Since 2019, before the pandemic, sales in the restaurant industry are down $65 billion.
With less money coming in you need to make sure that your restaurant is running as efficiently as possible. One way of making sure your staff is working to their best ability is by adding restaurant software to help streamline your operations.
But trying to choose the best restaurant management software for you can be overwhelming.
Don't worry! In this post, we'll go over some of our best tips on how to make sure you choose the best restaurant software for you.
Keep reading to learn more.
1. Know Your Goals
The most important tip for choosing restaurant software is to know your goals. In order to choose the best option, you have to know what kind of features and functions you need it to have.
Put together a list of your pain points. Do your employees complain about your old-school pen and paper log keeping? Do you struggle at health inspection time to gather all of your records together? Being aware of these can help direct you toward the right software that will help to solve these issues.
Get clear on what you want to accomplish by adding new software and you will be on your way to choosing the best one. Then be sure to try out a free demo and ask questions to make sure that the software is really what you're looking for.
2. Prioritize Customizable Software
Obviously, not all software will come with the same features and customizability. We recommend finding software that is highly customizable. Because while pre-made templates loaded into the software can be helpful, if you can't make changes to them you may wind up having to compromise your systems to accommodate them.
Instead, if you find software that is as customizable as possible, you can make sure that each log, checklist, or report fits the needs of your business exactly. We recommend our FreshCheq software, which can be fully customized to fit your needs.
Being able to pick and choose between different reports and create new ones gives you the ability to check on different aspects of your business that the software creators may not have anticipated you needing.
3. Technical Support is Critical
You're adding new software to your business, which means you and your staff will need to learn how to use it. It can take a while to learn how to correctly use new technology like this, so having technical support offered by the software company is critical.
As a restaurant business, your busiest times are likely to be nights and weekends, obviously outside of normal working hours. Does the company offer support during these times? The last thing you want during a dinner rush on a Friday night is a technology issue slowing down your staff.
Additionally, it's important to know how much help the company provides for setting up the new system in the first place. Putting a new system into place can be quite a headache if you don't know what you're doing, so having help from the company themselves can save a lot of unnecessary stress.
One of the risks of adding a new system to your existing business is that it won't be compatible with the systems already in place. Before you commit to new restaurant software, be sure to check that it can properly communicate with any of the systems you already have in place, like your restaurant POS software or restaurant inventory software.
Additionally, some software can only function on certain types of hardware. Make sure to choose software that won't require you to purchase new hardware to accommodate it. Either choose an option that works with the current hardware you already have, or even better, find software that can work on any kind of hardware.
5. Easy to Use
All software is not created equally, and some companies will put a higher premium on the importance of a simple user interface than others. You and your employees will thank you for finding an option that has many functions but is still easy and intuitive to use.
Restaurants are fast-paced environments, so your team members don't have time to stand around trying to remember complicated instructions for how to use different parts of the software.
How easy it is to use will also depend on factors like if it allows a limited or unlimited amount of users, and if you can restrict the level of access to different types of users. You don't always want managers and lower-level staff to have the same access and ability to edit the information.
6. Real-Time Data Access
Especially when the new system is first added to the workflow it is likely that things could be missed and mistakes could be made. While it's understandable as people are still learning, these things will need to be corrected.
As a manager or owner, you won't always be on-site to check that things aren't getting overlooked. By choosing software that can send you real-time updates no matter where you are that let you know how things are going you can notice and correct errors quickly. This will help you both keep your records accurate and complete, and also help you train your staff in the new workflow.
Choose the Best Restaurant Software For Your Company
Adding restaurant software is a great way to help streamline your operations and make them as efficient as possible. But it's critical that you find the right software that will help your specific restaurant business thrive.
If you're ready to improve your restaurant operations, we can help! Check out our FreshCheq software today.