VoIP for Restaurants: Benefits, Features & Top Providers

Running a successful restaurant isn’t just about the food; it’s about the entire dining experience. In fact, according to recent statistics, 75% of customers believe that the overall restaurant experience influences their decision to return

From the moment a customer looks up at your place to the time they walk out the door, every interaction should be an ideal combination of convenience, taste, and service. 

In this digital age, your restaurant’s communication strategy plays a vital role in this experience, and Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology is transforming the way restaurants connect with their diners and streamline operations.

If you are a restaurant owner, or small business operator looking to improve your connectivity game, this comprehensive guide is your starting point.

Uderstadning VoIP for restaurants 

Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) in the restaurant industry is an advanced telecommunications system that utilizes your Internet connection for call management, replacing traditional phone lines.

The VoIP system transforms the way your restaurants engage with diners, providing functionalities like online reservations, direct website calls, and integrated feedback channels.


For restaurant owners, VoIP provides a flexible solution that not only enhances internal communication among staff and external engagement with diners but also easily integrates with other digital tools crucial for restaurant management. 

Related Reading: How VoIP works step by step

Key benefits of VoIP for restaurants

Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) systems offer several key benefits for restaurants, enhancing both operational efficiencies and customer experience. Here are some of the primary advantages:


1/ Cost Efficiency:

Incorporating VoIP technology into your restaurant operations can result in substantial cost savings. If you utilize conventional landline systems it may result in expensive monthly costs, charges for distant calls, and high maintenance expenses.

On the other hand, VoIP solutions use your current internet connection, significantly cutting down overhead costs. Moreover, VoIP systems rely less on physical infrastructure, reducing expenses associated with setup and ongoing maintenance. 

2/ Data Analytics and Reporting:

VoIP technology also offers restaurants advanced data analytics and reporting capabilities. This feature provides valuable insights related to your restaurant call patterns, customer preferences, and team performance. By analyzing this data, you can optimize operations, customize marketing efforts, and enhance the overall customer experience.

3/ Mobility and Flexibility:

VoIP technology offers better mobility and flexibility, allowing restaurant staff to manage communications from anywhere within the space using mobile devices or computers. Your team can handle reservations, customer inquiries, and internal coordination without being limited to a fixed location.

The ability of staff to communicate effectively from any location within the restaurant not only improves operational efficiency but also ensures that customer service remains a top priority, regardless of where your team members are situated.

4/ Real-time Feedback Collection:

The capacity to gather immediate feedback from your customers is another benefit of using VoIP. This system enables your restaurants to gather and receive real-time feedback, allowing your managers and staff to easily address any concerns or compliments. Immediate access to customer insights facilitates a responsive and proactive approach to service improvement. 

5/ Integrated Reservations System:

VoIP technology significantly enhances your restaurant’s ability to manage dining reservations. By integrating reservations directly into your VoIP system, your restaurants can automate the booking process, reducing the chances of overbooking or double booking, and provide a more streamlined experience for both staff and diners.

This digital approach not only simplifies the reservation management process but also offers the added benefits of real-time updates and scalability.

Whether it’s adjusting for peak dining hours or accommodating special events, VoIP’s integrated reservations system ensures that your restaurant can effectively manage its seating capacity, thus optimizing the dining experience and maximizing customer satisfaction.

6/ Enhanced Team Coordination:

VoIP can also transform how your restaurant staff collaborate and communicate internally. By enabling instant connections among team members, regardless of their physical location, VoIP ensures better communication at all operational levels.

This technology supports your team to address immediate needs, share crucial updates, and coordinate tasks effectively, resulting in a well-structured and responsive service team. 

7/ Reliability and Quality:

Modern VoIP services offer high-quality, reliable communication solutions that keep your restaurant connected even during peak times. It also ensures that every call, whether it be from customers or between staff, is clear and uninterrupted. 

How VoIP enhances customer service in restaurants 

VoIP technology significantly enhances customer service in your restaurant by ensuring that every customer interaction is uninterrupted and professional. With features like automated attendants and custom messaging, your customers are greeted warmly, irrespective of how busy your restaurant is. 

Imagine a scenario where a customer calls to make a last-minute reservation. Instead of being put on hold, they’re immediately attended to by an automated system that guides them through the booking process, or better yet, directly connects them to a staff member who can assist. This level of responsiveness and personal touch makes your diners feel valued and appreciated.

