Free WordPress Plugins to Build a Menu for Cafes and Restaurants

Why do you think so many tourists go far away from the capital of Scotland to taste fish exactly at Loch Fyne restaurant? Probably not only because of a great menu and beautiful Highlands scenery, but because the owners were not afraid to think big and let the world know about their business through the web. They understand that a restaurant is not just for locals, it’s literally an important marketing channel for increasing brand awareness worldwide. That’s why it’s a bit strange to see that a majority of restaurants and cafes still don’t have a website.

If you are a cafe or restaurant owner who is looking for an easy-to-use way to construct an online menu and boost your business, you are doing a right thing. And if you are on this site, you are probably looking for a WordPress solution. In this post you can find the needed WordPress plugins to build a memorable menu and share your restaurant passion with the world.

To make the story short, what plugin exactly do you need to create a menu? It depends. It would be unfair to say grab only this or only that plugin, because it’s ‘best’! Instead of that, I took the same useful characteristics to see what options each of these plugins is able to offer. It will help you understand the differences and advantages/disadvantages of each plugin quicker. Do you already know what’s the most important thing in choosing a plugin? It’s clear that a menu item (a dish) is the main thing the target website visitors are interested in, so this is what should be presented in the best light. Some customers are fine with bare-bone features of the individual menu item (a title of a menu item and its price), and the others like health-conscious, discount lovers, or picky image junkies require maximum additional information to satisfy their needs.

The following plugins got to this list because of quality, popularity and positive customers’ reviews.

1. Food and Drink Menu

Food-and-Drink-Menu

Only 5’s in the plugin review sound promising. The plugin users call it solid, easy-to-work with, and properly-documented, though others mention that the backend tools are so handy so that they don’t even need to address the documentation. The plugin allows to build traditional elegant menu to be viewed properly on mobiles and desktops. So, what can this plugin do for your cafe or restaurant website? Using it, you are able to create two essential post types: Menus and Menu Items, you can add as many of them as you need. Let’s see whether this plugin can fully satisfy your requests:

  • Individual menu item can be supplied with: dish image, title, price, guidance/description.
  • The menu can be displayed: pages, posts, navigation menu, sidebar, custom post type.
  • Menu layouts: one and two-column plus an ability to construct your own layout using a customizable template.
  • E-commerce options: no
  • Documentation: user tutorials and developers documentation.
  • Additional options: compatible with WPML. Theme of the Crop, the plugin developers, propose a set of various plugins for restaurants on WordPress, so you may get something else along with this plugin.
  • Demo: not found
  • Pro version: yes. It doesn’t cost a fortune, actually, only $25. It comes with custom pack of icons of dietary preferences, ethical sourcing, religious requirements, and allergy advice; product sourcing and supplier info, Google maps, sorting option, and more.

2. MotoPress Restaurant Menu plugin

MotoPress-Restaurant-Menu

This is one of the new game players among WordPress Restaurant plugins, which already proved its quality as its stylish visual design is equal to multipurpose functionality. The users already left positive reviews on WordPress.org about this product. It’s up to you which style your restaurant menu will go: classic or trendy, the plugin tools allows to build any to your taste. Apart from constructing your menu, the plugin comes with overall eCommerce possibilities to help you sell food and drinks online. The main backend terms are menu categories (e.g. lunch, dinner; snacks, drinks) and menu items (e.g. garlic soup, grilled salmon, cocktail), so you can properly categorize all of you menu lists ensuring satisfying user experience. Let’s see how good it is.

  • Individual menu item can be supplied with: dish image, title, description, price, tags, portion size, Ingredients, Add to cart button (if e-commerce enabled), Nutrition facts (great for picky and health-conscious people) and an image gallery. All of them are optional.
  • The menu can be displayed: pages, posts, navigation menu, sidebar.
  • Menu layouts: from one up to six-column layouts; grid, list, clear list (without images).
  • eCommerce options: totally eCommerce-ready (you may turn on/off this option). Can be considered as one the biggest standouts among other plugins in the niche, which normally don’t offer this option for free (or don’t offer it at all). The plugin allows you to safely sell food and drinks using Shopping Cart. The customers will be able to make a purchase via PayPal or Cash on delivery and quickly finalize the checkout process. While setting up all payment options, the website administrator will have a chance to test payment system and start selling properly. Registered and unregistered users will be able to place an order and then track their purchases thanks to delivery statuses (cooking, shipping, shipped). All of the appropriate emails (confirmation/notification) are also included into the system.
  • Documentation: step-by-step plugin documentation. Moreover, passionate web junkie Kori Ashton from WebTegrity also recorded a video review of the plugin, which can be very helpful to get started.
  • Additional options: opportunity to display one and the same menu item under different categories, order setting for menu items, menu items and categories sorting, subtitle for individual menu item, options for setting currency; fully compatible with MotoPress drag-and-drop page builder.
  • Demo: yes, demo website features some of the available menu styles with different emphasis (on images, list of offerings, etc.). You can view it here.
  • Pro version: no, the plugin is totally free at the moment. Additional paid addons should be released soon.

