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Updated May 16, 2024

Best Business Phone Systems for Restaurants

No matter your restaurant type, you need a robust phone system for communicating with staff, customers and food vendors.

Jessica Elliott
Jessica Elliott, Senior Analyst & Expert on Business Operations
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A editor verified this analysis to ensure it meets our standards for accuracy, expertise and integrity.
Best for Collaboration
RingCentral logo
  • Unlimited domestic calling
  • 24/7 chat and phone support
  • Hundreds of integrations and APIs
USALinks to RingEX


Visit Site
  • Unlimited domestic calling
  • 24/7 chat and phone support
  • Hundreds of integrations and APIs
Best for Video Conferencing
  • Metered and unlimited calling plans
  • 24/7 chat and phone support
  • IVR system included in all plans
USALinks to Zoom
Visit Site
  • Metered and unlimited calling plans
  • 24/7 chat and phone support
  • IVR system included in all plans
Best for Analytics and Reporting
  • Report scheduling via NextOS
  • 24/7 chat, phone and email support
  • Up to 2,000 texts per phone line
USALinks to NextivaONE
Visit Site
  • Report scheduling via NextOS
  • 24/7 chat, phone and email support
  • Up to 2,000 texts per phone line
Best for Ease of Use
Ooma Office
  • Express setup assistant
  • 24/7 phone support
  • Intercom and paging capabilities
USALinks to Ooma Office
Visit Site
  • Express setup assistant
  • 24/7 phone support
  • Intercom and paging capabilities
Best for Voice Intelligence
  • AI-powered analytics
  • 24/5 live support on the base plan
  • Automatic spam-call detection
  • AI-powered analytics
  • 24/5 live support on the base plan
  • Automatic spam-call detection

Table of Contents

Open row is dedicated to providing businesses across industries with independent reviews of the software and services that can take their enterprises to the next level. We engage in comprehensive research, rigorous product testing and vendor interviews to evaluate each solution’s value versus its costs. To ensure every evaluation is bias- and error-free, all recommendations are vetted by a top editor before publication.

When considering the best business phone systems for restaurants, we looked for platforms that were easy for managers and hosts alike to use for communicating with prospective diners, kitchen staff and food vendors. We favored modern solutions equipped with voice intelligence tools to help with efficient reservation and order taking, complaint resolution and interactive voice response for a pleasant guest experience. We compared each provider’s plan limits and costs and preferred those that also offered text message services. Learn more about our methodology and editorial process.

Phones rarely stop ringing at restaurants, whether you run a full-service establishment or a small cafe. The best business phone system for your restaurant supports your communication needs, like handling take-out orders and reservations, transferring calls and paging the kitchen manager. It can streamline operations while improving the guest experience. We assessed voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services based on ease of use, pricing and features. See how the top-rated systems for the food industry stack up.

Business Phone Systems for Restaurants Comparison

BDC Ribbon
Our Top Picks for 2024
Ooma Office
Rating (Out of 10)
Best Use Case


Video conferencing

Analytics and reporting

Ease of use

Voice intelligence

Monthly Cost of Base Plan



$29.95 (for five to 19 lines)



Annual Price of Base Plan






Free Trial

14 days

None listed

Contact company for free trial information

30-day money-back guarantee

14 days

SMS/MMS Limits

25 to 200 monthly


1,000 to 2,000 monthly



Video Meeting Capacity

100 to 200

100 to 1,000

25 video and 250 audio-only attendees

25 to 100


Toll-Free Minutes

100 to 10,000


1,500 to 12,500



Review Link
Scroll Table
RingCentral logo
  • AI tools generate meeting summaries and highlights.
  • All RingCentral subscriptions include call queues.
  • RingCentral does not provide unlimited text messaging.
Editor's Rating: 9.1/10


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Large restaurant chains use RingCentral to keep leaders in the loop and improve training experiences. The system provides unlimited audio and video conferencing with AI-generated meeting insights, making every meeting more productive. Our full review of RingCentral found that the platform’s collaboration tools outperformed competitors’, making it ideal for restaurants that need to connect with suppliers, district managers and crew leaders.

When you’re training new hires, you can give them the best of both worlds with live interactive presentations on critical topics. RingCentral’s full-featured experience puts your trainer front and center for an engaging experience, allowing them to educate staff about company policies before stepping onto the floor.

The sophisticated phone platform enhances customer experiences by supporting guest surveys and status updates via text messaging. We loved the AI-powered noise-reduction feature, as it increased call clarity by removing much of the background noise that’s common in busy restaurants.