Furthermore, VoIP’s call forwarding and voicemail-to-email capabilities mean you never miss out on providing timely responses to your customers’ queries or requests. Whether it’s a question about your menu, a request for a reservation, or feedback from a recent visit, you’re always in the loop and prepared to respond proactively. 

This boosts your customer satisfaction levels and builds a reputation for your restaurant as one that genuinely cares for and respects its diners’ needs and time. Through VoIP, you’re not just serving meals; you’re offering a highly personalized dining experience that keeps your diners coming back.

VoIP features that restaurants should look for 

When selecting a VoIP system for your restaurant, it is crucial to prioritize features that enhance operational efficiency, customer satisfaction, and team collaboration. Here are some of the essential VoIP features that restaurants should consider:

1/ Automated Attendants: Automated systems that handle initial customer calls, directing them to the appropriate department or providing information, thus ensuring a professional first impression for your restaurant.

2/ Custom Messaging: This VoIP feature enables restaurants to create customized messages for callers. These messages can range from warm greetings and promotional updates on specials or events to practical details like opening hours and location directions. 

3/ Call Forwarding: This feature redirects calls from the restaurant to personal or mobile phones, ensuring customer calls are never missed, even outside business hours.

4/ Voicemail to Email: A critical feature for maintaining exceptional customer service, Voicemail to Email automatically converts voice messages into an email format and sends them directly to your inbox. This ensures that customer inquiries and feedback are not overlooked even when direct answers are not immediately possible. 

5/ Conference Calling: Essential for facilitating group discussions, Conference Calling allows restaurant staff, management, and external partners to participate in calls simultaneously, regardless of their physical locations. This capability is critical for coordinating between multiple departments, planning events, or discussing supplier agreements.

6/ Real-time Performance Analysis: Provides insights into your restaurant call volume, peak call times, and customer interaction, enabling better staffing and service decisions.

7/ Call Queuing: Call Queuing systematically organizes and prioritizes customer calls, ensuring they are answered efficiently and on time. This function is essential for maintaining high levels of customer satisfaction during peak business hours, minimizing wait times, and preventing potential diners’ frustration.

8/ Caller ID and Call Blocking: These features help manage calls more efficiently, allowing your staff to prioritize responses and reduce unwanted or spam calls.

9/ Scalability: The ability to easily add or remove lines or services as your restaurant’s needs change, supporting both growth and downsizing without significant investment.

10/ Integration Capabilities: Compatibility with other digital systems such as reservation and order management software, streamlining operations, and improving customer service.

11/ Quality of Service (QoS) Controls: Assures high call quality by prioritizing voice traffic over other types of internet traffic, crucial for maintaining clear communication with customers and within your team.

Use Cases for VoIP in Restaurants 

VoIP technology provides a wide range of advantages that can transform restaurant operations. In addition to the mentioned capabilities above, several other key use cases showcase its flexibility:


Best VoIP phone system for small restaurants

When choosing a VoIP phone system for your small restaurant, it’s crucial to select a solution that meets your current requirements and can expand your business while staying cost-effective. Here are five top VoIP phone systems designed for small restaurants, combining features, user-friendliness, and affordability.

1/ RingCentral:


RingCentral provides a broad range of features customized to the specific requirements of small restaurants. With its user-friendly interface, it promotes efficient adoption among staff members while offering essential services like call forwarding, voicemail-to-email, and on-hold music. The platform further supports video conferencing and team messaging, making it valuable for coordinating with teams in different locations.

RingCentral Features for Restaurants:

  • Call Forwarding: Reroute incoming calls to another number or device ensuring no customer call goes unanswered.
  • Voicemail-to-Email: Transcribes voicemail messages to text and sends them directly to your email, facilitating prompt response.
  • On-Hold Music: Offers a selection of music or marketing messages that play while customers are on hold, enhancing their waiting experience.
  • Video Conferencing: Enables virtual face-to-face meetings with staff or suppliers, ensuring clear communication and collaboration.
  • Team Messaging: Provides a platform for instant text communication between team members, significantly optimizing the workflow within restaurant operations.
  • Multi-Location Support: Seamlessly connects multiple restaurant locations under one system for unified communication.
  • Auto-Receptionist: Greets callers with a customizable message and directs them to the appropriate extension, improving call efficiency.
  • Call Logs: Maintains a detailed record of all incoming and outgoing calls, aiding in monitoring and strategizing customer communication.
  • Call Screening: Allows you to preview incoming caller information before answering, giving you control over which calls to answer immediately.
  • Cloud-Based Management: Offers a centralized online portal for easy management of your phone system, accessible from anywhere.
  • Mobile App Integration: Extends the functionality of your VoIP system to mobile devices, enabling staff mobility and flexibility.

