The restaurant industry has undergone a transformation of late. Its focus is shifting steadily from simply serving meals to crafting a delightful and memorable customer experience. Today, there are a few essential restaurant management tools that are a must have for every restaurant business to ensure sustainable growth. Let us examine the 7 top restaurant management tools that will make managing your restaurant a child’s play.
- Why are restaurant management tools necessary?
- 7 Essential Restaurant Management Tools That You Must Not Avoid
- Gofrugal ServeEasy – The Trustworthy Toolbox You Need
Why are restaurant management tools necessary?
Restaurant management tools are essential to streamline your restaurant’s daily operations. In the face of heavy competition and increasing complexities in the food industry, having the right set of restaurant management tools will help you stay on top of your business and focus on improving your guest’s experience. Aside from simplifying the management process, these restaurant management tools also help eliminate errors, enhance productivity, and maximize profitability.
7 Essential Restaurant Management Tools That You Must Not Avoid
Inventory Management System
A proper inventory management system provides you with a precise picture of your inventory, i.e., your raw ingredients, packaged items, ancillaries, and other miscellaneous items such as packaging materials. Effective inventory management helps you control costs, reduce wastage, and ensure that you are always stocked up with the necessary ingredients and supplies to prepare and serve delicious meals.
While evaluating an inventory management system, here are some key features you should look for:
- UOM Manager: A good inventory management system must have a Unit of Measurement (UOM) manager. This will help you input your ingredient stock accurately, and keep track of your consumption with a few simple clicks.
- Stock Ledger: A stock ledger provides a snapshot of your inventory at any given time. This helps you plan your purchases and reduce wastage costs.
- Stock Transfer Ledger: In case you run a multi-outlet chain of restaurants, you can utilize the stock transfer ledger to record the inventory movement between the central warehouse and a particular outlet.
Reservations and Table Management System
If you are running a dine-in restaurant, this is one of the most essential restaurant management tools to procure. By integrating this with your existing restaurant POS system, you can efficiently manage the seating arrangements, reduce wait times, and create an impeccable customer experience. Happy customers in turn lead to repeat business, positive reviews, and an increase in the customer base.
If you’re looking to procure a reservations and table management system, make sure you don’t miss out on the following features:
- Table occupancy status: Your stewards and wait staff must always know which tables are occupied to help seat your guests faster and provide realistic wait time estimates.
- Reservation manager: This tool helps you facilitate your guests to book a table at your restaurant. You can gather information about your guests that can help you send customized reminders to prevent no-shows.
- KOT status: Guests do not place their orders completely most of the time. They order subsequently as and when their meals are being served to them. To keep track of this, a table management software must be equipped with the feature to check the status of the kitchen order tickets (KOTs) that have been generated at each table.
Customer Relationship Management System
Customer is the king – that’s the prevalent proverb amongst businesses that cater for consumers. Your restaurant must be equipped with a customer relationship and loyalty management system in order to manage customer data, analyze their interactions and feedback to provide a personalized and positive experience. A CRM system also helps to create customized communications to your customers across various channels, such as email, text, and social media. You can inform them about new offers, or about your latest bestsellers.
Here are some key features of a good CRM system:
- Customized offers and discounts: As mentioned earlier, a CRM system must enable you to create customized offers and discounts in a simple and convenient way.
- Loyalty Programs: It’s a marketing axiom that acquiring new customers is 5 times costlier than retaining old customers. To reward the customers who contribute more to your top line, you must be able to create loyalty programs. These help you keep track of metrics such as points awarded, points redeemed, validity of the offers, etc.
- Customer feedback: Feedback helps every business identify their areas of improvement and constantly work on providing a better customer experience. Your CRM system must have an in-built customer feedback receiver system as well. This will in collecting and analyzing the feedback provided by your customers.
Workforce Management System
Workforce management is one of the most essential restaurant management tools. With complex labor laws and regulations, you need to ensure you are scheduling and managing your staff in compliance with the law while also meeting your business needs. The right workforce management system will enable you to simplify these complex processes, while ensuring that your efficiency is unshaken – even if you run your business with a minimal, low-skilled workforce.
A good workforce management software has the following features:
- Performance Tracking: Your workforce management system must have the provision to track the performance of your employees based on the parameters and key result areas (KRAs) you specify according to the nature of each role. This will help you reward good performers and create improvement programs for those lagging behind.
- Payroll management: You must be enabled to track your employees’ performance, their attendance, and any overtime hours that they have put in to calculate their monthly remunerations and bonuses.
- Scheduling shifts: Restaurants, unlike most businesses, function almost round the clock. You must be able to schedule shifts on your workforce management system in order to maximize efficiency for both your staff and your business.