You can sync your customer relationship management (CRM) system and automatically collect data. RingCentral’s administration tools also let leaders monitor call quality and identify problem areas. Also, we appreciated how easy it was to alter call menus or flows from the admin panel

  • Video meeting features come standard with pay-as-you-go and unlimited calling plans.
  • Restaurants can mix and match subscriptions to save money.
  • Zoom offers fewer CRM integrations than RingCentral does.
Editor's Rating: 9/10
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Although most VoIP providers offer video conferencing, Zoom is the only solution with metered and unlimited plans. We appreciate that restaurants of any size can benefit from advanced interactive voice response (IVR), auto-attendants, messaging and video tools. You can equip your one-person food truck or delivery drivers with pay-as-you-go plans while outfitting your cafe with an unlimited line to maximize your savings. As noted in our full review of Zoom, all subscriptions include the same standard features.

Along with Zoom Phone packages, the provider offers a Zoom One Business Plus plan that boosts your video meeting capacity and conferencing tool kit, including an all-new AI companion. Similar to RingCentral’s AI offering, this feature generates post-meeting summaries and searchable transcripts.

With call queues and shared line capabilities, your staff can answer calls from any line to reduce wait times. We also liked the holiday and business hour functions and the asset library for audio recordings. The library holds voicemail and menu greetings, hold music and more.

  • NextOS automatically sends reports to restaurant owners and managers.
  • Business users rate Nextiva’s customer support higher than competitors’ services.
  • Nextiva’s base plan doesn’t include mobile SMS or audio conferencing.
Editor's Rating: 8.5/10
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For small and multilocation restaurants, Nextiva simplifies the reporting process while providing the best customer service in the industry. It has basic and advanced analytics, giving leaders access to data about call times and volumes. In our Nextiva review, we discovered that the system helps restaurants track response rates to digital marketing campaigns or calls from Google Ads, making it our top pick for analytics and reporting.

Besides the reporting functions, we were pleased with our interactions with Nextiva’s customer support, and user reviews were similarly positive in this area. The company assists during and after deployment, making this system an excellent solution for companies that need hands-on service. We also liked the user-friendly admin portal, which allowed us to update call flows for multiple locations to maintain consistency across restaurants.

With Nextiva’s group texting tools, restaurant managers can request shift coverage in minutes. Likewise, the screen-pop feature pulls guest data from your CRM. It displays essential details so your staff can personalize greetings and understand ordering history.

The NextivaONE platform has a conversation-thread feature. We think this tool works exceptionally well for handling supply chain issues, as it pulls data from emails, attachments, call notes and more.

  • With preconfigured phones, restaurants can install a new system in 15 minutes.
  • Ooma’s optional backup service ensures restaurant continuity during internet outages.
  • The base plan does not include text messaging.
Editor's Rating: 9/10
Visit Site

Small food businesses need headache-free phone installation and easy-to-use management tools. Ooma delivers on all fronts. During our user testing and research for our full Ooma review, we were pleased with Ooma’s Express Setup Assistant, which walked us through each installation step. When combined with preconfigured phones, the setup takes just 15 minutes.

We also found the overhead paging system easier to install than rival services. After plugging an adapter into your current platform, you simply set up the multicast paging button through the Ooma Office dashboard. Ooma also has a separate intercom option, which works particularly well for small crews in the kitchen or office.

Another feature that is unique to Ooma is the Continuous Voice add-on, a continuous backup for services going through the Ooma Connect base station. Ooma automatically switches to an LTE (long-term evolution) line if your internet service fails or is unreliable. Like other Ooma solutions, Ooma Connect is plug-and-play for quick installation.

All subscriptions include over 50 standard features, and restaurants can use the virtual receptionist and ring groups to improve customer experiences. Hold music and toll-free minutes are also included.

  • All subscriptions include multilevel auto-attendants and unlimited calling.
  • An AI assistant helps your restaurant after-hours.
  • The entry-tier plan does not offer 24/7 customer service or hold queues.
Editor's Rating: 8.8/10

Dialpad’s AI and voice analytics tools can reveal how often callers mention competitors or terms like “cold food.” It automatically transcribes voicemails and video meetings, allowing your restaurant to analyze all voice conversations. We believe these features are valuable for food businesses with multiple revenue streams, like takeout, catering and curbside pickup. Our Dialpad review found that Dialpad is the best business phone system for restaurants seeking voice intelligence.