RingCentral Pricing Plans:

  • Essentials Plan: Ideal for small restaurants starting with VoIP solutions, this plan includes call management, team messaging, and VoIP calling with a user limit.
  • Standard Plan: The Standard Plan offers unlimited internet fax, video conferencing for up to 100 participants, and CRM system integration to enhance customer service and internal coordination.
  • Premium Plan: Meeting the Needs of restaurants searching for advanced communication tools, the Premium Plan provides features like automatic call recording, multi-site support, and real-time analytics. It also enhances video conferencing to 200 participants and offers advanced call handling.
  • Ultimate Plan: The comprehensive choice for large or growing restaurant chains, the Ultimate Plan includes all Premium Plan features, extends video conferencing to 200+ participants, and provides unlimited cloud storage.

2/ Nextiva:


Nextiva is favored by many restaurants and hostels for its reliability and exceptional customer service. For small restaurants, it offers features like automatic call routing, which ensures that every call reaches the appropriate recipient or department. The platform also includes a mobile app that enables staff to manage communications from anywhere, facilitating out-of-restaurant management tasks.

Nextiva Features for Restaurants:

  • Internet Faxing Capability: Simplifies the process of managing documents by enabling the transmission of faxes online, reducing the need for traditional fax machines, and reducing paper waste.
  • Call Pop: Displays critical customer information before the call is answered, enabling personalized service.
  • Conference Calling: Supports multi-participant calls for efficient team meetings and supplier negotiations.
  • Call Queuing: Manages incoming call traffic effectively, ensuring that every call is answered on time.
  • Call Analytics: Delivers critical insights by analyzing call data, which helps in optimizing staff allocation and enhancing the quality of customer interactions.
  • Advanced IVR (Interactive Voice Response): Offers an advanced automated attendant that guides callers through menu options, improving your call routing efficiency.
  • Unlimited Calling and SMS: Allows for extensive communication with diners and team members without incurring additional costs.

Nextiva Pricing Plans:

  • Essential Plan: Entry-level plan for small restaurants, offering unlimited calling, call routing, and mobile app access.
  • Professional Plan: Includes online faxing, conference calling for up to 40 participants, and CRM integrations.
  • Enterprise Plan: Specialized to larger restaurants with features like unlimited conference calling, call recording, voicemail to email transcription and advanced call analytics.

3/ 8×8:


8×8 is known for its security measures and international calling capabilities, making it a better choice for restaurants with overseas suppliers. Its features include team chat for internal communications, call analytics to track and improve customer interactions, and cloud-based voicemail for easy message management.

8X8 Features for Restaurants:

  • Team Chat: Enhances internal communication efficiency through a secure messaging platform.
  • Call Analytics: Equips your restaurants with insights into customer call patterns and service quality for improved performance.
  • Cloud-Based Voicemail: Simplifies voicemail management, ensuring no messages go unnoticed.
  • International Calling: Enables cost-effective international calls, ideal for coordinating with global suppliers or branches.
  • Video Conferencing: Facilitates top-quality video calls for team meetings, supplier engagements, and more.
  • Call Recording: Provides call recording capabilities for quality assurance and training purposes.
  • Virtual Receptionist: Streamlines call management, ensuring prompt customer redirection to the appropriate department.
  • SMS Messaging: Enables direct customer communication for updates, promotions, or reminders.
  • CRM Integration: Perfectly integrates with Customer Relationship Management systems to enhance customer service.
  • Multi-Level Auto Attendant: Guides callers through menu options via an automated system, enhancing the calling experience.
  • Secure Communications: Maintains security measures to protect business and customer data, ensuring all communications are protected.

8×8 Pricing Plans: 

8×8 provides various pricing plans, starting with X2 at $24 per user per month (billed annually) or $28 per month (billed monthly).

4/ Grasshopper:


Grasshopper is ideal for restaurants that are always moving, such as food trucks or pop-up venues. It offers a simple set-up with no additional hardware required, as it operates via a mobile app. Features include voicemail transcription, which allows for quick response to customer inquiries, and a business number that can be used across staff members’ phones, maintaining professionalism while keeping costs low.

