The food and beverage industry are ever-growing, and both of them have scaled exponentially in the past couple of years.
Statistics have found that revenue in the food market amounts to approximately US $8,945,354m as of 2021 and is only expected to grow with a prediction of a 4.50% annual growth.
The industry is constantly evolving as the revenue in the market grows and common practices are changing to meet new demands that clients and customers now expect.
One such change that has been seen is that of automation and the creation of restaurant management software.
Restaurant management software have been created to help businesses in the food and beverage industry to work faster and more efficiently. This allows restaurants to work towards successful outcomes.
There are many categories of restaurant management software that can help your business from point-of-sale systems to inventory management.
Read on to learn about the best restaurant management software and the considerations you should keep in mind when choosing the right one for your business.
FYI: We have divided the online restaurant management software into the following main categories:
Online Ordering Systems
Business Analytics Software
Inventory Management Systems
Let’s go through them, one by one. Read on…
Online Ordering Systems
The food delivery industry found itself thriving during the Pandemic where others faced great losses.
Lockdowns and curfews led to a whole wave of individuals looking for some sort of entertainment at home with food delivery among the top picks.
For restaurants to use online food ordering systems they open themselves to the ability to grow as a business in leaps and bounds.
According to statistics, amid the Coronavirus over 41% of respondents are likely to purchase food online.
So, if your business has not already implemented online ordering, it might be time to consider investing in an online ordering system to boost sales. This in turn will help you gain and retain customers.
Features to Look for in an Effective Online Ordering System
When you incorporate online ordering into your business you want to create an appealing app or website that attracts customers to order from your business. Therefore, it is important to choose a tool that showcases your restaurant’s menu to the fullest.
Look for systems that simplify the process of uploading a menu as well as provide the flexibility you will need to amend your menu if you change what items your restaurant offers.
Secondly, look for features that better your customer’s experience on your application or website.
You want to offer your customers an easy online ordering experience that will make them want to come back to your restaurant rather than frustrating them and losing customer loyalty.
Choose a system that allows your business to streamline the entire food ordering process from the point a customer places the order right down to the food being delivered to the customer.
Delivery is a major component of ordering food online. The system you choose should also offer adequate delivery management options.
Best Online Ordering Systems in 2022
With the boom in food delivery and online ordering, many online ordering systems have come up to meet demands.
While this provides you with an ocean of options to choose from, allowing you to be able to pick a system best suited for your business, the choice can often be quite confusing.
Here are some of the best online ordering systems to choose from:
- The Ordering.App: this ordering system by Google is new to the market and offers the basic features of an online ordering system. It also offers some cool features such as the ability to order as a group with a sharable link.
- UpMenu: this software provides a complete ordering system with a branded website application and website. You also have great features such as in-built loyalty programs to help keep customers coming back.
- Square Online: ideal for smaller restaurants, Square Online is a free eCommerce website that provides easy payment processes. However, integrating with the Square payment platforms the system becomes fairly limited in what it offers.
Business Analytics Software
Whether you are in the food business or retail business efficiency is the key to improving profitability.
To figure out exactly where your business needs to be and work more efficiently you can use business analytics software to highlight different opportunities available in your food business.
Analytics software provides the ability to gain in-depth data on the way your food business’ operations are functioning. This insight lets you work towards meeting your goal, whether that be improving employee productivity, increasing sales, or reducing costs.
Features to Look for in an Effective Food Business Analytics Software
You need to keep your business in mind when searching for the perfect food business analytics software for you.
Depending on the size of your business you may find that certain analytics software offer too much and the features available will not be of use to you.
You don’t want to choose software that has the ability to synchronize data from different sources if you run a smaller operation or a single restaurant.
Choose a software that integrates well with other systems or tools that may be in place in your operation. This is important since gaining a proper overview of the entire work of your restaurant and gaining proper insights requires this connection.
The tool should also be easy-to-use. A user-friendly interface is a difference between being able to understand what changes need to be made to reach your goals and simply having data and analytics that you don’t use.
Custom profiles allow you to better understand your clientele and who your target audience is. Knowing this lets you cater your brand image to appeal to these individuals and get people through the door.
Best Food Business Analytics Software in 2022
There are many analytics tools available to suit all types of businesses and organizations.
While you could possibly choose such a general tool, picking a tool catered towards restaurant analytics provides added specialized features to get the most from the software.
Analytics tools can often be quite technical and confusing to choose for this reason. Here are some of the best business analytics software to choose from:
- Avero: this food business analytics software is created by restaurant operators with restaurant operators in mind. The tool can offer the information you need to drive sales, manage costs, and more.
- Womply: is a business analytics tool that turns the data gathered from point-of-sale systems as well as revenue analytics to help you market your business. The tool offers marketing features for different mediums and sales forecasting to get your sales up.
The right point-of-sale system has changed drastically from being a simple cash register at a store to now offering a lot more on smaller devices, even as small as tablets and iPads.
Choosing the right point-of-sale system best suited for your restaurant can be transformative and can streamline processes allowing your food business to operate more efficiently.
Not all point-of-sale systems are created the same. The right point-of-sale system will allow your restaurant to run more easily and economically by centralizing core operational capabilities such as personnel management, payment processing, and kitchen management.
Features to Look for in an Effective Point-of-Sale System
Since point-of-sale systems are so central to your food businesses’ running, it is important to consider a point-of-sale system that is reliable.
