Most of the time, restaurant owners have to contend with the daily grind of running their businesses. Managing a restaurant is undoubtedly one of the most daunting tasks that an entrepreneur can undertake.
Restaurant management involves a lot of processes that, if done right, would ensure the smooth flow of and enterprise and even increased profits. And you do that—and save time—by employing restaurant management software. Here, we discuss the 10 leading in the field so you can find one that works for you.
For software developers, the restaurant industry has become a niche market, owing to the huge returns that the sector is experiencing and the existing demand for new automation tools. In a United States Census Survey, it has been found that US restaurants’ sales totaled roughly $500 billion in 2018. This development gives the impression that most Americans currently prefer to eat out rather than cook at home.
Restaurant solutions are meant to automate the business processes involved in running such organizations. However, many processes require specific software, making automation an expensive proposition for those who want to improve all aspects of their business. Management of restaurants require solutions such as CRM for marketing, inventory management software, and knowing the latest trends in human capital management.
Because of this development, it is no surprise that restaurant owners and customers alike have been embracing these new technologies.
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Thanks to the development of restaurant management applications, all such processes can now be overseen using a single solution. For first time users, focus on certain areas can be useful in their selection of restaurant management software providers. Ideally, key features should include functions such as billing, CRM, stock and inventory, and reporting and analytics. Automation of these tasks helps ease management burdens while improving sales and enriching customer experience.
Toast POS is a tool specifically targeted at US-based businesses such as bars, coffee shops, and restaurants. It allows for the improvement of worker efficiencies and customer experience while reducing costs. The software has a menu management feature that can handle menu pricing, customization for both online and offline clients, and preparation of the entire menu. An ordering capability allows managers to split items and customer bills and can generate notification upon the completion of an order.
The vendor offers a great free demo that lets you try out all the key features first. You can easily sign up for Toast POS free demo.
Orders are taken using POS Android-based tablet computers, eliminating the need to make runs in between kitchen, terminals and tables. Also, the system can monitor stocks and add or remove menu items. Customers can use the interface to sign receipts, pay, and hand out tips. Automation of loyalty and discount workflows, along with menu customization is achievable using the app; staff performance can be monitored through daily email alerts that the solution automatically sends out.
Transactions are hastened using the interface’s Quick Order feature as working from tablets servers easily take orders and receive payments at tableside. Another useful feature is that the application presents restaurant clients with reasonable tip percentages. All these transactions can be remotely monitored in real-time. However, as mentioned previously, this platform is only available to businesses that operate within the US.
Detailed Toast POS Review
Formerly known as Upserve Breadcrumb POS, Upserve is an end-to-end restaurant management software. It can improve efficiency, manage your workforce and inventory, generate sales reports, and provide an enterprise-level POS solution. As part of the Upserve family of products, which includes HQ, Payments, and Live, managers have an entire suite of restaurant management at their fingertips.
One of Upserve’s most notable features is its inventory management. This dramatically cuts down the time spent on manual restaurant inventory. Upserve automatically performs replenishment of depleted stocks, deducts item quantities in real-time, and manages food costs and logistics for multiple locations. It also supports specialty ordering, table management, and customer management.
As a cloud-based restaurant management software, you can access Upserve anywhere, allowing users to manage operations and staffing even when they’re not on-site. It’s compatible with both iOS and Android. This enables your restaurant wait staff to take and send orders directly and would allow guests to pay using digital modes of payment.
TouchBistro is an application targeted at restaurants and just about every type of foodservice there is. The platform is designed to automate virtually every business process involved in restaurant management. It can effectively manage orders, tables, and staff scheduling, among others. The software can be accessed by iPad, making tasks such as access reporting and analytics easy to do anytime, anywhere.
Operating on local area networks, the system does not need to be online to do its job. This means that no downtime will ever occur, even if an internet outage takes place. This important feature is complemented by the application’s capability to report and manage menus using the cloud, which enables managers to continually monitor their businesses from anywhere.
TouchBistro comes with a Self-Ordering Kiosk, which can benefit fast-food services by helping cut costs associated with labor as it speeds up the ordering process. The application’s smart features help cater to the needs of most restaurants, which include table management, bill splitting, and menu updates. All these are done through the system’s iPad interface.
Also, TouchBistro can provide restaurant staff with needed mobility by customizing the ordering process. This feature enables employees to cater to incoming customers, generating more tips and sales in the process. Order errors are also prevented, allowing for richer customer experience.
Detailed TouchBistro Review
Revel Systems POS is an iOS and Mac-exclusive POS system built to serve restaurants and similar establishments. The beauty of using this software is that it doesn’t matter if you’re a small mom-and-pop joint or a national food chain; this POS can help you streamline your operations and offer value to your guests.
One of the unique things about this software is the Revel Assistant. This is a management console that covers all aspects of your restaurant operations. It offers help from setup, operating the console, or managing the different features of the software. It can even onboard new employees and help explain a few things to your staff—on top of it, allowing you to configure your menu.
