What is Restaurant Software?
A restaurant software refers to any system which helps run restaurants, food outlets, bakeries, food trucks, confectionary stores, etc. The waiter can directly enter orders through a tablet or smartphone which are then printed or accessed digitally in the kitchen. For example, if a diner would like his steak medium rare, the server can easily communicate the same to the chef. Top restaurant software is a godsend for the restaurant owners, offering amazing modules like table reservation, material management, kitchen display system.
Who Needs Restaurant Software?
If you’re in the food business, you need a restaurant software. Whether you’re a restaurant owner, run a small bakery, a deli or an ice cream parlour, you require a top restaurant billing software. Make a cloud kitchen wherein you or your servers can directly forward orders through a tablet or some other device to the chef. Even if you’re a newbie and want to jump in the restaurant business, a restaurant software can ease a lot of pain when opening a restaurant
. So, put on your best foot forward and go for a top restaurant software in India.
Why You Need Restaurant Software?
With the ease afforded by a restaurant software system, restaurant owners can focus on delivering quality experience to customers. How do you go about doing this? By communicating their orders / requests to the chef through the kitchen display system, thereby reducing the time taken to serve the meal. Further, wastage and theft are key issues faced by a restauranteur. A top restaurant software helps address this issue with better management of your inventory vis-à-vis raw materials to reduce the instance of theft and over stocking. Last but not least, you can track your stock levels in real time to assess which raw materials need to be re-stocked.
Modules in Best Restaurant Software in India
Top restaurant software offers a variety of modules which help in carrying out day-to-day business activities easily. Let’s look at a few of these modules:
- Kitchen Display System: An integral part of any restaurant management software, the ‘kitchen display system’ module is where the magic happens. When the kitchen receives an order, the kitchen order tickets (KOT) pop up on Kitchen Display System. With a digital KOT, you safeguard against the risk of missing any order. After the order has been sent out, the chef can simply swipe the KOT from the display to mark the order as complete.
- Recipe & Inventory Management: With a recipe and inventory management module, you can define, plan, procure, cook, and organize ingredients and recipes for your entire menu. You can easily find out the required stock, raw materials et al needed based on sales and kitchen production automatically. You can maintain stock levels based on the recipe of each dish. This helps ensure consistent quality of your dishes. You can even program the restaurant inventory management solution to automatically reorder, based on specified minimum stock levels. Through restaurant inventory management, you can adjust reorder points, restock ingredients and ensure you never have too much or too little stock on your shelves. A staple of the best restaurant software, this module is a godsend for restaurant owners.
Through this module, you can also update the recipes across all your outlets instantly, thus upholding the same consistency in quality and standards. This module also assists in automatic deduction of the amount of raw materials consumed for preparing each order. Last but not the least, you can lower your food costs by altering the main recipe and the portions required for item preparation.
- Menu Management: By having a central restaurant POS system, you can manage the menu across all restaurant outlets easily. It saves you the effort of manually updating the menu as all changes are reflected instantly. You can update, edit and customize your menu anywhere, anytime based on your sales numbers and the popular dishes on your menu. Through menu management module of restaurant software, you can route orders to kitchen printers or kitchen displays by menu category or item.
- Raw Material Management: Keep an eye on stock levels to determine your requirement through the raw material management module. Set alerts for items for replenishment when they reach re-stock levels. This module, found in majority of top restaurant software, also assists in managing the shelf life of perishable goods/raw materials, as you receive a notification when an item reaches its expiration date.
- Central Kitchen Management: Central kitchen management module enables a restaurant owner to manage the circulation of raw materials from the central kitchen to various other outlets. Take McDonalds for example, they source their raw materials (such as iceberg lettuce) from one supplier and distribute it to their franchisees ensuring consistency, reliability and quality throughout. Central kitchen management module also helps identify the stock requirement of each outlet through the central POS. In addition, you can create purchase orders for each outlet and manage stock circulation. Moreover, you can keep a record of the consumed materials to determine how much of each item were used, leftover and wasted. Top restaurant software in India usually offer a central kitchen management module.
- Loyalty Program & Offers: Loyalty programs & offers is a vital part of top restaurant management software. You can create point-based or visit-based custom loyalty programs to increase the number of repeat visitors. If you go for a cloud-based restaurant management system, you’ll do away with the trouble of maintaining loyalty cards for adding or redeeming reward points. You also get the option of designing your very own loyalty program based on a customer’s spending habits and behavior. Further, you can run city/state/country/worldwide loyalty programs across your restaurants or outlets.
- SMS/Email Marketing: Send customized SMSs to your customers w.r.t. any developments such as introduction of a new dish, happy hours or availability of the restaurant for a birthday bash/party. SMS also help keep customers updated about the delivery status of their orders. You can also design SMS tailored according to a customer’s tastes, preferences and previous buying history. You can also wish customers on special occasions and festivals. SMS marketing is a vital module of any top restaurant software available in India.
