Best Restaurant Management Software

Restaurant Management Software

Augment your business profits by adopting the best Restaurant Management Software.
Perfect restaurant management involves a complex series of business processes performed flawlessly to earn customer trust and loyalty. It includes kitchen control, inventory management, menu management, billing, accounting/taxation operations, dashboards, alerts, reporting, customer offers/loyalty, feedback management, reservation management, order management, and time/attendance. The best restaurant management software helps control these tasks from a unified platform, streamline restaurant operations, and upsurge profits.

What Is Restaurant Management Software?

A restaurant management system is a set of tools designed to manage numerous processes involved in successfully running a restaurant from a single platform. The software helps streamline end-to-end tasks and enables better coordination among various restaurant business stakeholders, including owners, managers, staff personnel, vendors, and customers. An online restaurant management software facilitates controlling multiple restaurant locations or units with ease, even remotely.

Why Is Restaurant Management Software Critical for Your Business?

Leveraging a reliable restaurant management system helps businesses eliminate human errors, automate processes, improve sales, track/optimize resource utilization, earn employee satisfaction, enhance productivity, reduce costs, make informed decisions, and upsurge business profits at a nominal cost. Satisfied customers are the root to business success, and the software helps businesses offer better customer service and enhance customer relationships.

How to Choose the Best Restaurant Management Software?

Selecting the best restaurant management system can be tricky. The software must be feasible for your business, cover all the restaurant management tools your business needs, fit in your budget, and prove profitable with time.

GoodFirms has utilized its expertise and experience and performed extensive research and analysis to handpick a rundown of top restaurant management software for businesses with features, reviews, and pricing information of each solution. For perfect selection, leverage this list with filters for business size, required features, deployment type, pricing model, and more.

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List of Best Restaurant Management System Software

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List of Best Restaurant Management System Software

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Buyer’s Guide

Introduction to Buyer’s Guide For Restaurant Management Software

The restaurant industry is a highly fragmented industry setting higher demands to run the business successfully.  

The restaurant owners require a robust restaurant management system capable of managing the entire business and allowing managers to align the business process with the current market. However, the choice of a restaurant management software should be based on the size and scale of the restaurant business.

This buyer guide is designed to help restaurant owners, hoteliers, and managers to make an informed decision on restaurant management software selection and sheds light on some important elements of the restaurant management system.

What Is the Role of Management In the Restaurant Business?

Management is a critical part of any business to achieve the set goals and minimize the risks of business downfall.  In the restaurant business, management ensures the resources are utilized properly and maximizes the business profit.  Without proper management, the restaurant would lead to poor customer service, poor inventory, poor delivery management, low-quality food, and revenue loss.

Restaurant management includes four main components that includes;  planning, budgeting, organizing, and customer satisfaction. All these factors are intertwined with each other, and any one area not addressed well can significantly impact the others.  It is essential they are balanced and in sync with each other for a successful restaurant business. This is where management plays an important role. Management chairs all the activities and ensures it is directed towards the organization goal. It takes care of customer service, business profits, employee satisfaction, etc. In that respect, they even pay attention to small details like menu style, restaurant ambiance, and meal portion. A well-managed restaurant helps owners to fill the gaps in their existing process and mold business to current business trends.  With efficient restaurant management, hotel and hospitality businesses can survive in a dynamic environment as well as increase their efficiency.

What Are the Challenges with Traditional Restaurant Management?

