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    Article

    The 30 Best Restaurant Management Software and Apps 2021

    `Stephen Elliott` : Posted on June 9, 2021

    Managing a restaurant is hard, restaurant management software and apps can make it easier. From inventory management and accounting to supplier relationship management and point of sales systems, there are so many different stacks and bundles you can use to streamline your operations. Each has its own features, quirks, and nuances that can help propel your restaurant to the next level.

    But how do you choose the right ones for you? And how do you know you’re getting the most out of your technology? We put together this guide to help you decide. Check out the 30 best restaurant management software and apps.

    Disclaimer: MarketMan claims no affiliation and received no payment for these rankings

    MarketMan - A complete Restaurant Management System to simplify order management, eliminate waste and jump-start profitability.

    MarketMan is a restaurant management system with best-in-class inventory management features including cloud-based inventory management, built-in purchasing software, and accounts payable automation.

    Interesting features include:

    • Invoice scanning directly into MarketMan
    • Integrated ecosystem to manage inventory from purchasing to POS
    • Recipe costing software to speedily calculate food cost

    Best for: Restaurants of any size looking for a scalable solution that prioritizes efficiency and insights

    Employee Scheduling Software

    Employee scheduling software is used to manage schedules, labor costs, and more. They’re especially useful when managing large staff of hourly workers, keeping labor costs low, and cutting down on time theft.

    1. 7Shifts

    Restaurant-centric scheduling platform that helps simplify labor management. Optimize schedule around performance and sales forecasts, identify top performers, and maintain labor compliance.

    Interesting features include:

    • Integrations with payroll and POS systems
    • Track engagement and performance among employees
    • Built-in compliance tracking for breaks and time-off

    Best for: Restaurants that need a tailored solution for their staffs

    2. ZoomShift

    ZoomShift is a cloud-based employee scheduling software built for all kinds of shift work. It’s tailored to the chaos of scheduling, and can help you manage schedules, punches, time-off, replacements, and even payroll in one place.

    Interesting features include:

    • Free iOS scheduling app
    • Exportable timesheets
    • Business-specific templates

    Best for: Small restaurants looking to scale and upgrade their scheduling solution to a lightweight cloud-based solution.

    3. When I Work

    Employee scheduling software for time tracking, schedule creation, team messaging, and more. 

    Interesting features include:

    • Mobile app to manage employee requests in-app
    • 1-on-1, group, and broadcast messaging
    • Mobile time clock for employees

    Best for: Small to midsize restaurants with young staff

    4. Homebase

    Scheduling platform built for hourly work, with additional features for team management like HR, onboarding, hiring, health and safety checks, and labor cost controls.

    Interesting features include:

    • Manage job postings on multiple sites
    • App and browser-based access
    • Labor cost forecasts built into scheduling

    Best for: Small to midsize restaurants that need HR and scheduling support

    5. Fourth/Hotschedules

    Hotschedules, an offering by Fourth, is a labor management tool for scheduling and compliance. Can create schedules based on forecasted sales and HR regulations.

    Interesting features include: 

    • Different views for different needs
    • Integrated schedules with Google calendar
    • Restaurant benchmarks and performance tracking

    Best for: Large scale organizations that need scalable solution with customer support

    Point of Sale (POS) Systems

    POS systems are a combination of hardware and software used to take orders from customers and send tickets to the kitchen. Many integrate with inventory management, labor management, and kitchen analytics platforms as well, feeding data directly from the point of sale into the rest of your operations. They are the entry point for any restaurant looking to take a data-driven approach to their operations.

    6. Toast

    Robust POS platform with support for contactless ordering, online ordering and delivery, marketing, and more. Toast offers a variety of branded hardware point solutions as well.

    Interesting features include:

    • Proprietary hardware built for a restaurant environment
    • QR codes for contactless menus and ordering
    • White-labeled online ordering experience

    Best for: Restaurants that need a comprehensive POS that integrates with their other solutions

    7. TouchBistro

    A restaurant management system that builds a comprehensive product off a point of sale system. TouchBistro has add-ons for reservations, online ordering, payments, and even digital menu boards.

    Interesting features include:

    • Integrated menu board/kitchen displays
    • Physical and digital gift cards
    • Robust guest management platform

    Best for: Midsize to large scale restaurant operations that want a modular solution that can scale with their needs

    8. NCR

    Platform offering a POS system, kitchen operations platform, and contactless ordering and payment services. Scalable to any size, NCR has a variety of point solutions for every restaurant ops need.

    Interesting features include:

    • Whitelabled digital ordering platform
    • Automated consumer marketing system
    • A variety of strategic advisory services

    Best for: Any size restaurants looking for a combination of expert advice and tools to help

    9. Square

    Integrated POS system built for any business with an online ordering system and easy-to-use integrations. Square also offers a kitchen display system that can integrate with tickets generated at the POS.