In the same vein, you can keep in touch with your customers through email, informing them about the latest offers running in your restaurant. You can design, schedule and send impactful emails for maximum customer engagement. Though, a word of advice: Don’t overdo it or you’ll find your emails being automatically sent to the spam folder. Similar to SMS marketing, you can send personalized emails based on the customer’s ordering habits and greet them on their birthdays/anniversaries.
Features in Top Restaurant Management Software in India
All the best restaurant software in India offer incredible features to run eateries profitably. Let’s take a look at them:
- Wastage & Theft Control: Every restaurant comes across the issue of wastage. Whether its leftovers or ordering excess ingredients compared to sales, you need plan your inventory levels accordingly. With restaurant POS software, you can automatically forecast the demand based on the past levels of inventory. Through this, you can plan in a better way with respect to raw materials, thereby reducing wastage. In addition, you can identify cases of theft, as the restaurant software tracks and audits activities including those which seem out of the ordinary, such as the loss of food items/ingredients and leftovers. Wastage and theft control are the key issues faced by most restaurants, and any top restaurant software can help minimize it.
- Integrated Accounting: Your restaurant management software can be easily integrated with accounting software, helping you take care of all restaurant billing and accounting tasks with a single click. You can generate reports automatically to find out end-of-month financials and identify any irregularities in numbers.
- Roles & Permissions: In top restaurant management software, you can create custom roles and permissions for your employees. Through this, you can keep track of each and every activity performed by an employee and assign different responsibilities to different staff. Moreover, it also assists in controlling issues of theft as you can identify the culprit based on the permissions granted to them.
- Payment Integration: Best restaurant software offers payment integration facility and sync up with restaurant billing software seamlessly. Most restaurant POS software in India accept various modes of payments, such as cash, credit/debit cards, and digital wallets. This also helps to process orders in a jiffy thereby increasing customer delight.
- Taxation: Several top restaurant management systems have an inbuilt taxation facility wherein you have the option of creating all types of tax reports easily. It also helps in filing tax returns as you receive a detailed analysis of all tax bifurcations.
- Custom Reports: You can design custom reports to aid in business decision making. Rather than being inundated with generic reports, you can create specific business reports that are relevant to your restaurant. Generate hourly, daily, weekly, monthly and annual sales reports based on your sales data for conducting in-depth analysis with top restaurant software. You can also assess the performance of your menu items by viewing their sales figures over a particular period of time.
- Real-Time Inventory Tracking: By keeping an eagle eye on your current available stock, you can run a tight ship and keep a clear track of the current available stock at your outlets. This feature helps you identify the available stock at the beginning and the end of each day. Do consider the ideal inventory level that should be consumed during a day and the actual amount of stock remaining at the end of the day, concurrent to any variance taking place. Generate detailed reports and track consumption levels of your inventory in real time to make data-driven decisions with the help of the best restaurant software.
- Graphical Analytics: Bored of data being presented in an uninspiring wall of text? With top restaurant management system, you can carry out data analysis presented through user-friendly graphs, tables and pie charts. Data in these forms are easy to understand and can be quickly grasped.
- Offline Reporting: Through the offline reporting feature, you can carry on with work without your schedule getting affected. The data is automatically backed up on the server when Internet connectivity is restored after an outage. With automatic synchronization, as a part of most top restaurant software, any data loss is prevented.
Advantages of Restaurant Management System Software
- Live Mobile Reporting: Through live mobile reporting, you can view your restaurant’s (and its branches) real-time reports on your mobile. You can check up on which of your outlets are still open and serving customers. Furthermore, you have access to your entire sales data, the total number of bills generated, the number of discounts offered, etc. which you can easily view from your mobile phone. The live reporting feature of restaurant management software also helps eliminate the possibility of theft caused by rigged data, as live-data is made available on your mobile phone.
If you employ the best restaurant software, you’ll be privy to certain advantages such as:
- Easier tracking of sales: On a daily basis, restaurants handle a high volume of transactions both in cash and credit. Restaurant POS software seamlessly keep track of each sale right down to the penny unlike traditional cash registers. Restaurant POS software is beneficial in identifying which items are performing better in terms of sales numbers and those which aren’t, helping the owner to modify the menu and effect the change on a real-time basis. Any top restaurant software makes sales tracking an easy job.
- Hassle-free processing of credit and debit card transactions: Restaurant POS systems enable easy processing of credit and debit card transactions, removing the need to keep a separate POS terminal. It also ensures smoother, faster and secure payments for both customers and restaurants.
