App2Food Vs Chownow: A Head to Head Comparison



Online ordering systems are our new friends. As off-site dining culture progresses, this revolutionary tech-enabled solution is becoming a major revenue stream for food corporations.

Online ordering services like App2Food and ChowNow are elevating the at-home food experience for customers, but dine-in facilities have also witnessed a meteoric rise.

However, a custom-made private application is also in the queue, but $12,000 – $25,000 spending on the development is quite intimidating for sure.

Not only are they an expensive deal, but time consuming too.

Customers are spending a significant portion of their day online, which is gradually becoming the standard for Food Corporation to strengthen their brand profile.

So there’s no reason to avoid…

Of course, aggregator apps are also a great and instant way to bridge the gap between customers and your restaurants, but the commission charged on each order is terrible.

Given all these reasons, a steep rise in demand for online food ordering systems is visible. After all, it creates numerous conveniences for customers and restaurants.

From an overwhelming number of online ordering platforms, App2Food and ChowNow are the two most obvious choices.

Since their launch, both platforms have exploded in popularity. But what is the best alternative for your business? Jumping straight to this head-to-head comparison between App2Food and Chownow,

The parameters on which we have based this comparison between App2Food and Chownow are as follows:

Cost: Online ordering systems work on subscription-based models and charge certain fees that vary from one brand to another.

Business Model: Not all platforms serve similar services. One platform can be technologically advanced, while another may have fewer features.

Support: Marketing support and after-service support are offered by online ordering platforms. But how well one is doing compared to another is noteworthy.

Mobile App: Online ordering systems are mobile-centric; therefore, specifications around mobile apps have been covered to determine the overall success rate of the given platform.

User Experience: How often people are using, recommending, and appreciating a platform has been taken into account.

Offers: Any best offer has been carefully scrutinized. You are also advised not to skip this most important comparison, which will help you land on the best option.

If you have been brainstorming around App2Food and Chownow, concerned about the platform that’ll match your business model, look at the article.

App2Food Vs Chownow: Business Overview 


  • App2Food

Logo of App2Food

App2Food is a standalone company that provides restaurants and cafes with an alternative to costly apps and third-party aggregators. With its online ordering software, the brand creates a system for restaurants to attract customers, manage orders, and accept payments—both in-person and online.

In other words, App2Food provides a centralised solution to restaurants, which aids in convenience in the order fulfilment processes. The ideology of App2Food business is to help restaurants save on 3rd party platforms. In addition to basic facilities, the digital solution covers even more interesting items.

How App2Food Works for Customers?

App2Food’s exclusive web and app store platforms feature some exciting tweaks that contribute to an improved user experience. Simply put, the App2Food application and website work like any privately owned website.

The menu will list delicious cuisines presented with visuals. The interface has a proper description and strategic placement of “Call-to-Action” (e.g., “order now”).

Customers even have the option to bookmark and save their favourite menu for future order placements. Payment details can also be saved within the app.

The best thing is that there are no aggregator or convenience fees involved. The customer only pays the price listed on the menu for the specific food item.

How App2Food Works for Restaurants?

App2Food’s free restaurant online ordering system allows restaurants to create their websites and applications free of charge. Your custom domain, your online brand will be visible right on the search engine and app stores.  

Not only this, but the App2Food web and app will have online ordering enabled. The mobile-friendliness of these platforms is adaptable to the device specifications and system configurations used by customers.

Collectively, it creates a cohesive, feature-rich online food ordering system for restaurants that’s identical to a privately held, custom-made restaurant mobile app or website. Most notably, you can access it all for free.

  • Chownow

Logo of ChowNow

Chownow is a local food ordering app that provides web-based online ordering services for restaurants. Unlike App2Food, the company’s business model is a mix of food aggregators and online ordering systems. Simply put, the brand provides you with the opportunity to be featured on its own application. In other words, you can list your business on the app to receive orders from ChowNow users.

