Restaurant Management Software: A Complete Guide

Restaurant Management Software: A Complete Guide

Restaurant management can seem like a difficult obstacle to tackle, especially when you're starting from scratch. Assistance with day-to-day tasks such as inventory management, scheduling and billing is integral to have a successful workflow.

Restaurant management software is a great way to ensure your work day is simplified and smooth-running, but it can be tricky to understand at first. In this article, we'll guide you through restaurant management software, how it works, the main features and choosing the right management system for your business.

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What Is Restaurant Management Software?

A restaurant management system is a type of software that is designed to aid restaurant owners and managers in the daily workflow of their business. This software assists leaders and employees in carrying out managerial tasks within the hospitality industry.

The restaurant business is notorious for having many different tasks that require strict adherence to a schedule. This means that having a restaurant management system allows for many independent elements within the restaurant industry to be solved in one place. These system elements can include point of sale technology, inventory management and booking systems.

Restaurant Management Software Features

There are many features that can be included in restaurant management software, that all aim to provide comprehensive solutions to restaurant managerial problems. Features may be contained under one fully integrated solution, however, many management systems have a range of software available to pick and choose from.

Table Management

Table management is a huge task that is undertaken by the hospitality industry on a daily basis. Making sure all of your reservations are scheduled, with the proper assurances for walk-ins, cancellations and last-minute additions can be a tricky exercise.

A restaurant management system can be extremely helpful when it comes to organising your tables for the day. Getting rid of a physical booking diary and moving your scheduling to an online system can simplify workflow for your front of house operations. This will in turn help your business function at a more successful rate. In addition to physical seating, it can improve workflow for online ordering or takeaway orders that may be called in.

Of course, having an easy table management solution means that your customer satisfaction will increase immensely as well, with customers seated quickly and efficiently.

Yield Management

The restaurant industry is known for having rushes and lulls with extreme fluctuation a daily occurrence. Looking at sales reports from the day can be very helpful to pinpoint the busy periods from the slower times, and will allow you to capitalise on this data.

Yield management software allows you to track sales for the day, and help encourage a steady stream of customers through incentives. This could be a special discount on certain days, day or time specific specials or even encouraging customers to book outside their preferred time slot for their dining experience.

When using yield management systems, it's a win-win on both sides as the customer satisfaction is raised with incentives and your business becomes a more steady operation.

Event Management

For bigger events, private functions and hosting in the hospitality industry, organisation is imperative. Making sure staff allocation is set down, inventory is ready to go and even making sure that the venue or room you have set aside is properly prepared can take a lot of effort.

Putting all of this data onto an event management system will help you keep track of the many tasks that will happen in the days before and the day of the event. You can even track your success and sales post-event, and identify any gaps in your workflow to improve on for next time.

Point of Sale (POS) System

In this current day and age, a restaurant typically doesn't function without some sort of POS system. A POS system refers to the time and place in which a transaction from customer to business takes place. This could be paying for a restaurant bill, paying for an item or product or even placing a refund for a customer.

A restaurant POS system is so important to ensure easy flow of customers and therefore an increase in customer satisfaction. Better yet, the convenience of having all of your sales data stored in one place is great for sales forecasting and tracking as well.

Find out how integrating POS into your reservation management system can benefit your operations in our webinar on demand.

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Reporting & Analytics

A point of sales system allows you to view and track your sales data, and works as a reporting software as well. This data could include which employee provided the transaction, items sold in the transaction and even which customer was involved.

From this management software, you can also track any merchant fees that may apply to your business transactions.

Benefits of Using Restaurant Management Software

Switching over to using restaurant management software may seem like a big task, however, there are many benefits to using a management system to help run your business. From improved efficiency in workflow to increased customer satisfaction, the advantages of using managerial software increase success tenfold!

Increased Efficiency & Productivity

Food and hospitality businesses thrive off function and efficiency. To be successful both during daily operations and in the overall business, it is important to prioritise organisation.

When using a restaurant management system for employee scheduling, inventory management, business transactions and other day-to-day tasks, your business productivity can improve immensely. With all of your organised tasks, and tracked data held in one single organised system, efficiency becomes your strong suit and profitability will surely be on the rise!

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Improved Customer Service

Customer service and satisfaction is a big indicator of the success of your restaurant. Making sure each customer enjoys their experience- from being seated, to ordering, to paying for their meal- will ensure customer loyalty and a job well done.

If you decide to utilise a restaurant management software system, your customer experience will become a simplified and easier process, with less room for human error. This means that customers are able to enjoy your business without the hassle of fumbled bookings or mistaken orders.

