Restaurant management software: what do you need to know?

Restaurant management software is an excellent way to improve your business functions. Find out why here

Restaurant management software is available in various forms from a range of suppliers to help restaurants, bars and kitchens better manage every aspect of their processes.

From tracking inventory and taking orders to managing bills and payments, restaurant management systems help service businesses to streamline the way they operate.

Software to help manage your restaurant, cafe, bar or other service business can offer a huge range of features and functions. On this page, we’ve collected information to help you understand what you need from your equipment and software.

It may be that you need to speed up the food or drink ordering process. Or, it might be that you are looking to make use of an automated system to send orders from the bar to the kitchen.

Whatever your motivation, you’re sure to find a hospitality EPOS system to suit. You can also check out our how to start a restaurant page for extra information on starting up in this industry.

The list below includes a brief overview of the topics covered on this page – click on each to learn about a particular section, or read the full article for the complete guide.

In this article, we’ll cover:

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If you’re ready to start comparing restaurant management software straight away, then you simply need to complete the form at the top of this page.

By doing so, you’ll allow us to put you in touch with up to four top EPOS suppliers that can offer the best quotes and deals.

Comparing EPOS quotes in this way is free, quick and easy, and it could save your business both time and money.

What is online restaurant management software?

This software needs to have online capabilities to work, with many features relying on internet access, such as cloud-based systems.

Of course, in the modern business world online access is perfectly ordinary, with the vast majority of restaurants already being connected to the internet.

As you might expect, online management software will also require several other components to work, including:

  • Equipment – such as the equipment needed to use the software
  • Software – the program to manage the restaurant operations
  • Accessories – such as the necessary hardware e.g. tablets

If you do not have the components listed above, your first step towards getting a restaurant operations system should be to arrange for them to be installed.

Once you have your online restaurant management system, you’ll be able to make use of the huge range of features it boasts that make running a restaurant easier. These features are covered in much more detail in the sections below, in which we’ll explore four forms of online restaurant management software:

  1. Restaurant inventory software
  2. Restaurant ordering system software
  3. Table management systems
  4. Fast food software

How to use restaurant inventory software

Restaurant inventory software provides you with improved control over your purchasing, costings and recipe management processes. Inventory tracking is useful in any food-based environment, as well as in bars and pubs too.

Restaurant inventory tracking helps you to monitor a range of processes. Inventory tracking will note:

  • Orders that are made
  • Wastage that’s recorded
  • Delivery and expiry dates
  • The cost of items

With this form of software you can automatically monitor your menu and recipes to ensure that your kitchen doesn’t run out of ingredients. It can also be used to make sure your costs never outrun your profits.

Inventory software is built into several restaurant EPOS systems, allowing you to focus on customer service, rather than having to spend long periods of time taking stock, estimating budgets and ordering new ingredients.

With the right inventory software setup, you can focus on helping your business to flourish, safe in the knowledge that your menu will be available to customers without problems.

Listed below are some of the most common, and most useful, features of restaurant inventory software:

  • Online purchasing
  • Inventory tracking
  • Budget tools
  • Use and loss tracking
  • Menu costing
  • POS integration
  • Kitchen operations
  • Restaurant inventory apps

Alongside these general features, restaurant inventory software offers plenty more capabilities, as well as options for your business to create custom tracking that suits your operation.

Simply complete the form at the top of this page to find out more about inventory software today.

Why choose a restaurant inventory app for iPad?

A restaurant inventory app for iPad is often just a scaled down version of the larger software already mentioned above.

This sort of app is great for small businesses, as well as for chains and franchises too. If you own several restaurants or food service operations, monitoring inventory without having to be in a specific location can be a real benefit.

In most cases, this type of app will be included as standard along with the rest of the software. This allows you to quickly and easily begin monitoring your stock, wherever you are and whenever you need to.

  • These apps are often included as standard with other restaurant management software
  • They offer scaled down software suitable for small businesses
  • These apps enable you to monitor inventory wherever you are

What are the benefits of restaurant ordering system software?

More and more UK consumers are choosing to order online from restaurants. There are a number of options available for foodservice operations that want to tap into this market, and one of the most effective choices is to create your own online ordering system.

Though this can be a more expensive option in the short-term, over time offering customers a means of ordering food directly through your website can be more lucrative for your business. This is especially going to be the case if you operate multiple restaurants and takeaways.

If people visit your website and order through it or over the phone, adopting restaurant ordering software can be a key resource and time-saver.

As with inventory software, restaurant ordering system software can often be included in your POS equipment.

Just like with in-house orders, an online ordering system can be automated in many ways so that you can track every aspect of it quickly and easily, without having to complete a load of manual tasks. For example, creating promotions or remembering repeat orders.

What other ways can this type of software be used?

Restaurant ordering system software is useful in a whole range of food-serving businesses. It can also help an existing business to step up various processes to better enable expansion – for example, taking orders in advance or operating from multiple locations.

Implementing this form of ordering, or a version of it, could also help you to streamline processes so that customers can order food from their table via an app. This gives your waiting staff more freedom to serve and maintain the restaurant without having to take as many orders.

As above, this sort of app can be automated so that it works in tandem with your overall software or system.