Restaurants can leverage AI to track customer sentiment and keywords and thus improve guest retention. The platform supports five-hour video meetings with up to 10 attendees and includes chat messaging and a waiting room. The AI assistant generates action items, highlights and summaries.

By establishing business hours and custom routing rules, you can send callers to the right person and ensure an enjoyable wait time by adding custom hold music. We appreciate that all plans include call recording and text messaging, as other providers lock these features behind pricier subscriptions.

Restaurant Phone System Pricing

The costs of business phone systems for restaurants range from $10 to $30 monthly for an entry-tier restaurant phone subscription. While the pricing description describes the monthly fee as a “per user” cost, restaurants where multiple team members use the same phone during a shift should consider this the price per phone location. For example, you would purchase a plan for your host stand and another for your office.

Higher-priced packages come with advanced features, which vary by provider. Many vendors offer discounts for restaurants that sign contracts or prepay for one year or longer. Others provide a deal for companies that purchase five or more lines.

All providers, except Zoom Phone, offer unlimited inbound and outbound calling. Zoom Phone differs because it has a metered plan, in which you incur additional per-minute fees for outgoing calls.

Beyond your subscription fee, you may pay per-minute fees for international calling, toll-free minutes and SMS/MMS texting. Several VoIP providers offer a limited number of toll-free minutes or SMS messages, and you incur fees after going over this amount.

Typically, you won’t pay a setup fee for restaurant phone systems. You may use existing hardware or choose to buy or lease new phones. Preconfigured cordless and desk phones start at $3.90 monthly or $160 outright from Nextiva.

Bottom LineBottom line
The advanced features, mobility and scalability make VoIP a better choice for restaurants than other types of business phone systems. We recommend that business owners speak directly to sales representatives. Sometimes, companies offer promotions that differ from the pricing listed on their websites.

Restaurant Phone Service Features

The best business phone systems for restaurants provide basic and advanced call management features. Most platforms offer several subscriptions, allowing owners to choose the combination of tools for their budget and establishment.

Auto-Attendant and IVR

Modern restaurant phone services greet callers automatically with a virtual receptionist. For example, the auto-attendant menu may ask the caller to press 1 to place an order, 2 to speak with a manager or 3 to reach the host. Some providers offer an IVR system, which allows for self-service, such as letting customers hear that night’s dinner specials or business hours.

Desktop and Mobile Apps

Softphone applications turn mobile phones, tablets and computers into communication devices that allow you to make and receive calls, join video or audio conferences, send faxes or share files while messaging with your kitchen manager.

Business Phone Number

Nearly all cloud-based phone services for restaurants include a toll-free or local business phone number with plans. VoIP numbers aren’t bound to a dedicated line, meaning you can log in to your account from any internet-connected device and access your phone and service.

Call Forwarding

With call forwarding, you can automatically send inbound calls to another number, including your cell phone, landline or voicemail. This feature is invaluable for small business owners who need to handle an emergency or grab supplies midday but still must be available to accept incoming calls.

Ring Groups

Growing restaurants experiencing high call volumes decrease caller wait times with the ring groups tool. When a customer presses 1 for reservations or takeout, this feature rings all lines associated with the ring group, either in a sequence or simultaneously.

Overhead Paging

Cloud-based phone systems also support internal communications. Several VoIP providers offer intercom or overhead paging features. Aside from letting customers know when their tables are ready, an announcement service can help when a guest leaves their vehicle lights on in the parking lot, for example. During the dinner rush, it’s much easier to make an announcement than to ask your servers to go table to table.


Voicemail comes standard with restaurant phone systems, but it’s also common to see visual voicemail tools, like voicemail-to-email or voicemail-to-text notifications. Because many consumers expect transcribed voicemails, VoIP providers now transcribe messages so you can scan your messages behind the counter discreetly.

Call Flip and Multiring

Call flip and multiring tools are must-have features for restaurant managers and owners. Suppose you start a conversation with a supplier in the back office but need to confirm details by heading to the stockroom. In that case, you’d appreciate the ability to seamlessly switch a call from your desk phone to your cell phone. Likewise, with multiring, calls to your business number ring your cell phone and office phone (or any device you choose) so you never miss a call.

Hold Music and Messaging

Several phone services for restaurants include hold music or messaging capabilities. This feature lets you upload tunes that match your brand or insert a promotional message. While a quick response is best, on-point messaging and music are better than dead air.

