Restaurant Management Solutions: Everything You Need to Know
Success in today’s fast-paced restaurant scene relies on much more than the quality of your food and customer service.
Yes, your menu should be spot-on and your hospitality should be flawless - but that’s only the starting point.
For restaurant owners and managers, maximizing spend, minimizing costs, and keeping both front and back of house running smoothly, are just as essential when faced with tight profit margins and stiff competition.
Streamline your restaurant operations (whilst improving service) with a restaurant management solution to help you oversee it all.
What is a restaurant management solution?
Also known as RMS, or restaurant software, a restaurant management solution is the system you use to run your restaurant operation.
Your RMS usually includes both software and hardware and will act as the central operational hub of your business, with aspects of sales, inventory, and staffing all managed in one system.
An RMS goes above and beyond the scope of a restaurant POS (point of sale) system, incorporating aspects of inventory and staff management alongside sales transactions.
RMS may also include features specific to the restaurant industry, like:
- Menu and ingredient inventory
- Hardware for both FoH (for servers to take orders) and BoH (for the kitchen to immediately receive orders)
- Table management features to efficiently seat your customers, keep track of open tables and orders, and make reservations
- Customer features like split billing and tipping
Traditional restaurant management
Before apps and software became widely available, restaurant management systems were offline, on-premise software and hardware, that were hard to keep up-to-date, expensive to install, and risky to run.
For some restaurants, that’s still the case today.
Modern, cloud-based restaurant management solutions take that system to the next level.
In addition to handling operational functions like procurement, accounting, and inventory control, cloud-based software integrates all those systems with a level of flexibility and ease-of-use that matches up to any other software application you use day-to-day.
A better way: efficient restaurant management software
Today’s restaurant management solutions make all the processes involved in managing a busy restaurant easy.
Cloud-based systems are simple and low-cost to install, usually with just a monthly subscription, which pays for regular updates, and your day-to-day use of the system.
A good restaurant management solution will be:
Automating restaurant management functions saves management time, gives everyone access to the information they need, when and where they need it, and cuts the need for emails and calls.
Automation also cuts the risk of human error inherent in manual data entry, saving time and money that might otherwise be spent fixing mistakes.
Cloud-based RMS offers scalability too, so you can expand the system as your business grows, and quickly scale back with seasonal ebbs and flows.
Instead of a single PC in the back office, modern intuitive restaurant management systems can be accessed from anywhere, via a tablet, laptop, or mobile app.
By setting user permissions, you can delegate tasks like ordering and reporting with confidence, as you have full transparency throughout the business.
Make the system work for your restaurant by integrating it with the other software applications you use in your business.
Full transparency makes it easy to prevent fraud. Closely monitor budgets, oversee spending in real-time, and set purchasing limits for users.
A modern RMS needs to be completely reliable - you don’t want to be fixing tech problems in the middle of the dinner rush!
Better restaurant management
Besides a restaurant POS system for placing orders and billing customers, a restaurant management system like MarketMan gives you advanced features that simplify all the tasks of running a busy restaurant - so you can get more done.
Typical RMS features include:
Intuitive employee management platform
Give individual users different levels of access - from the floor staff who process orders and sales, to the kitchen staff who do stock-take, to the managers who order inventory or process refunds.
A good RMS can even help you with workforce management, from employee scheduling, creating shift rotas and timesheets, to payroll and distributing employee tips.
Restaurant reporting software
Impactful decision-making relies on having accurate data.
Your RMS should give you visibility into your restaurant’s profitability and create usage reports on key performance indicators, like top menu items, busiest selling times, and best-performing team members. With real-time analytics dashboards available on any device, you can keep an eye on the essential data, even when you’re away from the restaurant floor.
And if you don’t want to monitor your reports, your restaurant management system should send you alerts and notifications for issues with low inventory.
Restaurant inventory management system
Restaurant inventory management software lets you know exactly how much inventory you have on-hand at any time. This is essential for maintaining stock levels, minimizing waste, and identifying theft.
Control your restaurant inventory and empower staff members to take inventory counts on a mobile device. From there, you can pre-set par levels to optimize the ordering process, with automated or system-suggested ordering from your current suppliers.
Food costing and menu management
Keep menu items, prices, and ingredients up-to-date, so you can plan and budget your menu items, ingredients, and preparations.
Tracking and managing food costs lets you keep an eye on your most and least profitable items, and track ingredients, so you never run out of the essentials.
Manage your restaurant accounts
Your restaurant management system will track sales data across devices and users, automatically updating quantities and prices, and intuitively ordering incoming inventory.
Service staff should be able to manage tables, make reservations, view order statuses, and process checks and credit cards, as well as open bar tabs, and deal with customer complaints with refunds.
Sync your RMS with your restaurant accounting software to automate accounts payable and payroll to keep cash flow in sync.
Top restaurant management software
Identify what’s important to you and your business to find the restaurant management system that’s best for you.
Here are some of the top restaurant management solutions that work across the board - from small business restaurant management to enterprise restaurant management, and fine dining to fast-casual or quick-service restaurants:
- Good for: Digital menu boards
- Less good for: Small-to-medium sized businesses
- Good for: Point-of-sale payment processing
- Less good for: Mobile POS software
- Good for: Online ordering
- Less good for: Live training and support
- Its Lolly
- Good for: Intuitive point-of-sale hardware for SMEs
- Less good for: extended back-office functionality
- Redcat Polygon
- Good for: Integration with existing Windows systems
- Less good for: Mobile or cloud-based software
- Good for: Reporting and analytics
- Less good for: Tight budgets
Restaurant operators can rely on restaurant management solutions to streamline everything from menu and inventory management to restaurant operations to POS integration - so they can focus on what really matters.