Use table management software to plan and monitor seating levels

How to use a table management system

A table management system can be used both as an advanced planning system and also as a real-time current capacity monitoring system.

It can help to monitor:

  • How long people spend in your establishment
  • How long they wait for food or drinks
  • How much they spend
  • What they order

Like other functions on this page, you can significantly improve the way you use your table management system by also implementing smart software. For example, storing data on the cloud or accessing the system via an app, so you can stay up-to-date on what’s happening on the floor, wherever you are.

Also, your wait staff can be better managed and more streamlined with the help of this system as you can plan exactly when, where and how many team members are required.
Plus, your budgets and costs can be kept to a minimum, with time always being spent in the most efficient way.

Table seating software is an excellent investment for any restaurant, and especially in those where guests are waited on at their table, as so much of your customers’ experience is determined by the service.

Why use fast food software?

Fast food software needs to be efficient. Essentially, this sort of software aims to streamline the processes that take place in your restaurant as much as possible.

What are the benefits?

Fast food software can help your staff to take orders, process payments and deliver food quickly and easily.

This sort of system is ideal in any environment where customers expect their food to be ordered and taken away within minutes.

Though the software will be similar in many ways to the software being used in restaurants, cafes and bars, the way it’s utilised will be fundamentally different. The key focus will be on time, including customer and order turnarounds.

What features are available?

Like the other forms of restaurant operations software on this page, fast food software will offer a range of features, including:

  • Inventory tracking
  • Menu functions
  • Custom recipe options
  • Order processing
  • Payment functions

Making use of these functions, and of the overall software itself, is one of the best ways for fast food restaurants to optimise their food production processes. This is because it offers key order information at a glance, among other time-saving benefits.

Compare restaurant management software suppliers

The best restaurant management software suppliers will be able to offer you the range of functions and features that your business needs.

As with other equipment suppliers or software providers, these requirements are unlikely to be the same as everyone else, so it’s essential to choose the best for your business.

The option that’s best for you will depend on various factors. For example, a busier restaurant, or a restaurant that also has a bar, may require a different operating system than a restaurant in a hotel.

Having said that, it’s important to remember that many suppliers will make efforts to match your needs, meaning that your options won’t necessarily be limited by your style or type of business.

In the table below we’ve compared some of the top suppliers of restaurant operating systems, with a little more information about each in the sections beneath.

Supplier Restaurant/business size Rating
TouchBistro Small, medium, large ★★★★★
EPOS Now Small, medium, large ★★★★★
Toast POS Small, medium, large ★★★★

TouchBistro restaurant management system

  • Equipment required – tablet
  • Founded – 2010
  • Based – Canada

TouchBistro offers an iPad-based restaurant management software which is widely regarded as being one of the best available, as it can be used across varying sizes and types of hospitality businesses.

Plus, TouchBistro offers features that can assist with everything from seating arrangements to processing payments and managing inventory.

Designed specifically to work in the food service sector, this software is sure to help your restaurant – whatever form you operate – speed up processes.

TouchBistro offers several packages, with functions and features available to suit your restaurant’s needs – including options for breweries and food trucks specifically.

EPOS Now restaurant management system

  • Equipment required – tablet
  • Founded – 2011
  • Based – UK

EPOS Now is a point of sale provider which offers products and software not only in the hospitality industry, but across a spectrum of business types.

The benefit of EPOS Now is that it’s recognised as being among the most trustworthy suppliers, with a TrustScore of 9.1 out of 10 on Trustpilot.

Among its various systems, EPOS Now offers a specifically designed hospitality POS system. This may be well-suited to your business if you’re looking for a POS system with additional options available, such as hardware and training, from a provider with experience across multiple sectors.

Toast POS restaurant management system

  • Equipment required – tablet
  • Founded – 2012
  • Based – US

Like TouchBistro’s product, Toast POS has been designed specifically for use in the hospitality sector.

Toast POS offers a resilient and functional system that can be used by a range of business types. For example, it can be implemented in full and quick service restaurants, and offers specialised options for pizzerias.

Where table service is required, Toast tablet POS offers a whole host of features, including at-table ordering, as well as menu updates and split payments.

Given its specialist nature, Toast POS is sure to be able to help your business with a number of key concerns, such as table management and customer wait times.

In a nutshell

In this article, we’ve provided you with detailed information about the types of restaurant management software available, as well as potential benefits for your business. Here are some key points to remember:

  • Restaurant management software requires a reliable internet connection
  • Restaurant inventory software allows you to manage and track food stock levels
  • Consider apps if your business operates in multiple locations
  • Use restaurant ordering system software to reach customers online
  • Table management systems offer advanced planning or real-time monitoring
  • Consider specific software for fast food outlets to prioritise quick turnaround times
  • Complete the form at the top of the page to compare quotes for EPOS systems now

What are the next steps?

Restaurant management software has been covered in some depth on this page, although there is still more to learn. To find out what else you need to know, you should speak to suppliers today – we can help with this.

To speak directly to up to four top UK restaurant management software suppliers, you simply need to complete the form at the top of this page. This process is free, quick and easy, and it could save your business both time and money.

There is no doubt at all that for restaurants and food service establishments of every size management software can be hugely beneficial. Find out how much it could help your business today!

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