Alternatively, you can buy a website from ChowNow for a fairly low price. You will access a custom-built website from scratch. With built-in social links, easy add-ons, a clean, focused layout, and mobile-friendly features, clients are given a fully personalised experience.

How Does Chownow Work for Customers?

ChowNow is basically a tech-driven marketplace that utilises its network and various internet-powered channels to attract customers to its platforms.

A platform can be a brand’s own listing platform, a restaurant’s website (which connects with Chownow), or a Chownow-built website or app for these restaurants.

Each of these platforms is exclusively focused on attracting customers. However, certain fees are charged to customers based on the type of solution they opt for at ChowNow.

How Chownow Works for Restaurants?

Chownow essentially offers three solutions, some of which are free but some of which require restaurants to pay, and a summary of each is provided below:

#1 Solution: Reach New Customers: In its first solution, the food tech company connects and lists your business profile across multiple online platforms in its link. The solution even gives you the opportunity to list your business on the brand’s own website and app under “ChowNow Marketplace.”

#2 Solution: Take Charge of Your Ordering: The second solution offered by the company allows you to build a website and app from scratch. The company offers full support in the proper setup and launch of a website and app. Marketing guidance is also offered in this premium solution.

#3 Solution: Simplify Operations: The third gives diners the option for pickup, delivery, or dine-in. The solution even covers connectivity with the order management system.

The solution even encompasses connectivity to the delivery service providers—Uber and Doordash—allowing food delivery across the U.S. and cities.

App2Food Vs Chownow: How To Use?



Online restaurant ordering

It’s literally easy to use App2Food’s online ordering system. The overall complexity of the platform has been kept to zero or fairly low. Restaurants can readily build their own business profiles on this innovative platform.

Simply head to the “Contact Us” section and, upon filling out the form, connect with the App2Food representative.

Hereafter, you will get direct access to the online ordering system. Below are the steps you need to follow to start a great journey:

  1. Start by creating a business profile on the Online Ordering System.
  2. Publish your brand logo in the profile section.
  3. Give a description of your business and list products in the menu.
  4. Give each product a distinct description and a visually appealing image.
  5. Proceed with caution when assigning a price to a menu item.

Don’t just stop! Go through the options, features provided and start to advertise your newly created brand’s online business portfolio to your customers.  



Features of ChowNow

On the other hand, the ChowNow business model turns out to be a bit tough to understand for beginners. Unlike other online ordering systems, the brand doesn’t provide a unified solution.

Instead, its solutions have been split into three categories, and restaurants have the option to select either one or two at the same time.

As you can see in the visuals above, the food tech brand’s solution occupies “Order Better Network,”  “ChowNow Marketplace,” and “ChowNow Direct.”

Simply make a selection and jumpstart your restaurant’s business online. To get started, simply use the “contact us” form given on the main dashboard. If your zip code isn’t available, that means your location isn’t covered 

You can use “ChowNow Direct” to get straight access to the online ordering system.

  1. The option will provide you direct access to a custom-built website and application.
  2. Get it straight, but there’s a twist (you will have to buy a website, and plans vary in price).
  3. Upon getting the custom domain and website, a proper ordering system will be issued.
  4. You can even customise your app and website for future
  5. After properly setting up your online business profile, make it public.

Who’s Doing Well in Tech? App2Food or Chownow


Online Ordering system

In terms of tech, it could be a tie between “ChowNow” and “App2Food.” But in terms of online ordering systems and overall facilities offered, App2Food is doing much better.

The tech-driven company is providing restaurants with a free custom-built app and website that functions as an online portal.

If you are a startup brand with limited capital to invest, you will surely be delighted by App2Food. The online ordering system is fully mobile-optimized.

Unlike aggregator platforms, you are allowed to use your brand logo and banner and market your menu items to customers on a personal level. All this is allowed at zero expense.

Worth-noting! No hidden fee will be charged to customers or the restaurant owner.