    Interesting features include:

    • Integrated POS, ordering, and kitchen apps
    • Easy payment processing with end-to-end encryption
    • A variety of restaurant-grade hardware

    Best for: Restaurants that need a front-of-house and back-of-house ticket management system

    10. Lightspeed

    Cloud-based POS with support for multiple revenue streams, mobile apps, and more. Lightspeed builds POS for a variety of hospitality industries, including restaurants.

    Interesting features include:

    • Bill splitting for customer payments
    • Popular delivery app integrations
    • Customizable floor plan and group roles

    Best for: Restaurants that need a customizable experience for their unique needs

    11. Squirrel Systems

    POS system focused on both in and off-premises dining, emphasizing the digital guest experience with online ordering, omnichannel order management, take out and delivery features, and more.

    Interesting features include:

    • Runs on all tablet OS, including iOS and Android
    • Built-in CRM platform that supports loyalty programs and more
    • Integrated with QSR Kitchen Automation

    Best for: Small to midsize restaurants looking for a POS that supports their kitchen operations ecosystem

    12. Talech

    An Ireland-based company, Talech is a POS system with all the fixings. Order management, menu management, employee management, and payment processing make it a feature-filled option for any restaurant.

    Interesting features include:

    • EMV and Apple Pay enabled
    • Cloud-based data storage
    • 24/7 live customer service

    Best for: Restaurants looking for a polished POS system with industry standard features

    13. Revel Systems

    The first iPad based POS to hit the market, Revel Systems features delivery, CRM, online ordering, and flexible payment options built-in to its platform.

    Interesting features include:

    • Flexible payments system (including Google and Apple Pay)
    • Self-service kiosks
    • Central management console can manage multiple locations in one place

    Best for: Medium to large restaurants with multiple locations looking for a scalable solution

    14. Qu

    Branded as the unified ordering platform, Qu’s POS combines several features like menu management, analytics, and a management hub, all with 24/7 customer support.

    Interesting features include:

    • Qu-1 Menu combines multiple menus and locations into one platform
    • Dynamic store management
    • KitchenUP Ghost Kitchen platform

    Best for: Restaurants looking to scale upwards or venture out into virtual or ghost kitchens with multi-unit QSR operations

    15. Lavu

    All-in-one POS system for iPads with a proprietary app available on the App store. Flexible offerings for a variety of different restaurant configurations, from traditional sit-down dining to food trucks.

    Interesting features include:

    • POS view for different restaurant types
    • Pre-ordering kiosks
    • Combo builder for customers

    Best for: Restaurants with unique dining experiences (like a bar) that need an adaptable POS

    16. Heartland

    Heartland is a cloud-based POS that is outfitted for counter service, table service, and bars & nightclubs. Kiosk ordering, smartphone payments, and delivery service integrations round out a robust features list. 

    Interesting features include:

    • Unlocked payment processing system that allows you to find the best deal
    • On-site, hands-on support
    • Flexible hardware setup options

    Best for: Restaurants looking for a flexible POS that gives them the freedom to customize to their needs

    17. Clover

    Customizable and purpose-built POS system with online, curbside, and mobile ordering options, as well as small business merchant services like payment processing, gift cards and loyalty programs, and more. Supports multiple business types, including eCommerce and Retail.

    Interesting features include:

    • Online virtual terminal to accept payments
    • Email invoicing for easy, trackable requests
    • Best-in-class app ecosystem

    Best for: Scaling restaurants with multiple locations that need a comprehensive ecosystem to manage their kitchen ops

    18. Tray

    POS system built for multi-location restaurants, with services like self-service kiosks, contactless ordering, and more. Tray specializes in on-demand and self-service restaurant types.

    Interesting features include:

    • Safe ordering Kiosks
    • Automated food lockers and QR code redemption
    • Multiple touchless payment options

    Best for: Digital-first restaurants and virtual kitchens looking for a safety-minded solution

    19. POSitouch

    Scalable for restaurants of any size, POSitouch has POS solutions for any hospitality configuration. Also features add-ons for payment, processing, and backend management.

    Interesting features include:

    • Hardware and Cloud-based solutions
    • Enterprise-level expertise and solutions
    • Large third-party app ecosystem

    Best for: Medium to large scale restaurant groups looking for enterprise level support

    20. Tabit

    A mobile-first restaurant solution that offers a robust ecosystem of products to cover your needs: from kitchen management and recipe storage, to guest feedback and business intelligence.

