Restaurant Management Software

Restaurant management software solutions cover the whole service industry and provide tools for the promotion and management of restaurants and other venues. These programs are commonly used for booking reservations, promoting restaurants, employee scheduling, accounting, online customer ordering and delivery, POS functionality, and ordering ingredients and other supplies. In addition, businesses can gain insights into customer behaviour and reviews to help increase customer satisfaction.  Read the full software guide...

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What is Restaurant Management Software?

Restaurant management software solutions are designed specifically for restaurants and other food and beverage service providers of different sizes. They cover a wide range of functions of the day-to-day operations of businesses and organizations in the service industry.

Platforms designed for the service industry provide tools and applications for the management and promotion of restaurants and other brick-and-mortar services. The software is often utilized for booking and appointment scheduling, event promotion, employee management, a point of sale, customer management, order management, billing, inventory management, queue management, and more.

Using restaurant management software solutions also enables businesses and organizations to obtain valuable insights regarding customers, as well as their target market in general, through customer reviews and feedback. With this ability, businesses may be able to refine their approach or strategy in order to improve customer engagement and satisfaction.

In essence, restaurant management software is a collective term that refers to specific types of software solutions used to facilitate business operations in the service industry.

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Types of Restaurant Management Software

There is a wide variety of types of restaurant management software solutions, from the basic point of sale (POS) platforms to custom enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems specifically designed to serve the needs of small- and medium-sized businesses and large-scale establishments.

Each of the software solutions developed for the service industry is tailored towards a wide variety of functions, although some of them may cover multiple functions within a single platform. Other solutions are optimized for seamless integration with other existing solutions that a restaurant or service provider may already be using in their day-to-day operations.

Point of sale (POS) software

POS systems are a staple in any business establishment, not just in the service industry. Retailers, restaurants, and various other services utilize POS software solutions for payment processing.

A POS software solution is what e-commerce and brick-and-mortar stores use most often when conducting sales. These types of systems are the modern version of the classic cash register. It combines basic POS hardware with specially designed software.

POS software solutions fall under three main classifications—mobile POS, terminal POS, and cloud-hosted POS. Also, there are two common deployment methods: on-premise—a more traditional software deployment model—and cloud-based—otherwise known as software-as-a-service (SaaS).

Booking and appointment scheduling software

Appointment scheduling software solutions are versatile systems used by businesses, service providers, and professionals for booking and appointment scheduling purposes. Hotels, restaurants, and other establishments in the hospitality industry use the software to book reservations and schedule appointments.

A common feature of most software solutions in this category is the online booking feature, which enables customers to book appointments via the internet. The feature helps businesses to automate scheduling tasks and minimize scheduling errors like double booking.

Other features that usually also come with booking and appointment scheduling solutions include appointment notifications and reminders, calendar integration, payment processing, customer management, and mobile compatibility, which allows customers to make reservations and enables booking agents to confirm and manage schedules using their mobile device.

Employee scheduling software

Employee scheduling software streamlines the complex process of creating and managing employee schedules. As such, employee scheduling software helps to save time and money on scheduling, reduce paperwork and manual errors, increase productivity, and handle last-minute absenteeism.

These products work by automating schedule management, collecting and sharing scheduling data, allowing employees to set availability and communicate with each other through pings and the message wall. Advanced solutions can also include features such as leave management, vacation tracking, the ability to handle overtime and incentive pay, the ability to identify and alert schedule conflicts, the ability to assign shifts to remote workers, and the ability to find the right employee for the right task on the basis of skills, experience, availability, and labor cost.

Enterprise resource planning (ERP) software

Some ERP solutions are designed to provide a unique approach to restaurant management, with accounts, bars and restaurants, sales teams, inventory management, marketing and CRM, online reservations, booking sites, material/ingredient purchasing, and other processes that are all accessible and integrated into an all-in-one platform.

Enterprise resource planning solutions also allow managers and business owners to manage reservations and other core functions of multiple establishments from a single location.

How to Choose Restaurant Management Software

Restaurant management software solutions are designed to have the right features and capabilities for streamlining the management of the day-to-day operations of restaurants. But, there are certain features that should be taken into account when choosing the right restaurant management software.

Sales and tax data tracking

Restaurants deal with multiple cash and credit card transactions on a daily basis. A restaurant management software that allows tracking of sales and taxes is a good starting point when choosing which software solution to go for.

