Why You Should Use Restaurant Management Software
What is Restaurant Management Software?
A restaurant management system is a tool that typically includes both restaurant software and hardware used to optimize the way a restaurant runs. A restaurant management system provides a wide variety of functions ranging from inventory management to employee scheduling to pos system tracking.
The restaurant software and hardware components of a restaurant management system can include a cash register, receipt printer, and barcode scanner. Best restaurant practices are simplified with a restaurant management system that allows business owners to simplify workload and provides easy use to access important information.
The best restaurant management systems are created to be compatible with pre-existing restaurant software programs. This allows restaurant owners to easily integrate a new management platform whether they own a small business or a large chain.
Additionally, With 79% of diners reporting an improved experience with improved technology, restaurant management software should be a top priority for restaurant owners to invest in.
Common Risks with Managing a Restaurant
There are many risks that come with restaurant management that all restaurant owners must be aware of. Regardless if you own a small business or have many operations you oversee, make sure to consider the following risks-
1. Workplace injuries- There are more than 3 million slips and falls each year in the United States. The average cost is $21,000 per claim and something that many small businesses could not financially bounce back from. Restaurant management software can help your employees track which areas have been recently cleaned and communicate about any hazards before an accident occurs.
The majority of restaurant fires occur around 10 in the morning. A great management platform can help you create and maintain a process to prevent common fire sources, including kitchen hood and exhaust duct cleaning schedules.
2. Identity theft- If your back-office processes a large number of employee documents it is important to have a cloud-based security system in place. Your payment processing should also be secure to guard your client's credit card information and make sure to protect them from any identity theft breaches.
3. Untrained or undertrained workers- Make sure your staff is trained for any unsuspecting medical emergencies that can occur in your business. Training for what to do if a client has a heart attack or a customer is choking could potentially save a life.
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Why You Should Invest in Restaurant Management Software
Previously, restaurant management systems and technological advances in restaurant software were considered a luxury purchase. With increased customer demand, restaurant software is now expected for any best restaurant to have in place.
If you are a restaurant owner who is undecided about making a restaurant software or management platform purchase consider the following reasons to invest-
1. Higher efficiency levels- An automated pos system can help your staff stay streamlined. Previously the front house and the back house relied largely on yelling at each other to communicate. A software solution will help your front house and back housework together in real-time and without the need for shouting.
Inventory management is an important consideration for a restaurant owner who wants to decrease food costs and unnecessary waste.
A restaurant business can prevent a lot of food loss through an inventory management software that focuses on keeping items stocked for various menu items offered. Not only will this cut down each respective food cost but it will also decrease expensive disposal needs.
2. Customer service improvements- Even a long time customer who is a part of your loyalty program can be disgruntled by their favorite menu items being unavailable. To avoid this, inventory management software can help you proactively restock before you run out of an essential ingredient.
Point sale software can ease the customer experience with easy use and real-time updates. Not only will this increase quick service but it will also aid in payment processing and other aspects of customer orders.
With 37% of restaurant owners think that customer ordering is the top development area for the upcoming five years, the restaurant industry needs to make updates in their technological process to stay competitive.
3. Employee satisfaction increases- Whether you are a fine dining establishment in New York or a coffee shop in a small town, a software-based restaurant management system will help you increase employee engagement and satisfaction levels.
Restaurant management software can help with employee management and employee scheduling processes. Automating schedules can increase employee engagement by 24% by providing increased employee scheduling transparency.
An effective POS system and inventory management software will also likely increase employee satisfaction levels. When your front house and back house staff can provide quick service and a full range of menu items to your customers, they will feel much less stressed out.
The Benefits of Using Restaurant Management Software
There are many benefits of using restaurant management software for everyone involved in your business operations. Various benefits include-
1. Less management stress- Employee scheduling is much easier to navigate with the proper restaurant management software. Decrease managerial and employee stress levels by providing a cloud-based restaurant platform that everyone on your staff can access.
Managers will also be less likely to have to be involved in customer complaints if a software program is used to keep customer bookings streamlined.
Software designed to avoid double booking or overbooking will increase both customer and employee satisfaction levels. Happier customers and employees translate into less need for managerial intervention for conflict resolution.