  • Unorganized Sector: Restaurant management includes activities from processing employee payroll to delivering the best quality service to the customer. The restaurant businesses have to deal with various departments like human resources, accounting, procurement, marketing, and customer service. Restaurant managers or owners handling all these departments with traditional approaches always leave room for error and affect the restaurant business. The entry-level restaurants often operate the business in a highly unorganized fashion as they have to do more with less.
  • Poor customer experience: In the restaurant business, customer experience is vital. However, there are limitations of a traditional restaurant management system that prevents restaurant owners from delivering the customer experience. For instance, the loyalty program for regular customers could enhance the customer experience as well as business revenue. But without enough customer contact information or records of their favorite meals, the restaurant owners cannot run a successful loyalty program.
  • Managing inventory accurately:  Inventory management is a critical part of the restaurant business, and for profiting business, the inventories should be well managed.  With a traditional system of management, there is always the risk of unmanaged inventory. It could lead to unnecessary blockage of cash.
  • Task scheduling during peak hours:  Another challenge with traditional restaurant management is task scheduling. During peak hours when there is a rush in the restaurant, the staff often makes an error in taking orders.  Mismanagement in assigning tasks to employees and not having a clear vision about the available manpower could lead to wrong orders.
  • Time management:  Time management is a common issue in the restaurant business. There are numerous reasons for time mismanagement; it could be due to inefficient task scheduling, less number of staff, shortage of raw material, mismanagement of customer order, etc. The employees or attendants generally have to speed up their work in the restaurant to cover the time-lapse, eventually which can affect the restaurant service and food quality.
  • Manage multiple outlets:  Managing restaurant chains is too challenging with the traditional manual system. The traditional system does not help the restaurant chain owner gain complete access to all the restaurant outlets' activities and manage them efficiently. Not only that, it is difficult to automate processes like inventory, delivery, payments, marketing, etc., in the chain of restaurants with the manual process.

To overcome the above-mentioned challenges, restaurant owners should invest in a restaurant management software.

What Is Restaurant Management Software?

Restaurant management software is a tool that helps restaurant owners to increase the efficiency of the business by fine-tuning the existing process and managing all the restaurant-related activities from a single interface.  The activities controlled by restaurant management solutions include CRM, accounting, inventory, payroll, etc.

How Can Restaurant Management Software Help Restaurant Business Grow?

The restaurant business is dynamic in nature, and it brings a set of challenges for owners while performing regular business operations.  The challenges could be cost management, employee retention, digital marketing, customer service, scheduling workforce, inventory management, etc.  The traditional approach does not provide an end-to-end solution to solve these challenges and needs better techniques to manage the business from a single platform. The restaurant management software can address these challenges,  and help business owners organize the business operations.  Good restaurant management solutions allow identifying the loopholes in the system, which cannot be done through the traditional approach. It enables to track down expenses, taxes, and important financial transactions that are essential to evaluate business performance. As the restaurant industry is fast-paced, the managers must invest more time identifying better business opportunities and less in regulating the business operations. The restaurant management software could assist them in this regard and enables restaurant managers to offload some of their work to the software. The automation features in restaurant management tools can perform many activities without human interference.

What Are the Benefits of Restaurant Management Software?

  • Tracking sales: The restaurant management software can give a clear view of the sales and how the business is performing.  The owner can generate reports and study the pattern of business like peak performance, cancel orders, repetitive orders, etc.
  • Better productivity: The restaurant management tool can take charge of manual tasks like taking orders and billing.  Waiters can use a hand-held device connected to the restaurant management solution to take orders and billing.  It can save their time and helps them to increase their productivity.  Besides that, the hand-written orders can create confusion and can upset the customers. With restaurant management solutions, this can be avoided.
  • Better customer service:  Restaurant management solutions can enhance the customers experience by providing multiple payment options, reserving seats in advance, and taking their valuable feedback. It allows building a better customer relationship.  
  • Attendance and payroll:  The business owners can automate tasks like taking employee’s attendance and generating payroll.  The restaurant management tools reduce the workload of the business owner by calculating wages for each employee and monitoring their attendance.  It also eliminates the error of miscalculation.
  • Inventory management: Top restaurant management software offers inventory management, and it is very useful in saving costs.  Ordering excess inventories or falling short in inventories can both affect the restaurant business. The restaurant management solution that watches on the inventory stock and refills them without ordering them in excess can make a huge difference in the business profit. Some best restaurant management software goes beyond inventory management; they allow tracking the ingredients and replenish them automatically.  The ingredients are linked with the items sold and replenished accordingly.
  • Finance and accounting: Finance and accounting is a delicate area, and any error reflects in the business profit. The best restaurant management software allows users to export sales data into accounting books with high accuracy. It also generates financial reports to analyze the performance of the restaurant.
  • Better-decision:  With the centralized system, the top restaurant management software allows users to tap on various performance metrics. If the restaurant is operating in multiple locations, it can monitor and analyze the performance of the outlets from one place.  The restaurant owner can even use a filter to get better insights into the restaurant’s performance, which can help make important decisions.
  • Customer engagement and marketing: Some restaurant management system software enables users to engage customers by sending them promo codes and coupon vouchers.  They can even use ready-to-use pamphlets for newspaper ads or even automate the marketing campaign.

