Running a restaurant is a difficult and complicated task. A variety of tasks must be taken care of regularly in order to ensure success in the culinary industry. A restaurant management software is designed to streamline and simplify these tasks for the staff so that more attention may be directed to qualitative features like the taste of food or restaurant design. Here, we have compiled 6 basic features you should look for when choosing a restaurant management software.
Finances- This involves billing customers, recording sales, and even tracking taxes. A restaurant is ultimately a business and must keep its finances in good shape. Good restaurant management software has integrated billing modules that accept credit/debit cards, UPI and mobile wallets. Most of these POS (point of sale) systems have robust tax and sales reporting methods which are extremely important for tracking the restaurant’s financial progress over years. The POS software can also record expenses like maintenance, expansion, policy changes, etc. Using such software minimizes human error and increases efficiency. Ideally, your management software will automate mundane financial record keeping and provide you with financial data in an intuitive format.
Menus & orders- This is an essential front-end functionality that you will need in your POS. Making small changes to your menu items, descriptions and prices should be as swift and intuitive as possible. This is especially true for a bar, as drinks may be subject to the availability of seasonal fruits or specific alcohol. On a related note, the customer’s ordering experience can be vastly improved with the right management software. Many establishments today don’t rely on waiters to get their orders, they use apps or websites via QR codes. This is more convenient for multiple guests, it is instantaneous, and it reduces paper waste. However, you must design the mobile menu and ordering OS as clear and user-friendly as possible to avoid any confusion.
Inventory management- This section is so important that it could have a list all to itself. In basic terms, knowing how much food you have in stock is an absolute must for any restaurateur. Therefore, many management systems come with inventory tracking features. These may be as simple as counting the number of steaks you have available. The best software, however, can send you alerts when stock runs low, it can have customizable item tracking for exclusive wines or rare meats, it can even track the number of sides made along with the main order. All of this data helps the managers budget their stock and keep waste to a minimum.
Employee management- A restaurant management software is incomplete without employee management features. This is because both staff and employers can utilize employee management to their benefit. For instance, a digital clock-in/clock-out system ensures that each worker has a record of their working days securely available. This software also makes it easy for employers to access worker records quickly and change things like user permissions on the fly. Finally, employee management systems can record work hours, the number of sales made, complaints filed, etc. so that the employer may know exactly what to pay his staff.
CRM (customer relationship management)– Most restaurants need to accomplish 2 things with customers to ensure success: increase the customer base and make as many loyal (repeat) customers as possible. Neither of these is possible today without some amount of marketing from the restaurant’s side. This is why management software today sometimes comes with in-built CRM modules. You can design and run SMS campaigns, email marketing, loyalty/membership programs, and even direct rewards for repeat customers. This is a good way to incentivize people to visit your establishment regularly.
Data analysis- All the points we have mentioned above can be included in your restaurant management software. However, what the owners/upper management ultimately need is a cohesive compilation of all the data from all of the restaurant operations. Organizing everything from inventory to payroll is a daunting task that good management software makes automatic. It can provide charts, tables, profit-loss statements, and even comparisons to the competition. This is an enormous time save for everyone involved and can help a restaurant grow and improve steadily with solid data to back it up.
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