Restaurant Management Software

Restaurant Management Software Overview

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.

Labor Management

  • Create and manage employees’ schedules

  • Payroll tracking - Clock employees in and out, create payroll

  • Employee communication, including shift changes

  • Labor law compliance

Inventory Management

  • 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

Interface solutions

  • 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

Restaurant management software as a category consists of specialized tools and more comprehensive tools that aim to be an all-in-one platform.

There are products in this space tailored to fulfill crucial aspects of restaurant management such as POS systems or employee scheduling tools. These offerings typically provide built-in integrations with other important tools so that restaurant operations managers can tailor their tech stack to their own needs. Hotschedules, Jolt, and Lavu are good examples of this sub-category of products.

For examples of all-in-one platforms that are designed to help restaurant owners cut down on the number of software vendors with whom they have to work, there are offerings like Revel Systems, Upserve, and Toast. When shopping for a restaurant management platform, pre-identify the features that are absolutely a must-have for your business. This will help you more easily create your shortlist.

Start a Restaurant Management software comparison

Pricing Information

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.

Restaurant Management Products

(1-25 of 65) Sorted by Most Reviews

63 ratings
166 reviews
HotSchedules is a cloud-based scheduling, labor and communication management software solution serving the restaurant and hospitality industry.According to the vendor, key benefits include:Build & Communicate SchedulesThe scheduling and labor management software reduces the time it takes manager…
22 ratings
38 reviews
Jolt is a task and workforce management, with time & attendance, remote (selfie) login, scheduling, and simple tasking tools, from the company of the same name in Provo, Utah; useful for small teams that could leverage frequent communication.
Upserve POS (formerly Breadcrumb)
5 ratings
24 reviews
Breadcrumb is a point-of-sale software solution with features such as complete restaurant & bar management. Breadcrumb was developed by Groupon and sold to Upserve in 2016.
Toast Point of Sale
8 ratings
12 reviews
Toast Point of Sale is a cloud-based restaurant point of sale solution provided as the foundation for Toast's all in one restaurant management solution which supports payment processing, as well as customer care, gift cards and loyalty, as well as back of house and back office (HR, payroll, schedule…
20 ratings
8 reviews
Aloha POS is a point-of-sale software solution with features such as highest market share in the industry and streamline food preparation and delivery.
4 ratings
7 reviews
TouchBistro is a complete mobile POS solution on the iPad for the restaurant industry. It allows users to manage reservations, view the menu, take orders and review sales reports with a few simple touches. Instead of servers repeatedly moving between customers and terminals for order management, se…
Revel Systems
11 ratings
4 reviews
Revel Systems, from the company of the same name headquartered in San Francisco, is a point of sale (POS) system for restaurants, bars, and related businesses (e.g. bakeries, wineries, etc) which can be extended to provide workforce management, menu and table management, and also a customer loyalty …
Compeat, with Ctuit Radar
11 ratings
4 reviews
Compeat in Austin, Texas offers their restaurant management platforms which combine inventory planning and forecasting with workforce management and controls. Their platform comes in two editions: Advantage for smaller independent and chain restaurants, and Enterprise for large chains. Compeat now …
0 ratings
2 reviews
Maitre'D point of sale (POS) from Posera headquartered in Montreal is a retail POS solution quick serve or table service restaurants, hotels, bars or nightclubs, and other venues. It consists of both hardware and software. Additionally, Maitre'D can be extended to provide restaurants with back offic…
0 ratings
2 reviews
Lavu is a point-of-sale software solution with features such as an intelligent combination of cloud computing, wireless technologies, and a sleek touchscreen interface for restaurant.
6 ratings
2 reviews
Avero in New York offers a suite of restaurant, hotel and casino operations management applications, supporting sales forecasting, workforce management, revenue and food cost management, a budgeting tool, and analytics for managing loss prevention by employee theft and fraud.
Peachworks, from Beyond
1 rating
2 reviews
PeachWorks, now from Beyond (acquired 2018), is a back office oriented restaurant management system designed to provide a comprehensive back office administration automation solution.
Netsuite SuiteSuccess
7 ratings
2 reviews
NetSuite boasts a deep understanding of retail businesses and the many challenges they face. Leveraging this experience, NetSuite has developed SuiteSuccess, a new methodology focusing on four key areas including BI, continuous customer engagement lifecycle, retail best practice, and phased implemen…
4 ratings
1 review
Crunchtime! is a restaurant management platform from the company of the same name in Boston, combining workforce & labor management with inventory, ordering, and recipe management.
1 rating
1 review
Restaurant365 in Irvine, California offers what they describe as a complete restaurant management solution; it is back office oriented and so includes accounting and payroll, workforce management, scheduling, food costing and inventory controls, as well as analytics and reporting. Finally, the vendo…
Silverware is a point-of-sale software solution with features such as cloud-based solutions and real time web-based reporting.
Newhotel Cloud Point of Sale
NewHotel Cloud Point of Sale specializes in hotels and restaurants offering a complete set of functions like quick sale, Preparations and seasonings, client cards, etc., and is interegated with front-office, stocks, and events.
Heartland Digital Dining
Digital Dining from Heartland, a Global Payments company, is a restaurant POS with advanced restaurant management features, including inventory controls, labor scheduling and management, customizable menus, online ordering payment integration and receiving, and detailed business health reporting.
Placebag is an online solution for restaurant owners who want to accept orders online and get the word out about their business. This solution enables customers to place orders from any device. The vendor’s value proposition is that their solution gives users full control over their online system w…
BinWise in San Francisco offers offers restaurant management software focusing on wine, including inventory management and analysis for stock optimization.
BarVision in Pennsylvania offers their flagship restaurant management software emphasizing bar tracking and optimization with minimal impact on operations.
Sarbari in Allentown, PA offers a restaurant management system that emphasizes vendor management and food costing, but includes features related to workforce management and also analytics to improve operational visibility.
DineTime is restaurant management software focusing on the front-end, such as waitlist and reservation management, and other guest management features. It is built and supported by QSR Automations in Louisville, Kentucky.
Tenzo in London offers a restaurant management system emphasizing analytics and operations alerts, such as sales tracking, employee performance tracking, and other features (e.g. opening hours, inventory efficiency, etc).
TriniTEQ Sales Manager
TriniTEQ Sales Manager is a restaurant management application featuring workforce management features and stock management as well.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is restaurant management software?

Restaurant management software consists of all-in-one-platforms for effectively operating a restaurant business. Rather than purchasing multiple products that are sold separately such as a point-of-sale system, employee scheduling system, and more, buyers can invest in one restaurant management system that combines those separate capabilities into one product offering.

What are the key features of restaurant management software?

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

What is a good free restaurant management software?

The large majority of full-featured restaurant management platforms are not available for free and are a considerable investment. Buyers will be able to purchase standalone point-of-sale systems, but will need to augment with other tools to fully achieve the comprehensiveness of a true restaurant management tool. Simple restaurant management software can start as low as $40/mo, but more expansive systems will require prospective buyers to contact sales for a quote.