The 6 Best Restaurant Software Companies in 2022
In the past two years of the pandemic, takeout apps, self-service ordering, and contactless payments have exploded, making restaurant tech ubiquitous in the industry.
And our appetite for takeout and contactless options hasn’t ceased with the reopening of in-person dining. Online food delivery services, for example, are expected to become a $192.16 billion industry by 2025, from $115.07 billion at the height of the pandemic in 2020.
No doubt you have adopted at least a few tech solutions to help run your restaurants. But you may still be on the hunt for the best restaurant software companies to serve your needs.
In this article, we’ll discuss what to look for in restaurant software and how to get the best solutions working for you.
Types of Restaurant Management Software
Every restaurant — and every restaurant owner — has different needs, requirements, and expectations from the systems they use.
That said, there are some common types of restaurant software services and features needed across operations:
- Inventory management software
- Accounting and payroll systems
- POS software
- Online ordering and reservation platforms
- Third-party delivery apps
- Employee management, and scheduling software.
Addressing your BOH restaurant operation needs is an essential component of any restaurant software. Key BOH requirements include inventory software, human resources management, and a kitchen display system (KDS).
Restaurant software companies addressing BoH needs include
- Restaurant inventory management:
- Restaurant employee management:
Different Types of Restaurant POS Software
Probably one of the most common types of restaurant software (aside from accounting) is a POS system. As restaurant POS software have become more sophisticated, their uses in both front and back of house management have broadened.
Now, POS systems can include counter terminals, mobile devices for servers, self-service kiosks, and apps. They might also include additional hardware such as card readers, handheld scanners or receipt printers.
Some POS systems may even include loyalty programs, which bring customers back for future sales and can keep your restaurant top-of-mind with promotions.
While you may be using some of this tech to manage transactions, POS systems can integrate with BOH software, such as inventory management software, to help you manage inventory, control waste, display orders to BOH staff, and complete budget projections.
Trends in Restaurant Software
The future of restaurant technology is moving with the future of the restaurant industry itself.
The past few years have seen leaps and bounds in restaurant tech, as the pandemic pushed us toward online ordering, food delivery, and contactless transactions.
- Going online: From viewing the menu, to ordering takeout, to reserving a table, customers expect seamless and user-friendly online options. Making menu, reservations, and ordering available on your website – and making them intuitive — meets your customers where they are.
- Apps: Make your food available on the apps they already use, whether that’s DoorDash, UberEats, or OpenTable. You can also provide your own online ordering system through your POS software. In fact, as many as 70% of consumers say they’d rather order directly from their favorite restaurant.
- Contactless Options: Customers are used to ordering and paying for their food using contactless technology, whether that’s a self-service POS unit at the table, a QR code for in-house online ordering, contactless payment technology through credit or debit cards, or digital systems like Apple Pay or Google Pay.
- KDS: It’s not just front-of-house seeing the benefits of new tech. A KDS digitally displays orders in the kitchen, so chefs can prepare orders quickly without paper checks or printers.
- Inventory Management Automation: Automating inventory management leads to more accurate stock-takes, error-free ordering, and reduced wastage, by ensuring that you only order what is actually required. Intelligent analytics and forecasting can also keep wastage – and costs – down.
Software Trends Worth Investing In
The most visible restaurant trends are those that have a touchpoint with consumers: online ordering, apps, and contactless options. These are typically the areas of technology that today’s restaurants have under control, and are typically integrated as part of your POS system.
For restaurant owners, the most important technological advances are the ones that make your team more efficient and effective, saving time, money, and resources. BOH technology such as KDS (which is usually part of modern restaurant POS software) or inventory management software are key to efficiency gains – and can usually see the biggest return on investment as they increase productivity and reduce COGS.
Key Features of Restaurant Management Software
The features you look for in your restaurant management system really depend on your own requirements and budget. What type of operation are you running? Does access to information offline matter? Will you make use of in-depth reporting and analytics features?
Some key features of restaurant management software to look out for may include
- Inventory management
- Quick and easy inventory counts
- Automated or suggested ordering
- Waste tracking
- Food costing and recipe management
- Analytics & reports
- Staff management & scheduling
- POS functionality
- Accounting capabilities
The Best Restaurant Software Companies
The best restaurant software companies offer you the flexibility to combine systems to suit your own restaurant. Pick and choose the functionality you need with our guide to the best restaurant management software.
The Best Restaurant Management Software
A modern restaurant management software system will combine elements of POS, inventory management, accounting, and human resources, whether as part of a single monolithic system, or an ecosystem of apps and integrations that create a holistic approach to restaurant management.
The restaurant management software market today gives restaurateurs and managers endless options to cherry-pick the right restaurant technology features and functionality for their business model.
The restaurant POS system you choose for your restaurant will equally depend on an assessment of your needs and requirements. Examples of POS software include
- LightSpeed - best for cloud-based POS
- POSist - best for managing kitchen operations
- Square POS - best lightweight solution
- Toast - best for flexibility
- TouchBistro - best all-in-one option
- Upserve - best for customer support
Choosing Restaurant Software
From POS to inventory management, and accounting to scheduling, there are myriad choices out there today for your restaurant software needs. It's essential that restaurant owners pick the restaurant software that best suits their own needs, to improve restaurant efficiency and get a better understanding of their operations. As well as giving you the operational tools to improve productivity and reduce wastage, the right technology can open the door to greater profits for your business.