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 enterprise and even increased profits. While profits may be harder to achieve with the COVID-19 pandemic, restaurateurs can still capitalize on the pent-up demand for on-premise dining as well as the increased demand for off-premise dining. 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.
The restaurant industry is one of the most badly hit industries by the COVID-19 pandemic. A report detailing how Americans changed eating habits during the pandemic revealed that 55% of shoppers have been eating at home more since the pandemic began. However, eating at home is not without its challenges, with consumers saying that their biggest struggles are grocery shopping and planning different meals.
Eating at home also doesn’t mean that consumers don’t want to return to restaurants at all. On the contrary, a report on the state of the restaurant industry reveals that 67% of adults in the U.S. said that they are not eating on-premise at restaurants and fast food places as often as they would like.
Source: National Restaurant Association, 2021
Restaurant management applications allow restaurateurs to oversee all processes of their operations 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. Using restaurant management software can equip you to reopen your business and ride the wave of recent restaurant trends.
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
When I Work is an employee scheduling and time tracking software that helps organizations save time on scheduling, improve communication, and support transparency among staff when it comes to time tracking. It landed on our list of leading restaurant management tools because it simplifies the management of shifts in the foodservice industry. The app is also easy to use and is available on both desktop and mobile devices so that teams can access it no matter where they are located.
Setting up your team’s work schedules takes only a few minutes using When I Work’s intuitive interface. Its scheduling features include one-click scheduling, labor forecasting, shift change schedule alerts, and labor reports. The platform also has a schedule enforcement feature that lets managers and team leaders limit clock-ins to employee shifts and locations so there is better control over work schedules. As a result, it’s easier to make sure everyone is where they need to be at the right time.
Using When I Work as your company’s time tracking solution also gets rid of paper time cards and cumbersome managing of things like timesheets, staff attendance, and pay rates and differentials. The platform is a scalable and integrated app that can fit teams of any size and companies in a wide range of industries. Aside from improving time tracking and attendance management, When I Work is can also be an effective solution to simplify payroll and prevent unauthorized overtime.
Detailed When I Work Review
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.
The system facilitates communication between managers and staff through integrated communication tools. One-on-one and group chat features make it easier for employees and management to communicate shift changes and other concerns. Managers can also use the system to send one-way and all-call messages to staff.
Detailed 7Shifts Review
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 a richer customer experience.
Detailed TouchBistro Review
Oracle Hospitality is not a single application but rather a suite of software, hardware, and cloud solutions designed to enhance hotel and restaurant operations while at the same elevating each guest’s experience. This represents Oracle’s full commitment in transitioning its hospitality unit into the digital economy.
Designed to create solutions that enable growth for the hotel and restaurant business, Oracle Hospitality provides the tools to create property management and point-of-sale systems that can better manage operations, increase efficiency, and provide improved guest experiences.
The complete suite is designed to maximize both profits and productivity by providing deeper insights into client behaviors. Through Oracle Hospitality, you can gather feedback from your customer base, tailor personalized services, and encourage direct reservations and bookings. At the same time, it can help address concerns in reservations, housekeeping, finances, guest management, and loyalty programs.
Detailed Oracle Hospitality Review
Sapaad is a POS and delivery management designed to make running a restaurant easier. The system works seamlessly for food service businesses of all sizes, from cafes and take-away counters to large multi-chain restaurants and fast-food chains. The Sapaad system can also accommodate all types of orders, including dine-in, take away, and online ordering.
Aside from being versatile, Sapaad is designed to be easy to use. The system’s dashboard allows restaurant staff to browse available menu categories, place orders, and add customer preferences to orders. Moreover, the system’s Dine In module also provides a convenient overview of the status of all tables at the restaurant, so front-of-house staff know exactly how many tables are available, no matter how busy it gets.
Sapaad also helps streamline the back-office processes involved in running a restaurant. The dashboard’s Inventory tab provides features for managing suppliers, sending purchase orders, and checking received goods against invoices. The software can also help restaurants account for wastage by tracking damaged items, expired items, and cancelled orders.
