People cannot live without food – it’s a fact of life. And it seems that nowadays, most cannot live without the internet either.
Because of those huge life-essentials, enormous opportunities exist for both food-related bloggers and businesses to capture a share of a massive online audience.
As you know, plugins are a quick and versatile way of customizing WordPress blogs and websites. There are tens of thousands available, and luckily for foodies, quite a number relate to food and drink.
Tips For Finding and Choosing Food-Related Plugins
Finding food-related plugins does not present any particular challenge, and the process for seeking them out is the same as for most other categories. For example, you can try looking up on Google search terms such as “food-related WordPress plugin”, or “WordPress plugin restaurant table booking” and you will be surprised by how many results appear.
Alternatively, if you prefer to keep everything within WordPress, you can simply search the plugin directory. This provides some peace of mind because before a plugin can be added to the directory, the developer must demonstrate that it is stable, at least for the version of WordPress that is current when the plugin is first launched.
The following tips apply not only when searching for plugins for your foodie blog or website, but they are also useful when looking for plugins for other non-food applications:
- Decide on the features you’d like your site to have, and compare which plugins cater to most of those. For example, do you want a plugin that just presents menus to your visitors, or do you want to offer them the facility to book a table too?
You may not find an exact match for all of your needs. However, you can often use several separate plugins to cover them. Just be aware that compatibility or crash issues can sometimes arise with your chosen theme or other plugins. If in doubt, don’t hesitate to reach out to the developers or forums and ask for advice.
- Check the star ratings for all the plugins which appear in the results. We suggest avoiding any with poor scores (say, less than 4.0/5.0).
Bear in mind that the very latest ones may not have accrued a rating yet, so it is worth checking the release date of any plugins which catch your eye that have no star rating.
- Read the reviews and support tabs to see what other people are saying about the plugins. From that, you will get a detailed overview of its performance, as well as the developer’s attitude to support.
- Check that the plugins are being regularly updated. If more than six months have passed since the last update, chances are it never will be. Outdated plugins may not be compatible with later releases of WordPress.
- Check what plans are available. Free versions often only have limited functionality and support but check anyway to see if they fulfill your needs before paying for premium versions. Also, check if there are any extensions (free or paid) that can be used to further tailor the plugin’s capabilities to your specific needs.
To help you in your hunt for the right plugins, we have chosen some of the best foodie-related ones that are available in the WordPress plugin directory.
Plugins For Food bloggers
For food bloggers, the majority of the plugins available are generally centered around recipes. Using these, it is possible to create eye-catching recipe pages on your blog that your visitors will love.
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What’s more, the plugins incorporate many interesting features that can bring a level of interactivity to your blog. Look out for things such as cooking timers, imperial-metric convertors, or the ability to automatically adjust ingredient quantities based on the required number of servings. Blog visitors enjoy that kind of interactivity, and that can help you to grow and retain a loyal user base.
Creating attractive recipes on your blog that are optimized for both mobile and desktop devices is easy with this plugin.
As well as including several customizable templates, you can allow your site visitors to leave ratings and create collections. Another very useful feature is a metric to imperial conversion tool, perfect for international audiences. Visitors can also adjust the number of servings they require, and the plugin will update the recipe quantities automatically.
WP Recipe Maker Key Features:
- Free plan with basic features available.
- Premium versions offer enhanced functionality and features.
- Premium versions are on a tiered system that ranges from $49 for a single site up to $599 for twenty sites. Each offers increasing levels of functionality.
- Premium versions are renewable annually. Failure to renew does not affect functionality, but support reverts to the same level as the free version.
- 30-day refund policy.
This plugin boasts a 4.9/5.0-star rating on the WordPress plugins directory and has over 50,000 active installations to date.
2. Zip Recipes
This plugin claims to be able to attract more visitors to your blog by utilizing Schema.org microdata and JSON-LD recipe mark-up which will show your recipes in Google search results. The customer reviews and 4.9/5.0-star rating seem to support that claim.
