Key software and tech for restaurants

The best restaurants in the world all have one thing in common. Yes, it’s probably that they’re a little overpriced, but more importantly, it’s the fact they all have incredible management software and tools in place to streamline and synchronise their business.

The best programs help restaurant owners with scheduling, payment processing and inventory management and are a step up from a simple POS system.

These more advanced programs manage payments, orders, inventory, staff scheduling, menu management, venue bookings, table management and reporting, all in one digital hub.

Below we have outlined some key features to consider when looking for tools to help you better run your restaurant.

Payment processing

Many programs have their own built-in payment processing service which will accept cash and card transactions via a supplied payment hub. The payment hardware is usually charged at a flat fee each month, with some programs also charging a small percentage of each transaction.

If you already have your own payment systems, it’s worth shopping around as some programs allow you to use your own payment methods, which allows you to find much more affordable solutions that suit your existing setup.

Customer management

Many programs offer the ability to create customer profiles or loyalty reward schemes based on different payment cards. Restaurants can customise these profiles by adding additional customer information, viewing their order histories, storing multiple credit cards on file and identifying and rewarding repeat customers.

This feature is also handy if when looking to fine tune your marketing activity as you can often integrate your customer profiles with a newsletter program and keep track of how effective your marketing campaigns are, and who is actively engaging with your marketing efforts.

Order management

With the increase in dietary requirements comes the dreaded ‘menu modification’ era. Keeping track of customer orders and requirements can be tricky if the restaurant software is not up to scratch.

Many programs allow devices to be used directly at the customer tables or behind a counter and can offer lots of order modifier options at the touch of a button. This allows for quick, easy and streamlined ordering that can be easily understood by your kitchen team.

Programs also offer choices such as bill splitting, refunds, automatic tipping, order reprinting and repeat food and beverage orders which make fantastic options for differing types of restaurants.

Staff management

Many programs now offer the ability to create staff rosters and then distribute those rosters to your staff electronically. Some also allow staff to request shift changes or trade shifts with each other and then simplify the timesheet process by having staff clock in and out for each shift.

And, with the right integrations, this information can be shared seamlessly with your payroll and online accounting software, making it even easier to track and forecast staffing levels.

Inventory management

There is really no excuse for poor inventory management when we consider the countless options available. Even the most basic of POS systems now offer some form of inventory management. If you’re running a restaurant, chances are you need a little more than ‘basic’ assistance in this area and with the advances in technology, programs now real-time ingredient-level inventory tracking.

Restaurants can manually add inventory or automatically receive stock via purchase orders. Some programs can even connect inventory items with menu items to keep track of ingredients as they are used in real time and then suggest supplier orders and offer alerts when product levels are low.

Reporting

The reporting capabilities of your restaurant software is one of the most important features to research and understand. It’s essential that your program is able to quickly and easily supply relevant information relating to your accounts, or even better, be directly linked to your accounting software.

Tracking purchases, sales, stock on hand and customer statistics are essential items and will allow you to understand your restaurant more fully.

Restaurants that streamline their processes with the use of effective software are more likely to have higher sales, better customer service rantings and ultimately, higher profits.

Want to find out more about all the tools, apps and add-ons you can use in conjunction with MYOB? You can find everything you need in our directory of over 300 add-on solutions here.

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