Reservation Genie Blog

Reservation Genie lowers the cost of online reservations with transparent tools that help you be creative with your marketing.

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April 13, 2020

Commission Free Online Ordering Tool for Restaurants

As a reservation system alternative to OpenTable, Reservation Genie has built strong relationships with our restaurant clients over the years. We manage many of their websites for $20 a month, email marketing efforts for $50 per month, and offer a cover free online reservation system for $49 per month. Our clients have always been frustrated with the high fees and predatory models of the online ordering and delivery companies. Many have asked us to build an affordable alternative over the years. So when the COVID-19 shutdown hit and our restaurant clients could no longer accept reservations, we immediately stopped invoicing them for reservations and went to work on an affordable online ordering solution.

We’re happy to announce a commission-free online ordering solution. To be clear, we do charge customers a $1 per order convenience fee and our merchant partner Stripe charges a flat 2.9% + 30 cents per transaction to process the credit card and put the money in restaurants’ bank accounts. But that’s a lot better than the 15-35% commissions you see from the likes of Door Dash, East Street, Grub Hub, Postmates, and Uber Eats. Any order you can process through Reservation Genie represents one that didn’t come with a high commission. Our goal is to give restaurants the tools they need to offer the best deal possible to their customers if customers order directly from the restaurant website. Meanwhile we also give restaurants the best path towards earning some profits by selling directly to customers and phasing out the middle man.

Our goal is to give restaurants the tools they need to offer the best deal possible to their customers if customers order directly from the restaurant website. Meanwhile we also give restaurants the best path towards earning some profits by selling directly to customers.


(image from Tech Crunch article above)

Over the last 3 weeks we’ve built tools that enable you to:

  • Create and edit an online ordering menu.
  • Set your hours of operations so customers cannot order after hours (see image below).
  • An easy to use 3 step ordering process that sends orders directly to any email address you desire.
  • A tips suggestion tool that encourages customers to tip.
  • A delivery area manager that requires customers agree to your delivery policy.

We are currently building new features to help streamline the process. Our plans include creating an “Orders” table just like our “Reservations” table so that you can see all your orders arrive in real time. The Orders table will summarize your daily tip totals so you can use that to help pool tips if you’d like to share those with your staff or delivery drivers. We’re also considering tools to send customers a text message when the order has been sent to the kitchen, ready for pickup, or out for delivery to help manage expectations. We’ll circle back to this blog as we add more features.

Below are instructions on how to set up our online ordering system. If you’d like to learn more, simply use this form to request a 15 minute demo screen-share session to go over the process. We can have you up and running in a couple hours.

These are the steps to adding commission-free online ordering to your website:

  1. Request a Demo here. We’ll answer all your questions and show you around the interface to see if it’s a good fit. If so, we’ll create your account using info from your website and do all the heavy lifting.
  2. Sign up for a Stripe merchant account here. Many restaurant services use Stripe so you may already have an account. Stripe charges a flat rate of 2.9% + 30 cents per transaction. They have no set up fees, monthly fees or hidden fees. Plus, it’s really easy to set up an account.
  3. Send us your menu. We’ll have our staff load your first menu to reduce the time it takes you to get started. Once we build your menu, we’ll send you a link to review the content. Afterwards you can adjust your menus easily by adding/editing/deleting menu categories like appetizers and entrees as well as meals inside each category.
  4. Send us your online ordering email address(es) where you would like to receive orders.
  5. Then add a button to your website for Order Online and point it at the link we provide and you’re open for business!