3. Quick Restaurant Menu

Qucik-Restaurant-Menu

The plugin name speaks for itself: it allows to add menus quickly and get traditional menu design in result. It comes with two post types: menu and menu items, you can add as much of them as needed. The menu items can be rearranged with a help of drag-and-drop tools and easily grouped into section. A distinctive feature of the plugin is an ability to display different menus for different days and parts of the day, namely, going to your website in the afternoon, the website visitors will see a lunch menu, so, the appropriate menus are displayed on the site depending on the time of the day. Mostly all of the customers’ reviews are positive. Time to check out the possibilities of the plugin.

  • Individual menu item can be supplied with: dish image, title, description, price, portion size.
  • The menu can be displayed: pages, posts, navigation menu, sidebar.
  • Menu layouts: one-column list; no information found about multi-column layouts.
  • eCommerce options: no
  • Documentation: insightful video tutorial.
  • Additional options: ability to display the needed menu depending on the time of the day, header and footer for each menu, translated into Spanish.
  • Demo: yes. You can view it here.
  • Pro version: no, the plugin is totally free at the moment.

4. WP Restaurant Manager

WP-Restaurant-Manager

A good way to go for those who want to be able to build a restaurant menu along with the booking system using just one plugin. Apart from the standard menu, it allows to get reservation and table booking online. This system lets you confirm or reject bookings, provide the customers with the needed email notifications, restrict booking times and check upcoming reservations up to 3 days. As for the actual menu management, you are able to use handy admin tools to construct categorically-organized menus and supply the menu items with the appropriate info. What’s more? Check the list below.

  • Individual menu item can be supplied with: dish image, title, description, Food Nutrition information.
  • The menu can be displayed: pages, posts.
  • Menu layouts: one-column list; no information found about multi-column layouts.
  • eCommerce options: no, but the table reservation is available.
  • Documentation: yes, ultimate guide.
  • Additional options: customizable email templates, automatic blocking of out-of-hours booking requests, early and late booking, disabling calendar list, various filters to customize each section of your forms.
  • Demo: no
  • Pro version: yes ($29). It comes with numerous additional options: custom fields editor, SMS notifications, custom HTML email templates, MailChimp Newsletter integration, ability to view previous customer reservation, reservation cancellation on frontend, reminder emails, bulk reservation management, and more.

5. WPPizza

WPPizza

A multifunctional restaurant plugin with a lot to offer: a system to build menus in different styles and COD payments. Despite the plugin name, it’s flexible enough to serve any type of a restaurant. A lot of high rates can be found on the WordPress.org, so you may rely on customer’s experience. Setting the plugin, you may use menu items and categories. Is it ready to fully meet your expectations? Let’s see.

  • Individual menu item can be supplied with: dish image, title, description, price, Shopping cart icon.
  • The menu can be displayed: pages, posts.
  • Menu layouts: view all available layout designs here
  • eCommerce options: Cash on delivery payments; tracking of the online orders.
  • Documentation: yes, check it out here
  • Additional options: multilingual frontend, WPML compatible, 140+ currencies.
  • Demo: yes, view it here for different types of meals and different WordPress templates.
  • Pro version: no, but the plugin comes with a lot of paid extensions that may be necessary for various restaurants, e.g. Add Ingredients, Delivery by Post/Zip Code, Timed Menu, etc.

Conclusions

As you might sum up, the ideal plugin would be a combination of all he presented in the list, but when it comes to choosing just one, pay attention to the specific features you are looking for in it and the prices of additional extensions. If you don’t need anything super sophisticated, you may proceed with any plugin to build a traditional menu; if you wish to build an all-inclusive outstanding menu with eCommerce enabled, consider MotoPress Restaurant Menu; WPPizza is good for food establishments that allow customers to choose the dish ingredients, though it’s a paid option; WP Restaurant Manager is great because of the powerful booking system; Quick Restaurant Menu will help you build a timed menu; Food and Drink menu is great for any cool classical menu plus an ability to get a lot of other functionality for restaurants from the plugin developers. Hopefully, you’ll manage to find the one to start using right away.

Author Bio

Ann Taylor is an overall WordPress lover. She likes writing about various web design trends, wp plugins, and animation. Also spends time on learning SEO techniques.

Manish

Manish Patel is an enterprenuer and internet marketer. He loves to write about WordPress including WP themes, plugins and various tweaks.

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