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Managing food orders & notifications

By default, WooCommerce will send an email to alert you to new restaurant orders. For added convenience, you might like to integrate your ordering system with a plugin that automatically prints new food orders directly to the kitchen, or sends SMS notification of new orders. This saves having to check emails and manually print orders for the kitchen staff.

How to print new orders to the kitchen

There are several excellent plugins for this. Choose the one that best meets your needs

  • WooCommerce Automatic Order Printing (PrintNode) - automatically print orders, invoices and packing slips/delivery notes. Compatible with any printer.
  • BizPrint - print Print WooCommerce order receipts, invoices and labels either automatically or on-demand from any printer in your restaurant.

All of these plugins work with your WooCommerce Restaurant Ordering food order system, and will save you time in managing new orders.

You can use other WooCommerce order printing plugins, however we particularly recommend these because they have no external cloud dependencies and will work with your existing printer (including thermal printers). Previously, many WooCommerce order printing plugins used Google Cloud print which was discontinued in 2021.

Can I print orders to different printer locations?

Some restaurants need a more complex setup where you send different orders to different printers. For example:

  • You might be setting up online ordering for multiple restaurants and need to print the orders at the kitchen for the appropriate restaurant.
  • If you have multiple kitchens (e.g. one for each floor of the restaurant) then you might need the orders to print to the correct kitchen depending on where the customer is sitting.

You can do this with BizPrint’s product mapping functionality. This allows you to send different WooCommerce orders to different print locations.

Bizprint order mapping

You can do this based on specific products or product categories (pizza orders might go to one kitchen, whilst drink orders go to front-of-house) or by shipping location/type. This allows you both to send orders to local restaurants and prioritize different shipping methods (such as collection or delivery) appropriately. All of these are essential for a restaurant delivery website.

Automatic order mapping WordPress

BizPrint can be set to print orders automatically to your selected printer when they come in through WooCommerce. This is great for restaurant efficiency. You can also customize the print template. You might, for example, want to print one version of the order that focuses on the food to the kitchen, and print a second version for the delivery that focuses on the shipping information.

SMS text message order notifications

There are two types of SMS text notification that you might want to use with WooCommerce Restaurant Ordering:

  1. SMS notification of new orders to the administrator (or direct to the chef/kitchen).
  2. SMS notification telling the customer when their food is ready.

There are different plugins available for each of these.

SMS notifications to the administrator/kitchen

The free SMS Alert Order Notifications plugin lets you send a text message to a specific mobile phone number whenever a new order is received. This instantly alerts the kitchen to new orders so that they don't need to check the WooCommerce Dashboard or look for the order notification email.

SMS notifications to the customer

To send texts to the customer, we recommend using WooCommerce Restaurant Ordering with either of these plugins:

  • Twilio SMS Notifications plugin. This involves signing up for a free Twilio account, and then you can send SMS text messages to your customers' mobile phone when their order is ready for collection. You can customize the content of the text message to tell them when to collect their order or when it will be delivered. For example, it might say: "We are currently making your food order and it will be ready to collect in 15 minutes."
  • Flow Notify - Send SMS text messages to your customers' mobile phone when their order has moved through any of the custom order statuses which you create, such as "food being prepared", "food out for delivery", and so on.
WooCommerce custom order status

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