Call Reports and Analytics

Business intelligence and reporting tools vary by provider. At a minimum, VoIP services give call logs with a record of inbound and outbound calls. Advanced systems can analyze call queues, customer sentiment and more. With the correct data, restaurant owners can use the information to adjust business hours and labor to ensure phone coverage and profitability.

Did You Know?Did you know
Nextiva, RingCentral and Dialpad offer standard and add-on voice analytics tools. These AI-powered features provide details about caller sentiment and can help restaurant owners decide when to hire or schedule more staff to meet higher call volumes.

Call Queues

Typically found on higher-priced plans, call queues are best for restaurants with high call volumes. This feature places callers in a waiting line until someone can speak with them. Sophisticated phone systems with call queues allow fast-paced eateries to manage multiple lines and guest needs (such as delivery, takeout, reservations, complaints, multilocations and catering).

Third-Party Integrations

Most internet-based phone systems connect to Microsoft and Google calendars and contacts. Some sync with point-of-sale (POS) or CRM systems, like HubSpot, Salesforce and Zendesk. However, most VoIP phone services don’t have built-in integrations for reservation platforms, online ordering systems or employee scheduling tools.

Video Conferencing

Although restaurant owners and managers use video conferencing less than other businesses do, this tool still comes in handy when you’re negotiating pricing face-to-face with vendors or landlords. Also, multilocation establishments can pull their management team together in one virtual room to prepare for upcoming events. Most VoIP services offer basic video conferencing features, including screen sharing and recording.

Team Messaging and SMS

A cloud-based private branch exchange (PBX) system unifies several communication methods on a single platform so your staff and guests aren’t limited to voice calls. Consider using private and public chat messaging rooms to improve employee onboarding, training and feedback experiences.

Failover Solutions

Some VoIP providers offer failover options in case of an internet outage. You can configure lines to automatically forward to alternate phone numbers, an internet service provider or a failover connection.

TipBottom line
If your restaurant relies on delivery and takeout orders, speak with a VoIP representative about possible failover solutions. In most cases, your establishment requires top business internet services for several tools (payment processing and POS systems). Therefore, an uninterruptible power supply, a specialized router backup device or a generator may be a better option.

How to Choose a Restaurant Phone System

Cloud-based phone platforms have many of the same features and functionalities. However, some are more intuitive than others to set up and use on countertop phones and mobile devices. Others require more configuration but perform better for multisite restaurants, allowing district managers to centralize virtual training programs or handle overflow calls. Take the following steps when you’re selecting a business phone service:

1. Assess your restaurant’s requirements.

Evaluate your current setup. What works well, and what could be better? For instance, if you’re switching from a landline to VoIP, mobility is a massive advantage. Your existing voicemail service or hardware may need an upgrade as well. Look at your call volume, and observe how your staff uses the phone lines during an average shift. These actions will help you determine what your restaurant needs in a business phone system.

Think about these questions:

  • How many telephone lines does your restaurant need? Remember, you will most likely require a line for employees to call out or an extension for them to pick up at separate spaces (e.g., bar, host stand, office).
  • What type of hardware will you use? You can buy or lease VoIP phones, add analog telephone adapters to conventional phones, or use headsets with computers or mobile devices.
  • Do you need advanced features, like IVR, call queues or voice analytics? Multilocation businesses or high-volume restaurants may require more sophisticated tools than small bistros, food trucks and diners do.

2. Identify restaurant phone solutions.

Perform market research to find the best options for restaurant business phone systems, and begin your selection process. Use guides (like this one and our ratings of the best business phone systems) to compare phone systems and subscriptions. Reach out to your professional network and industry groups to request recommendations. Restaurant owners and managers are often willing to share what has worked for them. Also, they may have tips for implementation and deployment.

Read user reviews and app store ratings. If possible, look for ones from restaurant users, which can offer more specific insights than general reviews. Lastly, remember to identify patterns in the ratings and reviews. Repetitive issues with customer service, feature usability or mobile app updates can signal a problem.

FYIDid you know
Many business phone systems offer high uptimes, but some restaurants have connectivity issues. Explore ways to optimize your network for VoIP to avoid experiencing dropped calls or garbled conversations.

3. Contact VoIP companies for pricing and demos.

A phone system demonstration is an excellent way to experience the platform. Contact restaurant business phone providers and schedule a demo. If there are particular features you have questions about, ask them to cover these tools during the meeting. Feel free to ask questions and record the demo for any restaurant leaders or managers who are part of the decision-making process. At the end of the demo, you can request a quote and free trial or wait to talk with your team before starting a free trial.