But it doesn’t mean that “ChowNow” isn’t an up-to-date alternative. The online food ordering system enables smooth order processing and order fulfilment.

The brand will not charge even a single penny or aggregator fee. But if you are willing to use a custom domain and URL, there’s a detriment. You will have to purchase a plan on a monthly or yearly basis.

However, the brand has made an effort to keep its plans flexible by providing three options from which restaurants can choose at their leisure.

Both platforms are offering POS integration for restaurants, data analytics, and restaurant marketing software facilities, except for the Cloud Kitchen software that you find exclusively in App2Food.

How Much You Pay On App2Food and Chownow?

App2Food – Absolutely Free to Start


Pricing of App2Food


In terms of fees and charges, App2food tries to be strategic and gives a rough idea of the market. The platform provides you a glimpse of the charge rate of the “Competition” and “Aggregators” for the given services offered for absolutely FREE at App2Food.

It’s quite astonishing. But the brand has this amazing offer available for now. At $0, the brand provides a free website, setup, online ordering, free menu upload, cash orders, a branded iOS and Android app, marketing services, and training.

Only thermal printer integration will cost you $349 (optionally); otherwise, it is a free opportunity that you can’t skip. The 30% transaction fee charged on the aggregator’s platform isn’t hidden from restaurants.

But no such fees are charged by App2Food. The brand states that “Free really means FREE,” and it is not clickbait. In case you have trust issues, there’s an option to “request a demo,” which might keep things sorted for you.

ChowNow – Partially Free To Start


Pricing of ChowNow

One statement of ChowNow is quite popular: “Keep 100% of Profits,” but they aren’t lying at all. The brand doesn’t charge any commission from the order value or transactions.

But it does charge a monthly fee of $199 and $20 per month for the ChowNow tablet. You heard right! The restaurant company isn’t an entirely free alternative. But that’s okay! Within this plan, you can access a customised app, website, automated email marketing, POS integration, and other perks.

Therefore, the ChowNow offer is still a great deal. Compared to thousands of dollars investment on the restaurant ordering system set up, it is a budgeted alternative. Luckily, the brand has even provided 2- and 3-year options for the discounted offer. If you are using a credit card, fees of 2.95% + $015 would apply.

But it doesn’t end here. If you just want ChowNow to help you build a custom restaurant website with a custom domain and URL, you can pay less. Luckily, plans vary to fit the budgets of clients. Such a restaurant website can be accessed with a monthly plan of $29 ($20 will be charged additionally for the annual domain fee).

The platform even has a $19 per month plan (paid annually) and a $14 per month plan (paid for two years). In all these plans, a $20 annual domain fee is mandatory.

Accepted Payment Methods at App2Food and Chownow



The exclusive online ordering system App2Food accepts online payments. But apart from that, cash orders are also accepted. It makes it easier for restaurants to attract those customers who aren’t yet familiar with online transactions and love placing cash orders. According to YouGov’s Global Banking & Finance Report 2021, more than 30% of US residents prefer cash transactions to online transactions. 

If a customer does not have much money in their bank account, App2Food ensures that their wallets are respected rather than making them feel undervalued. The types of payment options available at App2Food can be found on the checkout page of the platform.


ChowNow’s online food ordering system offers multiple payment options. But it seems that the brand hasn’t enabled cash orders yet. To date, the brand accepts online payments. However, credit card facilities are available at ChowNow, and a transaction fee might be charged for that.

 ‘App2Food Vs Chownow’ Available Marketing Support 





Marketing Support

Being a free service provider, it is quite unexpected from App2Food, but the brand is providing “email marketing” and “SMS marketing” facilities at no cost. Here’s a quick glimpse of what else is covered in this section:

Automated Email: App2Food provides an automated email facility on the basis that you can alert and message your old customers and new customers with business-related information. However, the key will still be in your hands.