    Interesting features include:

    • Solutions built for mobile
    • Proprietary delivery management
    • White-labeled online ordering system

    Best for: Restaurants looking for a mobile solution

    21. Nown

    A unique POS that features customer recognition technology that identifies and acknowledges new and returning customers, offering unparalleled customization options for the dining experience. 

    Interesting features include:

    • One-of-a-kind customer loyalty system
    • Third-party payment processing
    • Multiple levels of access for employees

    Best for: Restaurants looking for a truly unique loyalty and dining experience, especially those in the fast-casual or takeout categories

    22. Tevalis

    An enterprise POS solution that’s built to scale. It’s built for any food service configuration, from restaurants and takeout joints to hotels and stadiums. It features a robust technology ecosystem with add-ons for any setup.

    Interesting features include:

    • Wide range of integrations
    • Industry-leading implementation services
    • 24/7 customer support

      Best for: Scaling hospitality food services that need an enterprise level solution for enterprise level business

      23. Shopwave

      Shopwave is a platform that integrates and automates all of your hospitality apps and softwares, coalescing in their POS and inventory management systems. Although it’s built for any retail business, it’s perfect for restaurants looking to rein in their technology ecosystem.

      Interesting features include:

      • Inventory control
      • Easy-to-use POS
      • Ecosystem integration

      Best for: Restaurants and hospitality businesses looking to consolidate and automate their technologies

      24. Storekit

      An EU-based marketplace for POS software, hardware, payment processing, and more. They provide expert advice on which POS (many of which are listed above) is right for your needs, and can help steer you in the right direction. 

      Interesting features include:

      • Expert advice on POS systems
      • Customizable kit building
      • Central London showroom for hardware and software

      Best for: Restaurants looking for expert advice on which technologies are right for them

      Restaurant Accounting Tools

      Restaurant accounting tools help keep track of the books, whether you’re doing it yourself or outsourcing it to an accountant. They might have features specific to restaurant management, like inventory or stock management, but are otherwise standard-fare as far as accounting goes — and that’s a good thing.

      25. Quickbooks

      Well-known accounting solution tailored for restaurants with budgeting, cost analysis, and even live bookkeeping help. Integrates with most major POS systems.

      Interesting features include:

      • Integrated app ecosystem
      • Best-in-class accounting solutions
      • Automated bills and invoice approvals

      Best for: Restaurants of any size looking for a proven accounting solution

      26. Xero

      Accounting software tailored for small businesses with tools for recurring invoices, inventory and stock tracking, budgeting, and more.

      Interesting features include:

      • Cloud-based solution for accounting work anywhere
      • Inventory and stock management
      • Customizable recurring invoices for regular suppliers

      Best for: Restaurants searching for an accounting experience tailored to small businesses

      Restaurant Analytics and Data Tracking

      Analytics and data are crucial to helping restaurants scale. Having a restaurant analytics platform can take data from your POS, accounting solutions, or restaurant management systems, and help you dive deeper. Forecasting, profit/loss, theoretical vs. actual profits, and more, can give you the info you need to make the smartest choices for your business.

      27. Tenzo

      Tenzo is an analytics platform built for restaurants. It collects all of your business’ data into one centralized hub, and uses cutting-edge analytics and AI-powered forecasting tools to give you deeper insights into your restaurant’s performance.

      Interesting features include:

      • Connects all your apps into one repository
      • Link-sharing for reports
      • Automated report generation

      Best for: Restaurant management teams looking for a tailored analytics experience 

      28. SAP

      The market leader in business intelligence, SAP can help you dive deeper into your restaurant’s analytics with augmented and predictive analysis tools, and an end-to-end experience.

      Interesting features include:

      • Robust suite of products
      • End-to-end integration
      • Dynamic reporting and data consumption

      Best for: Medium to large scale enterprises looking for a best-in-class business intelligence solution

      Restaurant Supplier Software

      Supplier software provides restaurants with a centralized platform to manage vendor relationships, bidding, invoicing, and more. It takes the guesswork out of inventory supply and can expand your pool of suppliers, diversifying your inputs and saving time (and money) in the process.

      29. Dinemarket

      Wholesale supplier marketplace that connects restaurants to local suppliers in a streamlined, easy-to-use platform. 

      Interesting features include:

      • Connects with local wholesalers and suppliers
      • Reliable, local delivery
      • Market prices and price comparisons among vendors

      Best for: Restaurants seeking more diversity and better prices from their wholesale suppliers

      30. Bluecart

      Ecommerce and wholesale solution for online ordering that offers digital storefronts, ordering and fulfillment, and even supports subscription boxes.

      Interesting features include:

      • Simple setup for an eCommerce storefront
      • Subscription box platform
      • Built for wholesale distributors

      Best for: Wholesalers and suppliers looking to level up their online storefront and operations

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