- Easier preparation of financial statements: You can save yourself a lot of time and effort when you sit down to prepare financial and tax statements like profit & loss, trial balance, and balance sheet. All you need to do is enter the right figures and the restaurant software solution takes care of the rest. Quite nifty indeed for a restaurant software, no?
- Enhanced security at the point of sale: By having a restaurant POS software, you’ve got an accountability check in place. It helps prevent employee theft and put a brake on employees giving discounts to their relatives and friends.
- Better tabs on employee working hours: Top restaurant POS in India also doubles up as a time clock. Employees have to sign in and out of the point of sale system. This is helpful when it comes to preparing payroll.
Q. Do I need to invest in a new IT infrastructure to use restaurant software?
- Better tracking of food inventory: Top restaurant software in India helps restaurateurs keep a better check on inventory and how the raw materials are used. You can identify usage patterns to allow for better planning of raw materials/ingredients purchase. With in-built restaurant inventory management, you can eliminate/reduce shortages or instances of over ordering.
No, you don’t have to. You simply need a computer device whether it may be a tablet, mobile, laptop or a desktop with a good internet connectivity and you’re good to go. Any top restaurant software comes with a cloud version negating the need to invest in the new IT infra.
Q. I run a small food truck business. Do I still need to buy a restaurant software?
If you are having trouble in the management of your central kitchen, communication of orders to and fro from waiting staff, maintenance of stock levels and so on, restaurant management software has the answer for you. Basically, it’ll make your life that bit easier. No more keeping a cash register or a separate register/system for inventory management.
Q. Which is better? On-premise restaurant software or cloud restaurant software?
If you’re looking to purchase a restaurant software, do take a moment to consider your decision as it’s a long-term investment. First, you have to understand the difference between an on-premise restaurant software and a cloud-based restaurant software to identify which version makes the most sense for your restaurant.
If data accessibility is a point of contention, keep in mind on-premise restaurant software allows access to data on your system, meaning you must be in your restaurant to access the information on your restaurant POS system. With a cloud restaurant POS system, you can access your data from anywhere and anytime. While cloud restaurant software stores data on the cloud, on-premise restaurant software ensures complete security of confidential data. All in all, go for a restaurant software which makes the most sense for your business needs.
Q. Do I need to pay annual maintenance fees?
Annual maintenance fees are applicable only for on-premise software licences purchased by the company. If you’re paying subscription fees for cloud restaurant management software, you do not have to pay any annual subscription fees.
Q. Restaurant management software has multiple modules. But I don’t need all of them. Can modules be purchased separately?
Yes, you can purchase modules as per your company requirements. If your primary need is to manage raw materials procured, choose the raw material management module. Keep track of recipes and their ingredients with the help of recipe management module. Keep a tab on various offers and promotions you’re offering to your customers with the Loyalty Program & Offers module. Basically, you can pick and choose which module you want and build from there or buy a comprehensive restaurant management software with all the razzle-dazzle!
Buyer's Guide for Restaurant Management Software in India
If you’re looking to buy restaurant management software, there are certain criteria which you may need to evaluate first before taking the leap. Let’s find out what you need to keep in mind before investing in a restaurant management software:
The first step on your journey to buying restaurant management software is assessment of your need. Do you want a core restaurant software portal that takes care of your major restaurant management tasks like procurement of fresh produce for the meals? Do you need a restaurant management software to seamlessly integrate with your payroll software? Or, do you require a customised restaurant management software solution that fulfils your niche requirements such as table billing, takeaway & delivery and recipe management?
After you’ve performed the internal assessment, you’ve to choose the best restaurant management software according to your defined needs. So, start making a list of available restaurant management software to run your restaurant business
- To Budget or Not to Budget
The beauty of restaurant management software in India which are currently available is that you have several options to choose from. Options which are available at different price models. If you’re a heavy hitter, you can go for an on-premise restaurant software solution. If you’re working on a limited budget, you can take a monthly/yearly subscription. You also have the option of ‘pay per use’ where you pay as per the amount of bandwidth you utilise.
- Demos – Do I Need Them or Not?
Check if the restaurant management software in India comes with free demos or trial version. This is especially useful if you don’t want to make a sizeable investment without having a look at the software first. Find out if the restaurant software fits the bill and offers the features/modules you’re looking for. After going through the demo, evaluate if you’re comfortable and willing to take the jump.
- Don’t Forget About User Experience! (UX/UI)
UI plays a vital role when it comes to choosing a restaurant management software solution. The design aesthetic of the system, how pleasing it is on the eye, its user-friendliness can swing the buyer’s decision. An exhaustive restaurant management software overflowing with modules, will not overwhelm the user if its backed by a clean and easy to use interface.
List of Best Sellers
Here’re the list of best restaurant software
to choose from if you do opt to go for a restaurant software solution:
- Slick POS
- Marg ERP9
- Torqus POS
- Smart Restaurant POS
- BIM POS