Automated SMS – Similar to automated emails, automated SMS is available if your restaurant has established strong connectivity with mobile users.

QR Code Menu: To ensure customers don’t have to manually search and look into the menu, a QR code has been enabled on the online ordering system, which boosts responsiveness in the whole process.

Promotional Material: Additional promotional material is provided by App2Food as you become one of its permanent users.

Social Media Promotion (Optional): Social Media Promotion also covers these services, but additional charges may be applied to access them.


Unfortunately, ChowNow does not provide all marketing services in a single package. You will have to sign up for different plans separately to access a special marketing benefit. Here’s a quick glimpse of the types of marketing support available at ChowNow:

In-App Listing: Under the “ChowNow Marketplace” solution, restaurants are allowed to list their businesses on the company’s own application, where already hundreds of restaurants in the US have their businesses listed.

Listing Across Platforms: The brand even has tons of listing platforms in its connection, and through one of its solution branches, “Order Better Network,” you can source traffic and customers from them all.

Automated Emails: An automated email facility is provided by ChowNow. But you can only access this marketing benefit if you have purchased the ChowNow Direct Order subscription plan, which starts at $199 per month.

Mobile App of ‘App2Food’ Vs Mobile App of ‘Chownow’




Mobile app of App2Food

With an easy-to-use user interface and a well-optimized design that precisely blends with the device specifications of customers, App2Food brings us a truly awesome mobile app. The application is available on the Apple App Store for iOS users and on Google Play for Android users. Restaurants need not run into any problematic situations; there’s no need to create menus separately for different configurations.



Mobile app of ChowNow

ChowNow applications are also available on App Store and Google Playstore. The brand’s application has received an impressive amount of installs from customers, and the positive rating is also remarkable. But since it is a marketplace app for the brand, personalised branding may be hampered. Luckily, it is the restaurant’s choice whether they want to be listed or not.

User Support: What to Expect from App2Food and Chownow?




User Support

App2Food’s support facilities for the restaurant operator are appreciable. The brand is quick and responsive, available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to answer any client questions. You can simply visit the App2Food website and open the chat box to start a conversation.

Alternatively, you can use the “Contact us” form and specifically send your query to the online ordering system. The brand’s phone number, email address, and physical address demonstrate how concerned they are about their image and support for their customers. 




ChowNow also provides great support to its clients and restaurants. Support seekers can reach out to the company via text, phone call, or email. Like App2Food, they do provide 24×7 hours of support, and their friendly representatives will always do their best to resolve your queries.

In this segment, both ChowNow and App2Food are beating each other. Delivery, dine-in, and pick-up facilities are provided by Chownow, but such facilities have been covered in the Cloud Kitchen Business Model of App2Food and are categorised as optional.

Exclusive Offers at App2Food, and Chownow




offers of App2Food

Exclusive offers at App2Food can’t be left unnoticed. In addition to online ordering, the product category of the platform features an array of offers for restaurants.

Among these, the self ordering kiosk for restaurants, restaurant loyalty program, marketing benefit, cloud kitchen, and online gift cards for restaurants are the most notable ones. As you go through each of them, you are introduced to some great perks—everything at zero expense.

All these offers are exclusively intended to progress the culture of online ordering systems that are affordable and more goal-oriented for restaurants.



POS integration and Photoshoots

Aside from POS Integration, we found ChowNow’s PhotoShoots services to be quite unique. A professional photographer from the company snaps your product and restaurant’s image and exposes you to some great marketing benefits. You also get the opportunity to partner with the Restaurant Success Manager for expert marketing advice.


Finally, the debate on App2Food vs. ChowNow ends here. It’s no surprise that both platforms are doing superbly well in their own territories. Both have slightly different business models but are working toward the same goal—growing the restaurant industry—in their own distinct way. The ultimate choice is yours; if you can afford a considerable monthly fee to run your restaurant online, ChowNow is good for you. But if you can’t afford it, you can go with App2Food without blinking twice.