The plugin uses WYSIWYG (“What You See Is What You Get”) editors to make creating recipes a very simple affair, as does the ability to simply cut and paste from Microsoft Word and other text editors. The templates are fully editable, so you will be able to tailor them to integrate perfectly into your site. Another useful feature is recipes can be pinned quickly and easily on Pinterest, boosting your social media presence.
A tiered system of premium plans is offered. Depending on which plan is purchased, features such as automatic nutrition generation, automatic ingredient quantity adjustment depending on the number of servings required by visitors, and a search function can be added.
Zip Recipes Key Features:
- Free plan with limited functionality.
- Annually renewable premium plans offering enhanced features available. Prices range from $39 for a single site up to $249 for unlimited domains.
- Failure to renew premium plans does not affect functionality. However, support reverts to the same level as the free version.
- 30-day refund policy.
3. Recipe Key
This plugin would be an interesting addition to your WordPress food blog, as it could easily but dramatically improve visual appeal. It adds cool icons to allow visitors to visually see things that interest them.
You can choose from six styles for the icons, and there are various color customizer options. Text labels can also be amended if required. The icons cover things such as gluten-free, soy, vegan, vegetarian, paleo, low carb, and many more.
Recipe Key Key Features:
- Free plan available but is limited to four icons.
- Premium plan costs $45 per year for a single site and adds automatic updates and unlocks all icons.
- 14-day refund policy.
Gutenberg is a WordPress editor which allows you to quickly and easily build pages using blocks. As its name suggests, this powerful plugin uses pre-made blocks which you can use to create recipe cards in your blog posts.
The plugin comes with several blocks built-in, the most significant being the recipe card one. This uses Schema.org microdata to aid Google indexing. Other blocks include various recipe-related details such as description, ingredients list, directions, nutrition information, etc.
Recipe Card Blocks Key Features:
- Free plan available (limited functionality).
- Premium versions cost $69 for a single site up to $139 for ten sites and add premium support and enhanced features such as social media call-to-action, adjustable servings, etc.
- Premium versions are renewable annually.
- Uses Gutenberg editor.
- 14-day refund policy.
Over 8,000 installations are currently active for this plugin. It has a star rating of 4.9/5.0.
Yes, another recipe plugin, but this one offers several useful features such as drag and drop ingredients and directions, and rather cool clickable interactive timers for the cooking times.
As with some of the other plugins, SEO optimization is achieved using Schema.org microdata and rich snippets. The Pro version adds even greater functionality, with features such as social media sharing, ratings, favorites, and recipe submissions.
This plugin is open-source, so if you are familiar with coding, you will be able to really customize it to your needs.
Cooked – Recipe Plugin Key Features:
- Free plan available.
- Pro license costs $39 for an annual plan on a single site up to $199 for a lifetime on unlimited domains. The Pro license adds greater functionality.
- Pro license is provided free of charge if the developer’s Basil theme is purchased.
- No refund policy, but a trial demo is offered.
Over 8,000 active downloads in operation and a star rating of 4.2/5.0 make this a worthy contender against the other recipe plugins.
Plugins for Gastronomy Businesses
For owners of gastronomy businesses such as restaurants, takeaways, food delivery services, food stores, and the like, it is becoming essential to have a good online presence. It is no longer sufficient to have only a basic website – people are increasingly insistent on doing more and more things online.
Luckily, there are a plethora of plugins available that allow you to enhance the functionality of your website and automate your business – examples include table reservation systems and online menus where customers can browse your food offerings, place an order, and pay directly through the website.
If you are looking for a simple way to create eye-catching menus on your website, this premium plugin could be perfect for you.
Five Star Restaurant Menu allows you to fully customize the appearance of your menus with images of dishes and drinks, descriptions, prices, and more. The menus can be organized into categories such as starters, main courses, vegan, daily specials, etc. The plugin uses Gutenberg blocks, so everything is nice and easy with no coding knowledge required. That said, if you know a bit about coding, you could customize things further using Shortcode.
The menus are optimized for both desktop and mobile devices. This is extremely important given most people tend to use mobile versions more often nowadays.