2. Better customer experience- Customers love technology improvements and engaging with a user-friendly system throughout their dining experience. Providing customers with online ordering capabilities and loyalty programs will increase the likelihood of them leaving a positive social media or third party platform review.
With customer reviews and social media posts acting as free marketing and advertising for your business, providing a technologically pleasing experience should be a top priority.
Management platforms can incorporate a customer's social media with your loyalty program and online ordering capabilities by offering rewards or incentives. These incentives can translate into massive profits for your restaurant.
In fact, online ordering can increase customer spending by 23% per order in comparison to onsite dining according to some case studies. Increase both your sales per month and positive customer reviews by creating both mobile app accessibility for offsite customers and user-friendly software for in-store purchases.
A great loyalty program will also decrease customer churn. With a decrease in customer churn of just 5%, a restaurant can see increased profits of 25-125%. This translates into savings when considering that it costs five times more to acquire a new customer than retain an existing customer.
3. Communication improvements- 81% of employees prefer joining a company that places a value on open communication. Whether communications involve table management or navigating restaurant pos software your team can stay connected with a restaurant management platform catered to their communication needs.
Additionally, employees will be better able to communicate with customers through a management platform that can send alerts on via mobile app in real-time. A cloud-based restaurant management platform can keep conversations easily accessible and on file for future reference.
What to Look out for When Choosing a Restaurant Management Software
The best restaurant management software will feel like software designed specifically for your business. A restaurant management platform must be user friendly and allow your employees to provide the best full-service experience possible. The following are important to consider when choosing a restaurant management software-
1. Business needs- Understanding what your business needs and wants out of a management platform is crucial to deciding which to invest in. Before you commit to paying a company per month or annually for their software, make sure that they are the right fit for your business.
Consider your restaurant type, as an owner of a chain of coffee shops will have different needs than the owner of a fine dining establishment. Some establishments might prioritize online ordering or loyalty programs while others are more focused on table management and a restaurant pos system that runs smoothly for a dinner rush.
When you know what management features your restaurant needs you can request a free demo to see how compatible a platform is with your existing business operations. Features restaurant staff members find helpful can range from restaurant inventory management for your foodservice staff to accounting software for office staff.
2. Ease of usage- If your software is too complicated it is useless as employees will not know how to use it. The best restaurant management platform for your business will be user friendly and will allow your food service staff to feel confident every time they access it.
A great way to make sure a system is user friendly is to request a free demo of the software. Encourage your staff to explore management features which could range from online ordering capabilities to iPad POS compatibility.
3. Future expansion- The best restaurant management system will be compatible with future technological updates or new ventures. Make sure you can add on additional stations for pos systems and iPad POS systems if you decide to upgrade or expand down the line.
Additionally, a great management platform will provide for a large variety of management features that your staff may not currently anticipate needing. By thinking ahead you can avoid the need for a costly and time-consuming software replacement in the future.
4. Product pricing- The pricing of restaurant management systems can vary greatly but generally cost around $150 per year. This cost is dependent on how many locations you have and what management features you require. For a more complex system, a restaurant owner could have to pay thousands of dollars per month for proper management software.
Another important difference for every restaurant owner to consider is between perpetual or subscription licensing. Perpetual licensing allows you to pay a large lump sum upfront to own the license to the software indefinitely while subscription licensing requires you to pay per month or per year.
Subscription licensing requires less money upfront but may cost more in fees per month or per year. Alternatively, a perpetual license requires a large initial investment and is risky if you are not confident about the software for your business's current and future needs.
Online employee scheduling software that makes shift planning effortless.
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- A proper restaurant management system will include both restaurant software and hardware that is user friendly and provides management features in accordance with business needs.
- Increase service restaurants provide with features ranging from order management to pos solution troubleshooting.
- The best restaurant management systems anticipate future upgrades or business expansions and are compatible with social media and mobile app platforms.
- A restaurant management system can improve both employee and customer experience and increase profitability for your business bottom line.
- Restaurant owners should request demo opportunities to understand what service restaurants will receive from a specific management platform.