You want to choose a point-of-sale system that will not break down or has backup features that will ensure the system keeps functioning in line with your restaurant’s environment such as having an offline mode if your internet is unstable.
The point-of-sale system can be viewed as the heart of your food business and therefore the system you choose needs to integrate seamlessly with the functioning of your business and other software you may use.
The hardware you use is also a major consideration and feature to keep in mind. Whether you want the portability that tablets offer or the customer independence that you gain from self-serve kiosks, choose a point-of-sale system that works well for your workflows, both currently and with future developments in mind.
Your point-of-sale system can be seen as the heart of your restaurant and needs to be able to not only function as front-of-house but also connect to the entire restaurant with inventory reports and financial tracking.
Best Point-of-Sale Systems in 2022
Point-of-sale systems are arguably the most saturated category of restaurant management software due to the importance they play for food businesses.
Choosing the right point-of-sale system that matches your operation can ensure your business runs smoothly offering the ability to save labor, effort, money, and time.
Here are some of the best Point-of-sale systems to choose from:
- Toast POS: is a restaurant-oriented point-of-sale system that offers a full restaurant setup including features to manage employee performance, inventory, and tables.
- Clover: Clover offers a point-of-sale system with versatile hardware that allows your restaurant to accept orders at the counter or on the go. The system is perfect for different types of restaurants, cafes, and even food trucks.
- Harbortouch: this point-of-sale system offers hardware, software, and integrated merchant services. The system requires no upfront cost and offers free installations.
Inventory Management Software
Approximately 75% of restaurants in the US struggle to make a profit owing to their failure to control food expenses, according to studies conducted by the National Restaurant Association.
Inventory management is a crucial process for any food business and therefore, choosing the right inventory management software can help streamline processes and ensure you are able to make a significant profit.
Keeping track of inventory is essential. Using inventory management software simplifies operations and reduces the number of human errors that can be involved.
The right system can allow your employees to have the time to focus on running the business. You can free up the time required to do menial tasks that the inventory management software will automate.
Features to Look for in an Effective Inventory Management Software
The inventory management software you choose is dependent on the inventory issues your business faces and what it is you wish to achieve from the software.
You want a product that will provide accurate data that allows you to balance supply and demand. It is important to make sure you are buying the right inventory, which is based on historical order data and forecasted demand.
Inventory management is made simpler when your business is organized and running smoothly. Choose an inventory management software that helps you keep your restaurant and operations running smoothly.
Integration with other systems in place is also imperative. This allows your system to track what stock has been used in relation to orders you receive.
Best Inventory Management Software in 2022
While there are different ways to manage inventory including using a pen and paper or a par inventory sheet, the most accurate and simple means to run restaurant inventory is through inventory management software.
Inventory management software offers the most thorough and efficient means of doing restaurant inventory and allows your employees the ability to focus on other tasks.
Here are some of the best inventory management software to choose from:
- MarketMan: this cloud-based inventory management software is created specifically with restaurants in mind. The tool has all the basic features needed for inventory management as well as some added features such as the ability to set a maximum food cost threshold for each recipe on your menu.
- Upserve: this comprehensive inventory management software offers all the features you need to manage your inventory including inventory reports, the ability to send purchase orders, and even ingredient-level inventory tracking.
- Orca: is fully integrated to allow you to automate inventory and ordering processes so you can save time and money. The tool aims to boost accuracy, accountability, and create a means for your operations to be simplified.
Best Overall Restaurant Management Software
We have gone over the most common categories for restaurant management software that can help your food business get ahead. Such tools also allow you and your employees to work more efficiently to provide you’re your customers with a positive experience so that they keep coming back.
Most of the categories in this blog, as we mentioned, would benefit from integrating with the other systems and software you have in place.
There are certain restaurant management software that offer these categories of systems as a combined tool so that you can centralize everything and have a systematic workflow.
Blink is one such provider that offers a software-as-a-service to provide restaurants and other food businesses with online ordering solutions and both mobile and web applications.
The platform, which has a secure, scalable backend, is linked to a white label, a branded template that includes a website and mobile application for your specific business.
Blink provides a range of features that can not only benefit your online brand and make your operations simple but also offers benefits to your customers helping you create loyal customers.
- Customers may place orders online, choose whether they want the order delivered or picked up, and even pre-order things to be delivered at a specified time.
- Blink’s backend can be integrated with any POS or ERP that has APIs available.
- The platform also offers different marketing features such as the ability to generate loyalty points for promotions and marketing purposes.
- The application integrates inventory management and as the application’s administrator, you may make sure that only the things that are currently available appear on the menu. This can prevent customers from being disappointed by canceled orders due to the unavailability of items.
- The app allows users to pay using a variety of methods, including credit and debit card payments, as well as cash on delivery. As an administrator, you have the choice of different payment gateways to offer your customers.
- Users may follow their order’s delivery via status updates, which show the riders’ whereabouts in real-time.
- Blink also provides fleet management services as an optional add-on for its merchants. You can track all deliveries as an administrator. As a driver, you will have access to an integrated delivery management system that will provide you with information about your delivery and direct you to the most efficient route.
These are just a few of the features that Blink has to offer. To find out more, get in touch with one of our restaurant consultants who will guide you through the services offered.