Restaurant WordPress plugin

A little backstory on this plugin:

Way back when I helped launch a project named DevPress, the team had envisioned creating an awesome restaurant theme. Of course, this meant creating a companion plugin that would handle all of custom functionality. I wrote all of the code for this plugin at the time, but it had become unruly. It was a beast of plugin with way too many bells and whistles.

While we gained tons of great feedback from users and other developers, the restaurant project quickly hit a wall. We had too many features. Tung Do, the mastermind behind the project (and current owner of DevPress) didn’t really have this in mind. With the split of the original team around the same time, the restaurant theme/plugin died.

A few months ago, Tung and I got back together and hashed out a plan. Since I already had the code, I figured it’d be easy to do. And, in all honesty, he kept me completely in check as a developer. We kept cutting features and cutting features until we got the plugin down to the essence of what a restaurant plugin should be.

Today, I want to introduce you to a new restaurant management plugin, simply titled, Restaurant.

The Restaurant WordPress plugin

restaurant-preview

As I mentioned in the backstory, the Restaurant plugin has been cut down to the necessities. What this means is that this plugin is simply a food/beverage menu manager. The reason for this is that we wanted it simple enough for various businesses like:

  • Small mom-and-pop shops
  • Cafes
  • Pubs
  • Diners
  • Taverns
  • And other basic food-industry sites

The idea is to start with the most prevalent type of businesses, which would be small restaurants and other food-and-beverage companies that don’t have a lot of money to spend on fancy sites. They want to simply have a good-looking and easy-to-manage Web presence with the ability to show what they offer.

For those of you doing more complex restaurant sites, don’t fret. Another reason for keeping this plugin simple is because I’d love to see a developer community grow up around this plugin to add more advanced functionality. Here’s a few example ideas for add-on plugins:

  • Daily specials
  • Location widget
  • Course manager
  • Reservation system

The sky is the limit, as they say. There’s a ton of potential for adding extra things needed for different areas of the industry.

You can download the plugin from either of these places:

Introducing the Ravintola theme

ravintola-preview

Looks pretty awesome, right? While I created the plugin, Tung created the first freely-available theme that integrates with the Restaurant plugin. The Ravintola theme is available via DevPress. It’s a theme designed for restaurants, cafes, and small business websites.

Go ahead and give it a test drive. It works well with the plugin.

11 Comments



  1. Every time we collaborate on a theme, something awesome happens. First, the News theme and now this. But whenever we collab on something bigger than a theme, it dies haha.


    1. Keeping it simple is the best way to go. It’s a lot less stressful, and it allows us to actually get something out the door.

  2. Kel

    Looks pretty – responsive too.

    Personally I’d like to see a more utilitarian type of Restaurant Menu plugin. In the past, I’ve had success with “Simple Retail Menus” – http://whatwouldjessedo.com/simple-retail-menus/ But it’s since been removed from WP Extend. It gave a more straightforward listing of the categorized items. Like this:

    CATEGORY:
    Menu Item…………………… $10.00
    Description and more etc
    (Optional Photo)

    Example (not mine) http://www.beleefgusto.nl/lunch/

    Anyway – I’ll check yours out too – good luck with it Justin!


    1. Thanks for the feedback and your experience. I think you’ll find this plugin much more flexible in terms of how you can display things on the front end.

      One of the major plans I have for this plugin is to create a few add-on plugins that handle other methods of “categorization”. A simple plugin example might be to allow users to have separate “meal times” like breakfast, lunch, and dinner. We left this out of the initial plugin because it’s not relevant to all sites like this. So, an add-on makes sense for users who need this. So, please stay tuned for new features.

      Also, let me know if you have any ideas for new add-on plugins to handle any features you’d like to see.

      1. Kel

        I guess the biggest thing I’ve seen is the amount of variation that clients expect in menus. Most want to replicate their printed version which often has things like:

        *Combo Dish Name*
        Options: Variant A, Variant B, Variant C.
        Choose One …………. $10
        Choose Any Two…………. $12
        Choose Any Three…………. $14

        Then further Descriptions of what’s in Variant A, B and C.
        Then there’s Add-Ons like sauces etc and all of these things get grouped under Category X.

        Jeepers… make me want to just do it all in a giant text area :)

        I dunno if these types of things would be in the core plugin or are the better served (see what I did there?) as Add-On to the plugin.

        thanks!



  3. This looks great, Justin. I do like the simple approach.

    I have friends who own a restaurant and I often help them with their website. The one thing we couldn’t do with this plugin was to have items with multiple prices. For example, soup that’s available in bowl or cup sizes, or french fries that come in large or small quantities. Those not only require multiple prices, but a descriptor for each price as well.


    1. I think that’s a good idea for an add-on plugin. It shouldn’t be hard to do something like that with a little post meta.


  4. Nice Restaurant WordPress plugins that can be used.

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