Online Ordering

The online ordering ecosystem is already delicate and juggling table bookings with takeaway can be a significant hospitality challenge. The benefit of having table management software, yield software or even the humble POS system means that online ordering can easily be integrated into the in-person orders you have as well.

Plus, with POS systems and data tracking capabilities in place, you'll be able to better understand your delivery and takeaway sales. This means you can work out where to invest time and effort to better improve the overall business success.

Better Inventory Management

Making sure you have enough stock, tracking your inventory usage and monitoring how and where there is overflow is extremely important. Improving your inventory management through using software ensures your food costs are accounted for and food wastage can be monitored for reduction purposes.

Having better inventory management will not only benefit a healthy workflow when building menus, buying ingredients and managing food surplus, but will often assist in reducing food costs.

Accurate Reporting & Data Analysis

Accurate reporting is a big benefit in the restaurant business. Making sure your costs, sales and profits are properly tracked is imperative to working out where to invest time and effort and fill in the gaps.

With management systems set up, reporting doesn't have to be done manually, meaning there is less room for human error (and less chance of losing paper documents!). With all your data in one single organised system, analysis and improvement can be more easily achieved.

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How to Choose the Right Restaurant Management Software

After learning about what a restaurant management system is and the numerous benefits it contains, now it's time to work out what your business needs. Each restaurant business is unique in its organisation and management, so making sure your software matches your workflow is the key to success!

Here is our step-by-step guide to choosing the right restaurant management solutions:

1. Identify Your Business Needs & Goals

The first step to working out what kind of restaurant management platform will work best for you and your business comes down to your goals. This includes your development goals, or what you want to see improved, your financial goals or sales targets and your overall business needs.

Defining what these goals are and what to prioritise ensures that the management systems you end up choosing actually reap benefits in the short and long term. For example, if you wish to improve on your customer satisfaction when going through the booking process, installing table management software may be your best option. This kind of software will help you to organise reservations, online ordering and establish a better employee to customer workflow.

2. Research Different Options

Of course, research is your best friend when it comes to new technology. Shopping around to see what kind of management software is available and what is compatible with your current business model is a great way to narrow down your options.

Research can include heading online to view different options, speaking to other business owners within the hospitality industry or even looking at online forums and reviews to see what may work best for you.

3. Compare Features & Pricing

After narrowing down your research to a couple of options- for both types of restaurant management software and the product itself- it's important to compare features and pricing.

While some systems may only have a couple of features like POS systems or table management, others will have everything included in one central system. Comparison is a great way to understand what kind of features your business requires to reach the business goals you've set.

For financing, it is also important to set a realistic goal for spending versus outcome. Making sure to crunch the numbers on whether a new management system will increase profits is integral to business success.

4. Test & Evaluate Software

For many new management systems, it may feel like a whole new world. Making sure you're able to test and evaluate software, whether that's with seeing the system running in another business or even a test run in your own establishment.

At ResDiary, you can request a personalised demo of any of the management systems you like, meaning you can view and analyse what will work best for you and your business!

5. Make a Final Decision

In the end, the biggest step is taking that final leap to a decision. Deciding to integrate, combine and improve on your restaurant management has many benefits, but it can be daunting to begin with. After going through the steps of working out what's best for you, make that final decision and get in touch with ResDiary today!


Getting Started With Restaurant Management Software

After deciding on your restaurant management system, now it's time for the hard part, setting it all up!

Setting Up the Software

Setting up the software for your new management systems can involve lots of new technology and sometimes integration from alternative sources. Setting up with ResDiary is pretty simple- after contacting us and receiving a demo with our technology, you can sign up and get started in a matter of days. Our hospitality tech professionals will guide you through set up, accessibility and integration where needed in your establishment.

We also have integrated tools and options for a variety of different sources and partners, which can all be combined with one of our trusty hospitality tech professionals.

Training Employees

Training your employees is one of the most important steps when setting up. Making sure all of your staff is on the same page about how each management system works, how workflow is organised and how day-to-day tasks will now be performed is imperative. We always recommend having training sessions when introducing new systems and tools, and of course providing guidance where there may be confusion.

Overall, your employees will definitely enjoy the simplicity of using an integrated system for management of their scheduling, daily tasks and business organisation!

Book a Demo

Restaurant management software provides many benefits to business owners and restaurant managers in the hospitality industry. From improved efficiency to increased customer satisfaction, it's easy to see why many restaurant owners are switching over to using managerial software systems.

At ResDiary, we offer numerous software tools to help your business thrive and work toward improvement in every area of your establishment. The best way to see our tools in action is by booking a personalised demo with us. Get a better understanding of how your business can be improved and where your time and energy should be invested. For a complete restaurant management solution, book in a demo with ResDiary today!