Essential Features of Restaurant Management Software

  • Payment integrations
  • Sales and tax tracking
  • Core POS
  • Employee task scheduling
  • Payroll
  • Reservations
  • Order management
  • Accounting
  • Mobile app
  • Theft control
  • Security
  • Reports and analytics
  • Third-party integration
  • Automated marketing
  • CRM

What Are the Latest Trends in Restaurant Management Software?

  • Chatbots and Voice technology:  Chatbots and voice technology could enhance the revenue for the restaurants and provide a personalized experience.  The chatbots can be integrated with various communication channels and used to recommend dishes, offer promotions, take feedback, etc. On the other end, voice technology can take customer service to the next level by taking an order at a drive-through restaurant or allowing customers to place an order from anywhere in the hotel.  In fact, one of the famous restaurants has already implemented voice assistant at the drive-through and noted a 20% increase in revenue.
  • Self-ordering Kiosk: Self-ordering kiosks are driving the attention of restaurant owners and managers due to their ability to take orders without any human intervention. It helps them to serve customers quickly and reduce the waiting time.  The customers, on the other hand, have the flexibility to select the meal without rushing and minimize the miscommunication that usually occurs between restaurant attendants and customers. The restaurant manager software linked with self-ordering Kiosk can solve a lot of issues the restaurant owners are facing currently.
  • AI Robots: Robotic technology is gaining its own popularity these days. .  The introduction of artificial intelligence has completely transformed the definition of robots. Modern-day robots are intelligent and completely independent in their decisions. The restaurant industry is actively looking to enhance customer experience with this intelligent piece of technology. Some restaurants have already implemented AI robots to serve customers and reduce the workload.  There are multiple applications of robots in the restaurant industry, like assisting chefs in cooking, cleaning the dining area, paying restaurant bills, placing orders, etc.
  • QR codes: Covid-19 pandemic has a huge impact on businesses and the way they conduct their business. People prefer contactless communication, and QR codes are emerging as the best technology.  The QR code-based menu card allows customers to scan the menu through mobile and order food from the mobile itself. The QR code technology has immense scope in the food industry, and it is going to find a permanent place in the restaurant premises.

Key Factors to Consider Before Buying Restaurant Management Software

  • Security: With the rising demand for online payment, the fraud of debit and credit cards has also increased. The hackers always look for an entry point to steal customer’s financial details, and therefore it is necessary that there are strong security features in the restaurant management software. The users should verify that the restaurant management software is in compliance with the PCI DSS standards and includes automatic data backups, data encryption, custom access control, etc.
  • Data reporting and analytics: The restaurant management system software with data reporting and analytics features allows restaurant owners to tap on various metrics around marketing, finance, sales, and customer services.  The users can use smart analytics to analyze customer needs, marketing campaign performance, sales for a particular time period, etc.
  • Third-party integrations: The best restaurant management software should support third-party integration.  There are restaurant management software that requires external plugins and tools to perform specific functions.  For instance, the accounting feature may not be integrated with all restaurant management programs, and it may have to export from an external source.   
  • Customer loyalty programs: Customer loyalty programs are very effective in the restaurant business, and the best restaurant management software should allow creating various forms of loyalty programs. The customer loyalty program in restaurant management software can help in customer retention and encourages them to revisit the place.  
  • Manage multiple outlets:  Robust restaurant management software should be capable of monitoring all the restaurant outlets from a single application. It should track the performance metrics and all the activities taking place at multiple locations in real-time.
  • Scalable:  Always consider restaurant management software that is scalable that can meet the rising demand of the business.

