Every restaurant owner needs software to help handle key management tasks. The right technology can keep you and your team organized, saving time and saving money. Software should delight your staff and seamlessly serve your customers. So, how do you know which ones to choose?
There are four baseline types of software that are considered must-have. Some software can do all the tasks at once, although it can be better for smaller restaurants to choose a single software for a single task and then integrate it as an add-on. The right software will depend upon the size and needs of your restaurant.
Here are the must-have software types for a restaurant—and how to choose the right one for you.
POS – Point of Sale
Your POS system handles transactions, the first truly essential software for restaurants. You need a quick and easy way to accept legal tender so that people can give you money for your services. It sounds like a simple proposition, but today’s complicated payment options have made POS software even more essential.
To go back to basics for a moment, a POS is a combination of hardware and software. It works like a cash register to collect payment, track purchases, add tax, and generate receipts. As a business owner or manager, your POS will help you keep track of the revenue you generate. But it can also help you understand purchasing trends. A POS software can help you discover which items are selling like hotcakes. You could also view purchases by time of day, or even by employee, to look for trends in purchasing.
Some POS systems have additional features like product lookup, payment splitting, returns, user accounts, and customer-facing displays. The best POS systems can accept multiple forms of payment, from cash to Apple Pay and everything in between. Common POS systems include Toast, Clover, Square, and Union.
Overall, the POS software is the foundation of your restaurant. Choose one that has the tabulation, payment methods, and report generation features you need in your business. If you plan to scale your business, choose a POS that can grow with you.
Repeat customers are the—forgive the food pun—bread and butter of the restaurant business. If you make a good impression on someone, it’s likely that they’ll come back again. They may even bring their friends. But to really entice people back again and again, you’ll need some type of loyalty program.
A good loyalty program offers rewards to customers in exchange for repeat business. To read more about how to design an effective loyalty program, read this. When it comes to loyalty software, you will need something that can quickly recognize repeat customers and track their loyalty rewards. Your software should reward them every time they visit the restaurant.
Square, Toast, and Upserve have an embedded loyalty program, which makes it easy for your front-of-house staff to implement a rewards scheme right at the register. Don’t go overboard with your loyalty program, though. Simpler is better. Your customers should know exactly what they stand to gain, and your employees should feel confident managing the program.
Here is an employee-facing software that is a must-have addition to your restaurant management suite. Once the customers have gone home, it’s time to give your team their hard-earned tips. But that means doing calculations to figure out how to fairly distribute the tips, as well as the time-consuming task of actually doling out payments.
A tip distribution software is a lifesaver for those pesky end-of-shift tasks. Whether you practice tip sharing or tip pooling, you can enjoy easy and accurate tip allocation with software that does all the hard work for you. A reliable software can build trust with employees, too, so they don’t quit out of resentment.
It’s all about making your job easier. Tip sharing software like Tiphaus can speed up your end-of-day activities. Instead of struggling with how to calculate tips, you’ll be able to confidently give every team member their fair share. Your other option is to calculate everything by hand, either with a manual spreadsheet or a paper and pencil. Use a tip pooling software to handle automatic tip sharing, and you won’t regret it.
Finally, your restaurant may need a reservation software so that customers can reserve their seating ahead of time. OpenTable is the most well-known reservation software. Make sure you choose software that integrates with loyalty programs, so you can track customers easily. If you’re a quick-service restaurant—or simply not seating customers due to the pandemic—then obviously you won’t need a reservation system.
That’s all! If you acquire software that can handle transactions, loyalty, and make the delegation of a restaurant tip automatic, then you’re all set for success. Reach out to Tiphaus if you want to explore tip allocation software for your restaurant.