In addition, it gives new meaning to the word agility. You can use it even without an internet connection thanks to its Always On Mode. It keeps your POS running even when offline or just using a LAN connection.
When I Work isn’t just an employee scheduler and a time tracker, it can also function as a fully functional restaurant management platform. The reason it places high on our top 10 list is that it can streamline restaurant operations by the very same thing it can do for any other business—optimizing employee schedules.
Its smart tools allow managers to stay on top of shifts and rotate as necessary, so the restaurant is covered by staff at any point in time. When I Work also eliminates redundant schedules and minimizes conflict. Furthermore, When I Work is also user-friendly, allowing employee self-service in case they want to trade, swap, or modify their schedules.
When I Work’s key features include an advanced scheduler, in-app messaging, schedule templates, and support for multiple locations. Apart from these, it also comes with integration with payroll, calendar, and social media applications.
Sapaad is an intuitive and versatile POS platform that can be used seamlessly by restaurants and cafes to streamline workflows. Its platform and functionality were designed to cater to food and beverage establishments that take dine-in, walk-in, take-away, and online and delivery orders, ensuring orders are queued, tallied and delivered to customers efficiently.
Thanks to its cloud-deployed system, Sapaad can easily be accessed via mobile devices, tablets, desktops and laptops. Management can then utilize Sapaad’s user-friendly interface to get a bird’s eye view of their operations, including real-time analytics, staff performance monitoring, quality control, as well as food inventory and costing. Furthermore, Sapaad’s built-in CRM and Delivery Manager system enables restaurants with delivery tracking capabilities to monitor online and delivery orders in each step until it reaches the customer.
Recently, Sapaad has rolled out a big update called the KDS 2.0. Packed full of features that improve the Sapaad experience, it accelerates ordering, enhances back-end operations, and generates extensive real-time insights. It also features the new “Touch & Bump” interface.
Sysco’s CAKE is a relatively affordable, all-in-one point-of-sale software that supports online ordering. While it can manage guests for quick-service restaurants, it can also find use for other establishments that serve food and beverages, like bars and pubs.
CAKE is the software for you if you want a better way to handle your reservations and waitlists. It comes with features to process payments, manage table seating, and take orders. Like Revel, it has offline capabilities, so you can still use its POS features even if you’re not connected to the internet.
CAKE also comes with an optional module called the CAKE Guest Manager. This allows you to treat each guest as a VIP by compiling data about their ordering habits. Plus, it integrates with Google, allowing patrons to add themselves on a digital waitlist and make reservations online.
Menumiz has a ton of features that enables managers and staff alike to have an easy time managing their restaurants. From its robust menu-maker that can create and modify menu items to its top-of-the-line POS, Menumiz is an agile, cloud-based restaurant management software that deserves a spot on our top 10.
It also includes kitchen management capabilities alongside mainstays in this category such as order, table, and customer management. It comes with a built-in loyalty program for repeat customers and supports payment through a cashier (with an RJ11 cash drawer trigger) or through its app. And yes, Menumiz has a free mobile app (for iOS and Android) that customers can use to view menus and prices for restaurants that use this software.
One of its most unique features is its floor layout design. With Menumiz, you can upload a layout in supported formats like DWG files or even a photo. The software allows you to base a floor using this layout and number the tables accordingly.
PlateIQ is designed to automate data entry for food and beverage establishments. This gives managers a powerful solution to track menu and food costing, pricing, inventory, and kitchen operations—all in real-time.
In addition, Plate IQ offers comprehensive business intelligence capabilities on par with most business intelligence software. It also has a spend analysis feature that can provide insights into what’s happening with your restaurant operations and how you can streamline it.
Restaurant managers often turn to Plate IQ when they want to automate manual data entry because it digitizes invoices. This is thanks to its capability to assign each item to its GL code and syncing this data to your payroll or accounting software.
7Shifts is, like When I Work, an employee scheduling software. This is, however, not the biggest reason we’ve included it in our top 10 list. This software is specifically made for use by restaurant managers because it can improve employee attendance and schedule shifts seamlessly. As a result, your restaurant will be staffed accordingly, without redundancies and conflicts.
The best thing about 7shifts is that it simplifies the creation and modification of schedules. It has a native mobile app, so you can clock in anywhere and managers can approve schedule requests on the go. Other features include in-app messaging, push and email notifications, and integrations with payroll software.
7shifts also has comprehensive analytics with forecasting features. This software can allow you to project costs and budgets and give you numerical data on the performance of your restaurant—in real-time.
After reading this top 10 restaurant management software guide, you should now be able to choose the one that’s appropriate for you. But keep in mind that you need not stare at the flashy features, consider your needs and pick the one that can give them to you.
Our top pick is Toast POS, which has all the things you need to manage your restaurant operations—and a bit more. It’s tooled specifically for restaurants and other food and beverage establishments, but its flexible features allow it to find work in places that serve clients using a POS system if you want to know more about the features, you can easily sign up for Toast POS free demo here.
Otherwise, you can take a look at our list of inventory management software. These are programs that can complement your restaurant management application by making sure your restaurant or establishment has the necessary stocks on hand.
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