Five Star Restaurant Menu Key Features:
- Premium plan only – no free plan available, but a 7-day free trial is offered.
- Plans cost from $40 for a single subscription up to $220 for ten sites.
- Plans are lifetime and do not need renewing.
- Uses Gutenberg.
- 14-day refund policy.
This is a very popular plugin, with over 10,000 installations to date, and a 4.5/5.0-star rating on the WordPress plugins directory.
The developers of the Five Star Restaurant Menu discussed above also produce this premium plugin to automate your online table reservations.
With it, bookings can be easily confirmed or rejected, with customers being notified automatically through custom emails. The reservation form is fully customizable, and in common with the Five Star Restaurant Menu, everything is optimized for both mobile and desktop devices. A very useful feature is the ability to ban undesirable customers, such as those with a history of no-shows – that could save you a lot of money is lost revenue.
Five Star Restaurant Reservations Key Features:
- No free plan, but a 7-day free trial is offered.
- Premium plans range from $59 for a single subscription up to $299 for ten sites.
- The Ultimate plan costs $300 for a single license but adds many excellent features such as email/SMS reminders for upcoming bookings and late arrivals, table selection and assignment, etc.
- Plans are lifetime and do not need renewing.
- 14-day refund policy.
With over 20,000 installations to date and a 4.8/5.0-star rating, this is a hugely popular plugin.
3. Food Store
This plugin is ideally suited to takeaway and food delivery restaurants. It works in conjunction with WooCommerce, allowing you to create a site with online ordering and payment capability.
Using this plugin, you can give your customers the ability to choose directly from your menu, select their preferred delivery/pickup time, and then pay, all online.
The plugin is open-source software. That means that the code can be freely accessed and altered, so if you are coding savvy, you can really customize it to your exact requirements.
Various online payment gateways are supported, and several add-on extensions such as a WhatsApp cart, time-based menus, and service hours are available to further increase functionality and appearance. There really is no excuse for your business not to accept online orders.
Food Store Key Features:
- Free to download and use. No premium plan available.
- Paid add-on extensions are available to increase functionality.
Despite being free and open-source, Food Store is updated regularly.
As the name suggests, this plugin was originally developed specifically for pizza restaurants. However, thanks to a large range of add-on extensions, it is highly customizable, making it suitable for any type of restaurant.
WPPizza has an impressive array of flexible options, including the ability to create and customize online menus, manage orders, as well as handle different tax rates, discounts, and gratuities.
Whilst the plugin is free, the add-on extensions are paid annual subscriptions. Caution! Take care when choosing these add-ons, as the costs can very quickly add up. Our advice would be to start with the bare minimum, adding the extensions as and when your website scales.
WPPizza Key Features:
- Free with no premium plan available.
- Large range of paid add-on extensions (payable annually) available to increase functionality. Adding lots of these can prove costly though.
- 30-day refund policy on extensions.
WPPizza enjoys a great reputation, with a 5.0/5.0-star rating and over 2,000 active installations in operation.
This cool plugin works in conjunction with WooCommerce to clearly display food allergens on edible products in your online store. This not only enhances the look of your site but the ease of use it brings also creates a more pleasing experience for site visitors.
The allergens can be displayed using icons, words, or both. Being open-source, it is possible to hack into the code to customize it further if you wish.
Allergens List Key Features:
Despite being completely free, the developer does seem to be updating this plugin regularly. It has achieved a 5.0/5.0-star rating and is currently active on over eighty installations.
Some Final Thoughts
The wide selection of food-related plugins available means you have no excuse not to make your recipe blog stand out from the crowd. Likewise, if you own a restaurant or food takeaway concern, you can easily create a fantastic online presence whilst simultaneously streamlining your business, allowing customers to make reservations, order food, and pay online.
Even by using the free versions, it is possible to add a considerable amount of extra functionality to your blog or business website, all of which will enhance visitor’s experience and aid retention.
We’d love to hear how you are getting on with developing your site. What foodie type plugins are you using? What are your experiences with them so far? Please drop us an update in the comments section!
Please note that all stated prices, review scores and other data included in this article were correct at the time of writing.