4. Evaluate the best restaurant phone service providers.

List the factors you’ll use to evaluate your top choices. Ask other team members to rate their experiences. It can be helpful for them to score the most-used features or leave comments about what they loved or disliked about different phone systems.

You may want to include the following points:

  • Customer support options and response times
  • Mobile and desktop apps’ ease of use
  • Support for existing overhead paging systems
  • Total costs for phone lines, hardware and toll-free minutes, if needed
  • Reporting and analytics tools
  • Phone hardware compatibility and lease or purchase options
  • Integrations with third-party software

5. Consider the contract terms.

While the best prices typically come with long-term contracts, we suggest starting with a one-month plan if you’re uncertain about your decision. This can increase your initial costs but allow you to test the services before committing to a one- to three-year agreement.

Benefits of Business Phone Systems for Restaurants

VoIP phone services modernize your communications. They help your restaurant meet guests’ expectations with shortened call wait times and improved experiences. Beyond inbound and outbound calling, digital platforms support video and text. With mobile apps, you can answer guest calls, whether you’re running a food truck or catering an event. Learn how food and beverage companies benefit from VoIP phone systems.

Improved Caller Experiences and Wait Times

Busy signals and long hold times don’t bode well for restaurants when your callers are hungry. Phone system features such as virtual receptionists, call queues and hold music can take your customer service to the next level. An auto-attendant greets every caller before ringing lines or placing the caller in a queue. With analytics, you can see where there’s room for improvement and identify peak hours.

Increased Crew Productivity

Certain tasks can slow your team down, like placing calls on hold to hunt down a manager or answering questions about your hours or daily specials. With a modern phone system, callers can select a menu option for restaurant hours, promotions or directions. Likewise, the call-transfer function can send callers to your manager in the office or the kitchen.

Support for Additional Restaurant Income Streams

Increasing restaurant profits is top of mind for many business owners, and adding curbside pickup, delivery, takeout, catering or heat-and-eat meals can boost your bottom line. CRM integrations help restaurants target the right guests and personalize marketing messages. Additionally, text messaging facilitates communication for to-go and delivery orders, ensuring seamless handoff.

Mobile Management

Restaurant owners rarely get a break, especially in the early years. However, with the rise of mobile POS systems, they can see real-time stats and monitor labor from anywhere. The same goes for cloud-based phone service. You can step away but still be available, thanks to iOS and Android apps that let you manage your restaurant from anywhere.

Restaurant Phone System FAQs

Restaurants can choose a conventional landline or an internet-based system. Because many companies are phasing out support for landline-based key service utility services and on-premises PBX systems are expensive to install and maintain, most restaurants prefer the VoIP platforms offered by providers such as RingCentral and Ooma.

VoIP phone services can automatically greet callers, ring multiple devices and route them to the correct department (the front or back of the house). In addition, your phone system can provide a customer self-service information line, collect survey data and enter customer data into your CRM software. Some systems, like RingCentral and Dialpad, offer AI-powered tools to automatically generate caller or meeting insights.

Internet-based phone systems work with compatible IP phones or a standard phone with an attached VoIP adapter. Alternatively, you can use VoIP on a desktop, tablet or mobile phone. Speak with your provider to explore options for using existing hardware or purchasing new devices.

Because VoIP isn’t tied to a location, you can use mobile and desktop apps from any internet-connected device to answer calls, text, video conference or chat. These features allow restaurant owners and managers to multitask and handle multiple locations.

The number of phone lines depends on your establishment’s size, call volume and services. At a minimum, most restaurants require two lines: one for the back office and another for the host stand. However, more prominent eateries may want additional lines for reservations and takeout, bar areas and the back of the house.

Jessica Elliott
Jessica Elliott, Senior Analyst & Expert on Business Operations
Jessica Elliott is a trusted expert in the realm of business software and technology, with nearly two decades of hands-on experience. Her keen insights span a wide array of sectors, including cloud computing, SaaS solutions and business phone systems. With a knack for evaluating and dissecting various business applications, Elliott specializes in advising business owners on the best platforms suitable for companies of all sizes. In addition to her technical acumen, Elliott holds certifications from HubSpot and is also well-versed in digital marketing, sales funnels and finance. Her valuable insights have been featured in esteemed publications such as U.S. News & World Report, USA Today and Investopedia.
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