The restaurant industry is constantly evolving. Opening a restaurant for the first time or running one on your own comes with both long-term and short-term problems. However, if you have the proper assistance, experience, and tools, such as restaurant management software, you won’t encounter too much trouble. So, what is restaurant management software? Keep reading to find out.
Common restaurant business practices, such as manually writing down orders, that were popular a few years ago aren’t the ideal way to do business anymore. In fact, old practices are being phased out more these days for quicker and more efficient methods of operation and efficient business systems.
Restaurant operations are being innovated through the use of technology. This includes a restaurant management system that streamlines everyday operations. With this software, your restaurant will have the right approach to being a successful restaurant business.
What Is Restaurant Management Software?
Restaurant management software is a system that encompasses all marketing and operational components that are required for running a business. The software is designed to handle order management, payment processing (which is handled by payment processing software), and day-to-day problem solving while streamlining marketing and operations.
Standard restaurant management software has data security measures in place to keep sensitive business information secure. It will also connect all employees to keep your restaurant running successfully by tracking labor, sales, and inventory data. This is key for overall restaurant success.
Why Invest In Restaurant Management Software?
Businesses should invest in restaurant management software because it will boost their restaurant profit margin, revenue, and customer satisfaction. At the same time, it will lower order processing errors, personnel turnover, and wait times.
The following are additional reasons why you should invest in restaurant management software:
- Organized Operations. With a restaurant management system, you have the ability to improve inventory management and inventory turnover, work on employee scheduling, and facilitate changes to different types of menus.
- Speedy Service. Quick turnover with minimal risk of error is what you’ll get with such software. Improved communication is also possible between the front and back of house personnel.
- Automatic Payments. Restaurant management systems allow you to have quick, reliable, and secure payment processing, similar to what payment processing companies provide.
- Improved Customer Loyalty. Some restaurant management systems have options to use value features. These include coupons, promotions, discounts, and extensive gifting options. Customers will often come back knowing that they can use these extras.
Benefits of Restaurant Management Software
When you’re opening a business, such as a restaurant, you’re going to want to follow some of the popular restaurant industry trends and restaurant technology trends. This applies to when you’re opening a coffee shop, opening a bakery, opening a food truck, or a ghost kitchen. Those trends include the use of a restaurant management system.
Restaurant management styles will vary based on the kind of establishment you have. However, one thing remains constant and that’s the goal to make a profit. The restaurant manager will benefit from such software as it reduces costs, maximizes profits, and provides top-notch customer service.
The benefits of restaurant management software include:
- Improved sales tracking
- Quick access to financial information
- Improved customer service
- Remote data access
- Efficient staff management
- Improved staff communication
- Reduced restaurant expenses
Improved Sales Tracking
When using a restaurant management system, all transactions go through the system. This includes orders, payments, promotional deals, voids, and expenses. This means that your sales data is accurate, down to the very last item.
With accurate sales data, you’ll have access to accurate revenue numbers and therefore the health of your business. Some systems also include built-in notifications for variance such as unauthorized order voids or gaps between the order volume and stock levels at end of the day.
Quick Access to Financial Information
All transactions are captured digitally in a restaurant management system, which avoids most manual errors. For instance, transactions will have a time-stamp, include order details such as the name of the employee that completed the transaction, and the sold items.
It’s also possible to sync sales data with inventory and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software. This will keep records up to date. With all of this data in one place, generating reports, such as financial statements, only takes a few clicks.
Improved Customer Service
Customer satisfaction should always be a top priority, especially for a restaurant business. Restaurant technologies help with improving customer service. With the CRM features that restaurant management systems offer, you’ll have increased knowledge about your customers.
The system will record customer information such as their name, their transactions, and contact details. This way, you can get insight into their order preferences and deliver improved customer service. Such information could be used to build a mailing list and loyalty program for your niche market.
Advanced features of restaurant management software that improve customer service include offering options for mobile payments, online booking and access to an online ordering platform, and kiosk POS. This software allows your business to run more efficiently and satisfy your customers based on their interests.