Grasshopper Features for Restaurants

  • Mobile App: Enables efficient operations without the need for extra hardware, making it ideal for food trucks or pop-up venues.
  • Voicemail Transcription: Converts voicemails to text, allowing quick and effortless responses to customer inquiries.
  • Business Number: Provides a professional business number that can be used on staff’s phones, maintaining a unified brand identity.
  • Customizable Ring Groups: Equally distributes incoming calls among staff for improved response times and customer service.
  • No Hardware Required: Functions only through the mobile app, removing the necessity for traditional phone systems or setups.
  • 24/7 Customer Support: Ensures continuous assistance around the clock to immediately resolve any issues and maintain uninterrupted service.

Grasshopper Pricing Plans: 

  • Solo: $14 per month for 1 number and 3 extensions, perfect for small teams.
  • Partner: $46 per month for 3 numbers and 6 extensions, ideal for expanding teams.
  • Small Business: Offers 5 numbers and unlimited extensions at $80 per month.

5. Vonage


Vonage offers customizable plans, allowing small restaurants to pay only for the features they need. Key offerings include SMS messaging, which can be used for promotions or updates to diners, and a virtual receptionist to streamline call management during busy hours. This platform is also highly compatible with a variety of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems for enhanced customer service.

Vonage Features for Restaurants

  • SMS Messaging: Send promotional messages or updates directly to diner’s mobile phones.
  • Virtual Receptionist: Efficiently manage calls, guiding customers quickly during busy periods.
  • Customizable Plans: Choose personalized features for cost optimization.
  • Mobile App Integration: Manage communications while on the move for remote work convenience.
  • Video Conferencing: Conduct face-to-face meetings with staff or suppliers, regardless of location.
  • VoIP Calling: Make high-quality voice calls over the internet to reduce telephony costs.
  • Call Forwarding: Route calls to alternate numbers to prevent missed calls.
  • Auto-Attendant: Direct callers to the appropriate department or individual with an advanced automated system.
  • Call Analytics: Gain insights into call volumes and patterns for operational planning and customer service enhancement.
  • Unlimited Calling and Messaging: Communicate extensively with customers and teams without extra charges.
  • Call Screening: Identify and manage incoming calls effectively.
  • Online Faxing: Send and receive faxes digitally for streamlined document management.

Vonage Pricing Plans: 

  • Mobile Plan: Ideal for restaurants needing basic VoIP services – unlimited calls/SMS in-country, VoIP calling, & mobile app access. A budget-friendly choice for small establishments streamlining communication.
  • Premium Plan: For mid-sized restaurants, includes Mobile Plan features + CRM integration, video conferencing for staff/supplier meetings, & virtual receptionist for peak hour call management.
  • Advanced Plan: Tailored for larger restaurants/chains needing comprehensive communication tools. Offers advanced call management – call recording, voicemail-to-email transcription, call analytics, & on-demand customer support.

Case study of restaurant using VoIP 

Café Rio began as a small place serving authentic dishes and quickly expanded to six locations. Since 2004, it has seen fast growth to nearly 115 spots in different states, with an impressive yearly growth rate of over 20 percent. 

As the business grew, Café Rio recognized the importance of enhancing customer service. This led to the introduction of a complete service strategy across all contact points. Customers could now order through a mobile app, the online platform, self-service stands in stores, and tablets used by staff to efficiently manage queues. 

Free Wi-Fi was also offered for guests. To simplify daily operations, Café Rio integrated new technologies and tools. Managers were provided with tablets to work smoothly from anywhere in the restaurant, enabling them to handle reports, and emails, and even conduct interviews on the spot. 

The deployment of Voice over IP (VoIP) phone systems not only cut costs but also simplified IT management. Additionally, connected networks aided staff training, fast responses to customer and management emails, and gave kitchen staff easy access to standard recipes.


  1. Enhanced Bandwidth: Achieved a 25-fold increase in bandwidth capacity.
  2. Cost Savings in Communications: Transitioning to a VoIP-based system is expected to save over $200,000 annually in communication expenses.
  3. Reduced Initial CapEx for New Outlets: Successfully decreased the initial capital expenditures for launching new restaurants by around $10,000.
  4. Efficient Transition and Expansion: Streamlined the process of migrating existing outlets and establishing new ones within the upgraded network architecture.

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