins reviewed here are somewhat easy to implement, RestroPress offers the most ease. Opt for this plugin if you aren’t tech-savvy or are typically nervous about anything requiring installations and setup.
Both the frontend and backend are intuitive, but here, we’re more interested in the backend. The backend refers to the installation, setup, design, etc., that you do from your WordPress dashboard. These are called backend activities because people don’t see when you do them; they only see the result of those activities displayed on your WordPress website.
An important feature of any plugin is an easy-to-use backend UI (user interface). Some WordPress plugins are pretty complex, which prevents many users from deriving the full benefits of those plugins. However, for the RetroPress restaurant menu plugin for WordPress, it’s easy to understand and use all its current functions — and maybe even future ones.
Another aspect of this WordPress plugin from RetroPress we should mention is the auto page-generating function. The plugin automatically creates several vital pages for your website when you activate it. This saves you time, effort, and any potential frustration while creating web pages.
The RetroPress menu plugin allows you to mark specific add-ons as required options when customers order certain dishes. This is an essential feature if you don’t want to sell some items standalone.
For example, you may include food or drink on your menu to help sell other dishes. Customers who order these items will be prompted to add another dish before placing the order.
Finally, we like the developer-friendly design of the RetroPress restaurant menu plugin for WordPress. This allows for the easy introduction of a custom feature anytime by your website designer or RestroPress’s programmers. It’s a powerful provision for restaurants that need some unusual features added to their digital menu.
Great backend UI
Broad custom extensions
Weak customer support
The best WordPress restaurant menu plugins cost quite some money, and most are priced yearly. However, they’re cheaper than most dedicated menu platforms, except Menuzen. In fact, Menuzen users have the option to use the platform for free forever. When you think about your user experience and your profit margins, Menuzen appears to be a better choice for your online restaurant menu needs.
What’s more, menu plugins aren’t always the best options for displaying food items on a WordPress website. Many users have technical issues with plugins, and their support is usually poor. For that reason, we don’t advise anyone to pay for a WordPress restaurant menu template when there are several better options.
With Menuzen, all you have to do is embed your menu link into your chosen WordPress web pages.
Juanita’s Bar Owner
Co-Founder of Always Authentic, Sydney
Bring your business's story to life with a branded and interactive menu that provides memorable experiences to viewers and turns them into customers.
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