For easier restaurant management, Sapaad also provides a robust business dashboard. This dashboard gives users a real-time view of the restaurant’s performance, with live updates for orders and sales as these come in. Widgets on the dashboard can be resized and rearranged so restaurant owners can focus on the most important metrics.
Detailed Sapaad Review
Clover is an integrated POS system specially designed for small and medium restaurants. With its user-friendly interface, the system makes it easier for restaurant staff to take orders and accept payments. The software allows restaurants to accept credit and debit cards and checks as well as payments through NFC and mobile wallets.
Using Clover’s POS hardware and software, restaurants will also be able to improve the dining experience for customers. Digital receipts and one-touch tipping become available, and safer transactions become possible through contactless payments. Through Clover’s POS system, restaurants can also accept payments even offline.
Clover also facilitates seamless online ordering for restaurants. Online orders are routed directly to the POS system to ensure accuracy. Orders can also be customized with more descriptive modifiers to ensure orders are prepared correctly. Additionally, the software allows staff to easily combine multiple orders, open tabs, and split bills.
This POS software also makes it easier for restaurant owners to track sales and revenue. The system provides accurate data on a wide variety of metrics, including overall and hourly revenue, open orders, and top-selling items. Sales can be monitored as they come in, and reports are accessible via mobile devices as well.
Detailed Clover Review
Revel Systems POS is a comprehensive and scalable iPad-based POS platform made specifically for retail stores, bars, and restaurants. It allows you to fully stay on top of your business with its employee management, inventory management, and sales reporting capabilities.
The POS system comes fully integrated with both finance and accounting tools, along with a flexible payment system to ensure the smooth operation of your business. The inventory module informs you which item is currently selling most so you can prevent running out of stock and ensure satisfied customers.
For flexibility, Revel Systems POS lets you accept multiple payment types, hold bar tabs, and split bills. Versatile table management, cash management, and delivery management features let you deliver the best service to your customers according to their preferences.
While it’s a cloud-based tool, it’s fully capable of offline mode, syncing data once internet connection is fully restored.
Detailed Revel Systems POS Review
CAKE is a low-cost POS system with online ordering function and guest management features. The restaurant management solution allows business owners to handle reservations, waitlists, and payment. CAKE’s table management features make taking orders and turning tables seamless and efficient, especially during peak hours.
Improving customer service is one of CAKE’s top priorities. In order to achieve this, it is important to understand your customers’ preferences. By utilizing CAKE’s Guest Manager feature, you can gather enough information from your customers’ previous transactions and make intelligent decisions on how to give them a better customer experience.
Aside from full-service and quick-service restaurants, the software solution also caters to other establishments like pubs and bars.
For added convenience, CAKE is also available at various bundles and price points. CAKE’s POS Software and Service Bundle, for instance, costs $69 per month and includes the software, along with security monitoring and 24/7 tech support.
Detailed CAKE Review
ShopKeep by Lightspeed is a POS software designed purposely for iPad and Android devices. Built by merchants for merchants, ShopKeep by Lightspeed offers a number of tools to help retail and food and beverage businesses in solving challenges common to POS systems. Its main features include inventory management, invoicing, and payment processing. With ShopKeep by Lightspeed, business owners can streamline inventory tasks payments and sales and marketing processes.
As a restaurant POS software, ShopKeep by Lightspeed comes with an intuitive and user-friendly interface to simplify your POS transactions and payment processing. It has smart POS features that let you speed through customer transactions, split payments, manage refunds and returns, as well as customize recommended tip amounts.
Moreover, ShopKeep by Lightspeed offers staff management tools that allow you to oversee the performance of your team from a single, unified POS platform. For instance, you can use ShopKeep by Lightspeed to record employee hours and keep track of their performance. The time clock feature also allows employees to clock in directly from the register so you don’t have to switch to another application for employee time tracking.
When it comes to payment processing, ShopKeep by Lightspeed offers an integrated payments solution that helps you save big on processing fees. With ShopKeep by Lightspeed, you can accept all payment types, whether cash, credit, debit, or contactless payments.
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 a Toast POS free demo.
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, helping your business survive during and even beyond the pandemic.
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