August 21, 2023
Devn Ratz

Square Online Ordering: A Detailed Review of the Fineprint

Many restaurants depend on Square POS systems, meaning they’re tempted to enable “easy” management of their online ordering through Square Online. Square Online ordering remains a popular selection for these restaurants who believe the best deal will come from restaurant technology created for the hardware. 

Of course, there’s more to online ordering platforms than a personalized order screen, multiple ways of capturing orders, and encouraging repeat business with loyalty programs. (To learn more about everything that should be considered, download our ebook below.)

This post will help you see which users find the platform friendly and affordable and which prefer seamless POS integration for pickup, delivery, and shipping. Understand what Square stands to offer your business in this review of the interface, pricing, and reviews. 

Key Takeaway: Square suits the small, freemium-seeking business rather than the enterprise eatery with an eye on the booming online ordering market. 
Read our free ebook guide to online ordering for restaurants based on the insights of Revolution Ordering.

Overview of Square Online Ordering

For the most part, Square Online suits the restaurant who wants to work with popular online ordering platforms and apps. It does make it easy for businesses to add ordering to their operations. But, it also might miss a few key sticking points for enterprise restaurant users who value custom, client-centric support and customization.

Beyond the feature and service levels, you’ll see the Square spares you no expense through sky-high transaction fees starting at 2.9% and 30 cents per order. This means that you’ll face more difficulty recapturing increased delivery sales and restaurant revenue without raising prices or levying frustrating fees. (This is Toast’s online ordering approach.) Unless, of course, you pay an additional subscription fee for a “Premium” retail plan.

You might also notice a few added costs for each delivery, pickup order, and Square’s role in team management, if applicable. Overall, you’ll notice that Square is a decent choice for off-premise ordering, but it gets better with more specialized solutions like Revolution Ordering.

User Experience with Square Online

On the whole, Square receives little criticism for its friendliness and integrations for users. They see great speed and streamlined flexibility when working on native hardware such as a Square POS system. 

Mobile sellers—such as food trucks or pop-up restaurants—also often prefer Square for this reason: it makes it easy and familiar for customers to place orders and make payments with speed. 

Among its main features for online ordering made easy, Square allows the management of deliveries much like Revolution Ordering through a dashboard. Here, operators view and filter by type, status, and type—even changing between locations and app integrations from Caviar or DoorDash, for instance.

When used correctly and without interruption, Square Online helps you introduce and maximize online orders. But, it should be noted that Square is a general retail solution, rather than a specialized restaurant partner for off-premise enablement. Those who need custom solutions will still look to alternatives. 

Integration Options for Square Online Ordering

We’re known for our crisp, crystal clear app integrations across online food ordering platforms and multiple locations. Square also integrates with a few platforms, but most of them are e-commerce solutions used popularly by affiliates, marketers, and solely online stores. 

To widen their reach, restaurants often want to customize and specialize their online ordering solutions. They are less willing to accept less than bespoke solutions to their enterprise-level restaurant concerns and goals. 

Square Online Ordering Pricing and Fees

Let’s start at the top—because this is usually one of the first tips that Square may not be the right tech solution for every business and restaurant. Despite its dominance as an online payment processor, Square doesn’t go light on fees. 

To start, every single transaction made through Square incurs a 2.9% fee plus 30 cents. This is before considering whether to pick up or deliver the item, for which there are additional fees between 50 cents and $1.50. Despite the “free” option to use the basic POS system, app, and templates for inventory—Square likes to take even larger bites out of sales through premium plans starting at $45 per month. 

There are more fees, but without signing ourselves, there’s no way to ensure these are as accurate as their published rates. Instead, we suspect they vary considerable and perhaps competitively with options like Toast who levy new fees all the time. It’s without consultation or permission, for instance, that giants like this charge customers a full dollar for ordering with them at all. 

Customer Reviews of Square Online

To be sure, Square is popular. But, let’s not confuse popularity for being a positive influence on a restaurant’s bottom line. Square often receives positive reviews for user-friendliness and affordability among those who are satisfied with a limited free plan.

 Beyond this level, however, there are quick issues to be seen on statements and invoices. The final word on a review of Square frequently comes down to the absurdity of monthly, per transaction, and by type fees. 

Unfortunately, lower-starred ratings usually mention a lack of sufficient or speedy support. This means restaurants and businesses are left to fend for themselves without POS or online ordering recourse for indefinite periods of time in many cases.

Then, it’s noticed that Square offers a range of features for new businesses: each with their own special taxes, fees, percentages, and costs. When compared with other platforms, Square only looks as helpful as it is interested in making huge profits through a system of sliding scale costs to their “free” and “Premium” customers alike. 

For the size of online food ordering tickets, it may not make sense for most restaurants in the end. 

Comparison to Competitive Innovation

While Square is well-known in the industry of stores, retail, and restaurants who want to make accepting orders and payments simple, there are new, more modern solutions for eateries at the enterprise level. 

Instead of living under the domain of dogged percentage-based fee schedules, restaurants can choose partners who know the food and beverage industry while offering consistent, comprehensive, and custom support to each client. 

If you think you need more than freemium for your online ordering business—a sector slated to grow by several billion in the coming years—then consider an additional solutions like online ordering from Revolution. 

Find out how Revolution’s online ordering competes with Square POS for better customization, support, and growth for restaurants.

Frequently Asked Questions About Square Online Ordering

Learn why restaurants often turn away from relying only on Square as their off-premise service partner. Instead, through these frequently asked questions, you’ll see the plain and simple reason that it’s so costly to consort with Square Online ordering. 

How do I set up an online ordering on Square?

Square online is a snap to enable. From the Square Online site editor, you simply decide whether you will use their Order Online templates or make a custom page on your site. 

From there, once your order page is complete and designed, you can start bringing in online orders without worrying about much more than the steep delivery and pickup fees.

How much does Square Online ordering cost?

Square charges when sales are made in addition to retail subscriptions, but typically fees sit at the rate of 2.9% and $.30 per transaction. If you add delivery for your customers, you’ll see a $.50 fee for in-house and $1.50 for on-demand, off-premise delivery.

Can you use Square for online ordering purchases?

Customers easily interact with Square through your online store in order to place an order. In the case of restaurants, your digital menu ordering will be covered by your Square for Retail subscription in a program called Square Online. Then, you can manage online orders from your Square POS. 

The question is really whether you should use Square for Retail, Square Online ordering, or another solution—like Revolution Ordering, a BlueCart company. Now that you’ve reviewed our full account of Square Online ordering, decide your course of action.

Will you demo Revolution Ordering or stick to the familiar comfort of Square Online?