How Can Restaurant Management Software be Helpful to Win Customer’s Loyalty?

Customer relationship is a fulcrum around which the restaurant owners orient their business.  The restaurant owners always look for ways to engage customers and keep business rolling.  They analyze the customer’s likes and dislikes to improve customer service. All these could be done from a single interface via restaurant management software that does not require any loyalty card. Top restaurant management software offers various customer loyalty programs like collecting points on credit card payment, assigning reward points on certain bill amounts, special discounts on birthday celebrations, complimentary items on special occasions, etc.   The restaurant management software even allows customers to leave their remarks on the service or food quality. It helps restaurant owners to analyze customers’ requirements and based on which they can improve the customer service.

The biggest advantage of the restaurant management system software is that most of them come with a CRM system; it allows them to store and manage customers’ contact detail like emails and phone numbers. The restaurant owners can use them for marketing their products or sending a message about discount coupons and offers. They can even send a personalized message to their loyal and repetitive customers.  The users can even segment data based on the customer meal preferences and create a targeted loyalty program or even launch outlet-specific offers. There are multiple ways the restaurant management software can help to win customer’s loyalty.    

What Is the Average Cost of Restaurant Management Software?

The average cost of restaurant management software could be anywhere around $6/month- $249/month or more. The restaurant management software price could greatly vary due to the features and services the software offers. The restaurant management software can be deployed on the cloud or on-premise.

  • Restaurant Management Software for startups:  One of the best restaurant management software for the startup is Bhoj, with a starting price of $6/month.  The software offers the POS system embedded with features like inventory management, reports, payment gateway, etc. The tool also offers a mobile app. The startups that are keen on features like task scheduling and payroll report generation can consider ZoomShift with a starting price of $2.50/month. Both these tools offer a free trial. There are other tools CherryMenu and Bacon that could be cost-effective for a startup restaurant business.
  • Restaurant Management Software for mid-size and large-scale businesses: Easy InnKeeping software is one of the best restaurant management software in the mid-range pricing category. The software offers three packages with a basic version starting at $59/month.  There is one more exceptional restaurant management tool that is cloud-based and covers almost all the features that are required by the restaurants to run the business effortlessly. Sapaad cloud-based POS offers services at a starting price of $53.99/month along with a free CRM tool. Other top restaurant management software that falls in the same category includes Food Market Hub, Tillpoint, SmartPOS, etc. The restaurant owners operating the chain of restaurants across the globe and managing hundreds of employees can consider enterprise-level restaurant management tools.   Restaurant 365 is one such tool that takes care of every detail of the restaurant business like inventory, scheduling, and accounting. With the starting price at $249/month, it offers a complete suite of a software solution that addresses all the challenges of the restaurant business. The other tool that could be a good alternative to Restaurant 365 is Koomi POS, with a starting price of $79/month.  It is specially designed to reduce waiting time and move the line-up faster.  The software is a good deal as it offers some advanced features like ingredient tracking, line busting app, kitchen display system, and multi-location management. However, one can consider other options like Ambur POS and Foodie365 cloud.
  • Free and Open Source Restaurant Management Software:  Free and open source restaurant management software could turn productive and cost-effective for startups and small-scale restaurant owners. But the real advantage of free and open source restaurant management software is the flexibility to change the code as per the business requirement and explore its true capabilities.  

Why Refer to GoodFirms' List of Best Restaurant Management Software?

GoodFirms is rated as a leading review and rating site for IT solutions. GoodFirms has been listing software from various industries and follows a robust rating system to ensure that customers find the best software products for their business. The platform allows customers to compare software based on features, pricing, and services.