Remote Data Access
These days, most restaurant tech and management software are cloud-hosted. This allows a business owner to access their system and its data from remote locations through a web browser. They’ll get real-time sales transaction information and have the ability to track employee performance remotely.
These capabilities allow restaurants to have engaged managers even while they’re on the go. Such information also comes in handy when presenting to an investor or a client.
Efficient Staff Management
It's possible to easily create employee schedules with a restaurant management system. The integrated employee scheduler will automatically allocate additional staff members, such as wait staff and bar staff, during peak hours and less during downtime.
Sales data can be aggregated with the employee schedule in order to match the demand with supply. This ensures that you’ll have fully optimized resources and are never under- or over-utilized.
Improved Staff Communication
Communication between the executive chef, wait staff, and cashiers is crucial for a restaurant. The everlasting problem in restaurants is information that gets lost in translation somewhere between each of these groups of people. This leads to upset customers.
Restaurant management systems streamline communications between employees. The system allows customers to place orders through handheld devices while waiting. That information travels to the cashier in order to accurately capture and bill it. The device also sends the order to the kitchen so that the chefs can prepare it.
Reduced Restaurant Expenses
Cutting costs is crucial in any business. A well-managed inventory control process and employee schedule will help a business cut its losses when it comes to daily operations. With a restaurant management system, it’s possible for variances to be reduced or avoided completely which leads to more savings.
Connecting to a marketplace online is also possible through various vendors, such as Revolution and the Order One platform. They also provide access to a delivery service network so that you can scale your operations without having to worry about overhead expenses.
3 Restaurant Management System Examples
Consolidating the most basic management-related tasks is possible with the use of restaurant management software. Such software automates processes such as sending guest confirmations regarding their bookings and reminders for them to attend. Reports are also generated, automatically highlighting key performance indicators.
Below are three restaurant management system examples that are included in such software:
1. POS System
A restaurant point of sale or POS system allows you to carry out various sales tasks. eCommerce credit card processing is possible as well as eCheck payment, cash, and mobile wallet payments. This kind of restaurant payment technology also provides you with a way to manage billing print receipts and have access to this company data when you need it.
Cloud-based POS systems are the most modern form of such technology. They’re compatible with various devices such as mobile phones and tablets. Restaurants have taken advantage of this kind of restaurant tech and now process payments through portable devices. Familiarize yourself with the ERP meaning to understand how ERP systems are similar to the POS system.
2. Order Management Software
Managing customer and supplier orders, such as those selling wholesale, is possible with order management software. As customers place orders, their information is collected through the software and stock levels will update automatically.
It’s possible for employees to view past customer orders and current ones to ensure customers are receiving the right food. When stock levels decrease, it’s possible to place new orders that will go out to wholesale food suppliers for specific products and ingredients. Orders can be monitored over a period of time in order to see how much of a certain item you’re buying.
3. CRM & Marketing Software
Customer relationship management (CRM) is essential for restaurants since it’s common for customers to have specific requests, questions regarding food diets, or complaints. With the CRM function in the restaurant management system, all communication will be in one place.
Marketing software is used to promote the restaurant, especially in an online setting. This is when you’ll need to pay attention to social media ROI and eCommerce email marketing efforts-see our eCommerce business guide.
Frequently Asked Questions About Restaurant Management Software
Why Is Restaurant Management Software Important?
Restaurant management software is important to have because it increases profits, revenue, and customer service. It also helps organize operations, deliver speedy service, allow for automatic payment options, and improve customer loyalty.
What Should a Restaurant Management System Include?
A restaurant management system should include the following:
- Table and order management functions
- POS system
- CRM integration
- Menu setup options
- Employee timesheets and scheduling
- Inventory management and tracking
- Loyalty programs and marketing
- Business analytics tools
What Is a POS System?
A POS system stands for a Point of Sale system, and it allows businesses to accept customer payments while also tracking sales. This kind of system can be set up in different ways depending on your restaurant concept. It can be used to sell food online (see How to Sell Food From Home or What Is a Ghost Kitchen) or through a cash register in a restaurant.