Point-of-Sale (POS) System
Adopting a POS system for your restaurant is considered a necessity. POS systems were earlier designed to process sales and transactions only. Modern POS systems are a hybrid of a computer and a cash register, and most restaurants use tablets as primary screens for billing. Talk about the power of technology!
When you’re looking for a POS system, don’t forget to check these criteria:
- Ease of usage: A restaurant POS system should be easy to use, have a user-friendly interface, and require minimal effort and training to operate.
- Multiple payments integration: Your POS system must help you process payments across multiple channels, such as card, cash, and cashless payments (e.g. UPI in India).
- Integration across modules: POS systems must be equipped with the capability to record and display data across multiple modules such as daily sales, order-taking, customer information, inventory levels, and staff performance.
Order Management System
We cannot stress the importance of an optimized order-taking system for restaurants in a few words. Your restaurant must have the capacity to process a large volume of both online and dine-in orders. Online ordering systems allow customers to place orders from the comfort of their own homes, increasing accessibility and convenience. A good order management system helps you process orders in a flash. It also helps you eliminate human-made errors that can cause a negative impact on your guest’s experience.
When you are demanding an order management system, ensure it has the following features:
- KOT Automation: Kitchen order ticket (KOT) automation is extremely time efficient when it comes to taking orders and passing them on to the kitchen. Your stewards can create orders in a few seconds with a KOT app on their mobile devices.
- Kitchen Display System: Kitchen display systems (KDS) are screens which facilitate meal preparations for your kitchen staff. Additionally, they eliminate the need for handwritten tickets or extra costs for acquiring printers. They do this by displaying orders generated on the POS system directly to the kitchen.
- Customer Display System: Customer display systems (CDS) have become one of the top restaurant management tools in today’s world. They provide customers with real time updates on their orders, including wait times and order status. This allows you to keep customers engaged throughout the ordering process, leading to increased satisfaction and repeat business. Additionally, CDS systems can also display your bestsellers, promotions, and other relevant information. This enables you to drive sales and improve the overall customer experience.
Business Intelligence System
Just like how signposts are important to stay on the right path while going on a journey, data-based reports and analytics are essential tools for restaurants to track and analyze your restaurant’s performance. You can generate real time reports and make informed decisions by tracking trends, identifying areas for improvement, and adjusting business operations accordingly. Whether your goal is to generate more sales, improve employee efficiency, cut down purchase costs, or detect fraud and theft – a good analytics software will help you to deep dive into your restaurant to view every aspect of your daily operations.
Check for the following features when evaluating a smart business intelligence system:
- Food Cost Calculator: Profitability is a key metric for restaurants. Since food is the major source of revenue, it is highly essential to estimate the food costs. A food cost calculator provides detailed cost analysis for each dish on your menu, reduces wastage costs and improves profitability.
- Inventory and Purchase Analysis Reports: These reports provide a detailed view on the nature of the inventory you are carrying, including the quantity and freshness of your stock. They help in minimizing wastage and automating the right reorder quantity and date to ensure your stock remains fresh.
- Customer Analysis Reports: When you understand what your customers love, you gain the superpower of crafting irresistible menus. Customer analysis reports help you gain insights on the latest trends, maintain a suitable menu and increase your revenue.
Now that you have gotten familiar with the 7 essential restaurant management tools, you must be wondering: Where do I procure them from? Should I buy each tool individually?
What if we told you that you can get the entire toolbox consisting of the top restaurant management tools?
Gofrugal ServeEasy – The Trustworthy Toolbox You Need
Gofrugal ServeEasy is a restaurant management system that comprises of all the essential restaurant management tools discussed above. Here are some of the beneficial features that we would like to spotlight to help you in your evaluation:
- Intuitive inventory management module consisting of UOM conversion manager, stock ledger, stock transfer record mechanisms, batch tracking, and wastage management
- Table management feature with detailed reports on the table occupancy, KOT status, and table cleanliness status to delight your customers
- Integration with CRM and Loyalty software which helps you build customized loyalty and promotional campaigns, and a dedicated feedback app to help you know what your customers feel about your restaurant
- Staff management modules that help you generate user-based performance reports and allocate shift timings without a hassle
- Easy to use and intuitive interface that requires the least training and minimal skills to operate, to empower your staff
- Integration with ServJoy – an order-taking app to record and edit KOTs and enable contactless dining at your restaurant
- Integration with Gofrugal’s KDS and CDS systems for faster order processing and better customer engagement
- 140+ reports based on real-time data that help you generate valuable insights, along with an in-built food cost calculator.
- Integration with WhatsNow, our mobile application that helps you view your restaurant’s performance on the fly
Armed with this toolbox, you can simplify your daily operations with confidence, and embark on your journey towards profits and growth. Crafting a delightful customer experience is bound to be breezy, with Gofrugal ServeEasy!