Conclusion

With the increasing number of restaurants, customer’s expectations, and emerging trend of take away, the restaurant business has become more volatile. In order to survive and grow, the restaurant owners have to keep an eye on every detail like customer interest, employee turnover rate, financial strength, business long-term goals, etc. With the traditional approach, it is quite impossible to collect all this information, and ideally, the restaurant owners should plan to invest in advanced tools like restaurant management software. It gives them a better perspective about the business opportunities and enables them to make a better decision for further growth. If you are one of those looking for the top restaurant management software, then do not wait, check the list of the best restaurant management software specially curated by GoodFirms.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What Is the Best Restaurant Management System Software?

    Restaurant businesses have varied process management needs based on their size, the number of locations, and operational structure. That is why one-size-fits-all does not apply to restaurant management software. The restaurant management system that works best for another restaurant business may not be the perfect solution for yours; for example, Koomi POS works best for quick-service restaurants and may not suit the fine-dining restaurant business. Best restaurant software for your business is the one that offers all the tools and features that your business needs, is easy-to-use, fits in your budget, and proves profitable with time.

    GoodFirms’ list of the top restaurant management software provides detailed information about the leading restaurant management tools available in the market and their features, reviews, ratings, and pricing information. You can choose the best restaurant management software for your business from this list by leveraging filters for features, deployment type, pricing model, business size, ratings, and more.

  • Why Do Restaurant Businesses Need a Restaurant Management System?

    Restaurant businesses require restaurant management tools for seamless management of their business operations, including workforce management, premises management, order management, accounting, payment processing, and customer relationship management. Leveraging the top restaurant management software helps businesses automate and streamline various processes, manage multiple locations with ease, save time, reduce operational costs, improve transparency, enhance employee productivity, enhance profits, and earn customer trust/loyalty. With reliable restaurant management systems in place, restaurant business owners witness an upsurge in business profits at nominal costs.

  • How To Manage a Restaurant Business Remotely?

    To manage a restaurant business remotely, all you need is reliable online restaurant management software or restaurant POS software. It provides a unified platform for all necessary restaurant management tools for perfect control of your restaurant business with real-time access and updates, resulting in a better customer experience. An online restaurant management system allows you to run and supervise multiple restaurant locations simultaneously from anywhere, anytime.

  • How Much Does Restaurant Management Software Cost?

    The cost of a restaurant management system predominantly depends on the features it offers and the number of locations it allows. The software vendors typically provide multiple packages (plans) to suit businesses of different sizes and needs. Starter plans of restaurant management solutions offer limited features at a lower price, while feature-rich packages cost higher. Some restaurant management solutions allow a free version or freemium apart from multiple paid plans; for example, IncoPOS. The paid packages offer advanced features and enable managing multiple locations.

    It is possible to get reliable restaurant management software for as low as $2 per month; for example, ZoomShift. There are many top restaurant management systems available for less than $100 per month; for example, Tillpoint costs $29 per month, Epos Now costs $39 per month, Lightspeed POS costs $69 per month, and Koomi POS costs $79 per month. Some popular higher-priced options among the best restaurant management system software include MarketMan that costs $149 per location per month, and Restaurant365 that costs $249 per location per month.

  • Are There Any Free Restaurant Management Tools Available?

    Yes, there are numerous free and open source restaurant management software options available in the market, for example, TastyIgniter. Besides, many top restaurant management software vendors offer free versions of the restaurant management system in addition to the paid plans, for example, IncoPOS. For details, please refer to GoodFirms’ blog on Best Free and Open Source Restaurant Management Software.

  • Are Restaurant Management Systems Secure?

    The top restaurant management systems typically offer robust, multi-layer security tools to ensure your business data security. As security is important, before buying, you must still confirm with the software vendor the solution’s security features for data backup, data storage, data integrity, data sharing, access controls, encryption, and vulnerability scanning. You may also check the customer reviews, ratings, and feedback for different restaurant management tools from the list of best restaurant management systems summarized by GoodFirms.

Resources for Restaurant Management Software