What is Restaurant Management?
Restaurant Management Software assists restaurant owners and managers with automation of administrative tasks, workforce management & scheduling, inventory tracking & control, orders, and payroll. More often than not they include an integrated point-of-sale (POS) system, or a tight integration with a POS offered by a partner vendor. There are also specialized POS systems specifically for the restaurant industry, simply called Restaurant POS.
Beyond these relatively straightforward functions, a restaurant management platform might distinguish itself by providing advanced and interpretable analytics and revenue tracking, an attractive and functional mobile app, and support for e-commerce with online orders and delivery support and tracking.
There is some overlap between restaurant management software and POS systems. Restaurant POS systems are primarily concerned with taking customers orders, submitting orders to the kitchen, processing payments, and providing basic analytics while restaurant management systems provide tools for both the back and front of house such as employee and inventory management.
Restaurant Management Features & Capabilities
The most advantageous features offered in Restaurant Management software solutions are listed below, but not all software will have each of these features.
Create and manage employees’ schedules
Payroll tracking - Clock employees in and out, create payroll
Employee communication, including shift changes
Labor law compliance
Manage food inventory and food expiration dates
Identify and track food waste
Forecast needed food or inventory order quantities and timing
Purchasing management and purchase order creation
Food Cost and Management
Track food costs over time
Analyze cost of specific recipes
Real time menu editing capabilities
Visibility of menu item order quantity and which menu items are the most profitable
Dashboards and Reporting
Tools to help minimize costs and maximize sales
Real time access for sales data and reporting
Forecast sales projections based on season or day of week
POS hardware and software
Self-ordering solutions and kiosks
Web order application or integration
Delivery order management or integration
Customer loyalty program management
Restaurant Management Software Comparison
Start a Restaurant Management software comparison
Pricing varies greatly between the different Restaurant Management solutions. Some offer free software with basic or limited functionality. Mid range options are available in the $40 - $70 per month range while high end plans are much more and are specific to the size of your company, number of locations, and the number of employees. Several offer a free trial period prior to purchase.
Frequently Asked Questions
Restaurant management software can assist with a variety of tasks and duties, but features that are crucial to defining a restaurant management software are:
- Point-of-sale system
- Inventory management
- Table and order management
- Timesheet management
- Menu setup
- Support for integration with other software you may already be using and enjoy
- Reporting /analysis