The capability to keep track of sales and taxes in a quick and accurate manner will substantially lessen the administrative burdens on location managers and marketing teams. Also, with software solutions that come with real-time reporting capabilities, users will be able to get sales data quickly, anytime, and anywhere.

Quick and easy menu setup

The menu setup/creation in the restaurant management software solution should be simple enough that it effectively cuts down setup or creation time. It should also be user-friendly enough that even less tech-savvy users will be able to set up their menu with little to no training.

There are a plethora of restaurant management software solutions available in the market. As such, choosing the right platform can often be confusing. But, even with all the confusion, the ease of use and how simple the platform is to set up should be a factor that an individual shopping for a restaurant management system needs to consider.

Integration with existing software solutions

When it comes to software solutions, programs, or applications, a solution should have to have the ability to communicate with other existing applications seamlessly. This is what integration is all about. When choosing a restaurant management system, make sure it can seamlessly integrate with other existing third-party solutions, especially the ones that you are already using.

Benefits of Restaurant Management Software

Using the right restaurant management software will help make life easier for entrepreneurs, location managers, and supervisors. There are many software solutions on the market with various features and functionalities that help to generate and retain customers, enhance staff efficiency, and improve revenue.

Restaurant management software systems also help to make the day-to-day operations easier and much more consistent. Most platforms provide detailed analysis for data crunching, which provides users with valuable insights regarding inventory, staff performance, customer engagement and satisfaction, stock orders, and more.

Overall, software solutions like these help to minimize operational costs as they are tailored to provide multiple functions in one comprehensive platform.

Common Features of Restaurant Management

API Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) are programmatic intersections with external products or platforms that allow for custom integrations with your own solutions or other solutions you are using.
Budgeting Planning and tracking capabilities for financial budgets and plans often used to manage funds across different departments or for investor / shareholder oversight.
Calendar Management Manage and update calendars for scheduling or consolidation of events across teams, departments or business functions.
Contact Management Manage large amounts of personal or business contacts in a centralized system.
Customer Management Manage customer databases and/or track outstanding shipments, payments and more.
Dashboard Dashboards are digital interfaces commonly used to visualise data or give quick access to important features and functions of online platforms. They often serve as an overview gateway in software applications.
Data Export Exporting functionality can be used to streamline the migration of data sets and information across systems, platforms or applications.
Data Import Importing functionality allows you to use data sets from other systems or platforms to cut down on data entry requirements or to more easily migrate records from similar applications you have used in the past.
Data Visualization Data visualization features render a visual interpretation of data sets through the use of charts, infographics and other visual cues generally in form of a reporting dashboard.
Expense Tracking Track employee travel and other expenses to stay on top of budgeting requirements and reimbursements.
External Integrations Integrations with other software products or platforms to improve efficiency and compatibility across systems.
Forecasting Forecast upcoming expenses, sales, revenue, user levels, etc. through the use of predictive methods and past data.
Inventory Tracking Stay on top of inventory levels, to manage the storing, reordering or production of stock items.
Multi-Currency Support of different currencies for payments, accounting purposes, taxes, reports and more.
Multi-User Supports more than just one user account and generally allows for collaboration with colleagues.
Notifications Includes notification support and sends you alerts with information on important events and other time sensitive instances. For example through push notifications on mobile phones or email notifications.
Organization Management High level organization management features to streamline the operation of your business.
Payroll Manage employee payroll to keep track of taxes due to the government, pension schemes and payments to employees.
Scheduling Schedule tasks, resources, appointments, payments, communications, etc.
Supplier Management Manage suppliers and purchases required in the day-to-day operation of a business.
Tax Management Manage tax payments and reporting requirements to ensure compliance with local or national taxation regulations.

Latest User Reviews of Restaurant Management Products

Troy Stegner
25 Mar 2021
"Lightspeed offers so much"

Lightspeed enables me to run employee time cards, manage inventory, create unique SKU's, process credit cards, and have an Ecom pres...

sujit kumar
30 Mar 2021

nothing. All they got is an elevated sales pitch which is nowhere close to reality.

Grapenuts Wine
30 Mar 2021
"Best in Class!"

We have been using Lightspeed for 2+ years now and absolutely love it! We are able to utilize many of their components to assist us ...

Pamela Dagher
31 Mar 2021
"Amazing POS for restaurants"

We have been with Lightspeed for 3 months now and we love it! POS super easy and friendly to use. Also, their customer service is am...

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