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Industry Resources

Software and Applications Every Restaurant Should Have

Whether you are just getting started in the food and restaurant business or are a successful hospitality veteran, it is no secret that technology is necessary in the current marketplace to strengthen processes and activities in everyday operations. Many programs and applications are available to help you increase efficiency, manage your processes and build customer relationships.

These existing applications and software are essential for restaurant owners to manage their business, from marketing campaigns to operations management to tracking finances. Consider implementing these recommendations to build and maintain a profitable and strong restaurant business.

1. OpenTable

One of the most popular online restaurant management systems available, OpenTable allows guests to make reservations online and reduces booking errors by correlating reservations and walk-ins with the entirety of the restaurant. This allows you to offer better service by being able to manage and predict your business on any given day.

It also works well as part of your overall marketing campaign by offering email marketing tools and by working with your existing social networking accounts. OpenTable gives you the ability to reach potential guests online as they are making their dining decisions, utilizing valuable partners in Google and Yelp.

2. SeatMe

Another well-known restaurant management software, SeatMe is a thorough system available online and on mobile devices. SeatMe is a great tool for guest management, allowing guests to make online reservations at any time, and letting you track walk-ins. Both of these features work together to estimate wait times and can even text guests when their table is ready. The added bonus of the ability to track the status of each guest during their meal makes it even easier to estimate when tables will be ready.

An online guestbook helps you develop relationships with your customers and tailor their service, tracking order histories, allergies and contact information. This information also makes it easy to market your services to guests’ specific likes and preferences.

3. NetSuite

A retail management solution, NetSuite makes it easy to connect your POS, inventory, marketing, finances and more into one easily manageable program. It provides a consistent experience for your customers and staff, whether online or in the restaurant, with a cloud-based system that manages all of your business operations.

NetSuite tracks metrics and data, making it great for planning and pricing purposes. The software also allows you to track your customers’ order history to personalize their experience, which helps with customer retention and satisfaction.

4. Tabbedout

This smartphone app for mobile payment is perfect for managing customer tabs. Tabbedout works by allowing customers a secure payment option directly on their smartphone, meaning less rushing around for checks and payment by your staff. This app saves time for everyone, providing your wait staff with the ability to offer faster and better service.

Tabbedout also lets you receive customer feedback instantly and manage reward programs. It also has the unique feature of tracking customer history and orders, providing you the information you need to treat every customer like a regular, remembering favorites and correcting past problems.

5. TapSavvy

TapSavvy’s TableTalk is a relatively new system that focuses on giving you control and creating authentic online relationships. The app can give you instant feedback from guests in the form of digital “comment cards” directly at the table, allowing you to quickly learn of any problems and to fix issues immediately.

There is also a unique dashboard that can help you track your floor, including monitoring servers’ performance and which menu items are most successful. This is supplemented with a thorough marketing service that helps you grow your mailing list and social networks, which should help you to garner authentic feedback and interactions. Although the service is currently only available with an option for one restaurant and one user, there are plans to release programs for multiple users and locations.

6. AS Digital’s ResPAK

Another thorough solution, this Windows-based software consists of many moving parts. ResPAK connects with your current POS system to track finances and inventory, while its online service, bookarestaurant.com, reaches online consumers when they are making their dining choices and reduces booking errors.

The service also provides a wide array of online campaign tools, with access to email marketing programs, social media management, website design and mobile solutions. ResPAK is a good one-stop shop for combining the many services and products that you manage.

7. TouchBistro

This POS system provides customers the ability to order directly from a provided tablet. This simple solution provides instant results and ultimately better service, since the menu is always at the customers’ fingertips and can be updated immediately. The app connects wirelessly with printers, letting you print or even email customer checks fast.

TouchBistro also provides daily sales reports, making it easy to track and manage your finances regularly. These critical reports are easy to create and understand, allowing you to prepare well and to quickly track profits and losses.

8. MenuPad

MenuPad is an iPad-based app that is an interactive menu for customers. This app wirelessly streamlines with all major POS systems and printers, letting customers order directly from the device. It connects with your staff and kitchen to increase customer satisfaction and offer better, faster service.

MenuPad also lets you upload photos for each menu item, which is great for branding and increasing orders of certain items. You also have the ability to easily update and change menu information instantly. It allows for more discreet and effective upselling and order management because the customer has the ability to immediately take action on the iPad.

9. Maitre’D POS

This mobile and online software program is vital for unifying your registers, inventory and kitchen management systems. It is one of the most comprehensive and extensive programs tailored to the hospitality industry. In addition to monitoring your finances and processing credit cards and payments, the app takes online reservations and customer orders.

Maitre’D POS also gives you the power to manage promotions, including customer discounts, happy hours and other marketing programs. The software seamlessly works with almost any hardware, so it is ideal for those just getting started.

10. Belly

Belly is an innovative and fun loyalty reward program. Customers can participate in the program by downloading the smartphone app or by receiving a physical loyalty card. You have the ability to customize the rewards you offer based on a point system, whether you want to provide promotional products, free food or even let your most loyal customer give you a pie in the face. Your options are unlimited, and Belly provides many creative ideas to get started.

The app also makes it easy to contact customers and track customer preferences. You can use it with your existing social networks and email lists, or you can create new lists through the app. A marketing must-have, Belly makes it easy to attract new customers and encourage loyalty.

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