As a restaurant owner, it’s your responsibility to make sure your restaurant runs smoothly. You need to know how to handle everything from sourcing ingredients to keeping your restaurant up to code.
You need to manage employees, maintain an entire kitchen, and be a bookkeeper, all while providing your customers with great food and an unforgettable experience.
It’s a lot for anyone to handle, but the using the right restaurant management apps can make your job easier and save you money in the long run. To help you get started, we put together a list of some of the best apps for restaurant owners. We love them and know you will too.
Every restaurant needs a reliable point of sale (POS) system to keep your operation running smoothly. So, if you only have the money to choose one restaurant management app, Ambur should be your pick. It’s a complete point of sale app designed specifically for the restaurant industry.
It handles everything from payment processing and splitting checks to reservations and order taking. When it comes to restaurant management software, Ambur has what it takes to streamline your entire business process.
The app lets you enter a customized table layout to mimic your bar or restaurant. This helps to eliminate any confusion when it’s time to seat customers, assign tables to employees, or expedite food to customers.
It also has the ability to store your entire menu, so your wait staff can take orders directly from an iOS device at the table. Once an employee inputs an order, it gets sent straight to the kitchen via a kitchen printer. The chefs can start preparing the meal immediately, and there’s no messy handwriting to interpret or questions about ticket times.
From downtown corner cafes to celebrity chef-owned upscale eateries, a restaurant POS system is an absolute must-have if you want to run a streamlined and efficient operation.
2. Waitlist Me
Waitlist Me is a mobile app that makes waiting for tables easier for customers and staff. The easy-to-use restaurant management app uses text and phone call notifications to alert diners when their table is ready.
Key features include the ability to track customer age, gender, party size, and any special needs or requests such as high-chairs or booster seats for kids. When customers are added to the waiting list, they receive a notification on their iPhone or Android device. They will get another notification when their table is ready to be sat.
As the hosts and hostesses seat customers, they assign the readied table to the customer and a member of your wait staff. This way, everyone is waited on promptly and your overall wait time should drop.
It isn’t Waitlist Me’s simple, streamlined process that made us want to add it to our list, though. The coolest app feature is its public waitlist view, which allows guests to check the status of their table through their smartphone. This way, your staff isn’t bombarded by questions when they should be doing other tasks.
3. Crunch Time
If you need a robust back office system for your restaurant, Crunch Time is a good option. It offers a mobile app for both iOS and Android. The app is also web-based so you can access it on a computer in addition to your mobile device. This makes it easy to see detailed information about your business on any device.
Crunch Time helps you with food cost management and it tracks the amount and frequency of items used. This lets you know exactly when you should re-order — or not. Since the system handles everything from food costs, inventory control, ordering, and labor management, it takes the guesswork out of running your restaurant.
Detailed reports tell you what you need to order, helping you eliminate unnecessary overspending. Additionally, Crunch Time integrates with data from your point of sale system, giving you an up-close look at your sales trends and labor costs. All this data can help you determine your strong suits and areas where you can cut costs.
If your restaurant is thriving and you’re thinking about adding additional locations, Delagat can make that process easier. As your business grows and you start adding new technology solutions (like the ones we’re discussing here), it’s going to get harder and harder to manage everything from one central location.
As you can see from this list, there is no serve-all application for restaurants. A single application cannot be a POS system, a payroll system, and a reservation system all in one solution. Each app’s core offering is so different that if they try to be a jack-of-all-trades, they would truly be a master of none. We don’t know about you, but we wouldn’t want an online ordering app to also be responsible for proper payroll taxes.
That’s what’s so great about Delgat. It takes all those technologies and core business functions and seamlessly integrates them into one easy-to-manage platform. You can view detailed information about several different locations and it integrates with software and apps that you currently use — or plan to use in the future.
For example, if you use Ambur as your point-of-sale software, Delgat can be customized so that it collects data from your Ambur app to use when providing you with insights. Additionally, the software can track employee and restaurant performance metrics, as well as handle all of your restaurant’s accounting and payroll needs.
Lastly, the reason we truly love the app is that it uses analytics and data to identify loss prevention from employee theft. 75 percent of employees steal from the workplace and quick-service restaurants (QSR) lose up to 7 percent of yearly sales to employee theft. Those statistics alone are enough to make us use Delagat.
Use OpenTable to manage your restaurant’s reservations and waitlist. You can access the app on your mobile device at any time to see your waitlist in real time or alter reservations when needed.
The app lets you upload a diagram of your restaurant’s seating chart, and monitors the status of each table. For example, a table’s status updates when the bills are paid or when food is delivered. This helps restaurant managers and wait staff keep track of everything going on in the restaurant so you can create a pleasant experience for all of your customers.
With over 600 app integrations available, your customers will have no problem booking reservations online. Guests can make reservations directly from your website or from third-party sites such as Google, Apple, Eater, and TripAdvisor. Additionally, your restaurant is featured with other restaurants using OpenTable, so it’s easy for their network of over more than 23 million users to find you.
OpenTable also serves as your shift management tool. It stores all of your reservation info and sales info, making it easy for you to determine whether you need more employees to cover specific shifts.
Do you want to create signature drinks for your restaurant that set you apart from the competition? If so, the Mixology app is the app for you. To create different types of drinks, your bartender can simply enter the ingredients you have on hand into the app, Mixology analyzes the ingredients, and provides the bartender with recipe suggestions based on the ingredients entered.
The app has the ability to search for compatible drink recipes using multiple ingredients and it provides several different recipe options for each search. Mixology features a database with more than 8,000 drink recipes and more than 1,000 ingredients. Making it easy to choose a signature drink recipe that other restaurants and bars don’t typically serve. Also, it makes it easy for bartenders to create special drinks based on customer taste and special requests.
Lastly, your bartender will love it because it eliminates the need for them to know the drink recipe by heart. So when a customer randomly asks for a Butternut Old Fashioned, the bartender can quickly look up the recipe in the Mixology App.
Bizimply lets you manage multiple restaurant locations from the palm of your hand. The app helps you manage shift scheduling, employee attendance, human resources (HR) issues, and payroll from your mobile device.
Its reporting feature shows you attendance and shift reports so you can quickly make accurate scheduling decisions and you can see your attendance feed in real time. This will let you know right away if employees are running late or aren’t coming into work at all.
When you use Bizimply to handle all of your scheduling and shift management needs, you don’t need to waste time examining paper schedules to make sure you have all your bases covered. The mobile application makes the scheduling process simple, so you can tell at a glance whether you need to add more employees to a shift. When you use the app in conjunction with the shift trend reports you get from your Ambur app, you have everything you need to make important scheduling decisions quick.
Social media is such an incredible marketing tool for any business. It allows you to connect with your patrons on a more personal level and it gives you a much broader reach than just your local community. However, the downside is when you’re running a business, especially a restaurant, you don’t have a lot of time to spend on social media platforms.
Fortunately, Buffer is a social media management app that lets you schedule all of your social media posts in advance. The app is pretty easy to use and everything is managed in one place. All you need to do is create a social media posting schedule for each platform you use. Next, upload all of your posts into a queue and start scheduling. Once the posts are loaded and the schedule is set, Buffer starts posting for you automatically.
The app lets you analyze interactions with your posts too. This data can give you insight into what posts perform the best and what content users don’t care to share or like. By knowing what type of content appeals to your audience the most, you can tweak what you share over time so that your posts are more likely to be shared.
If you really don’t want to worry about your restaurant’s social media accounts, you can also use the Buffer Reply service. This brings all of the comments and messages you receive into one inbox, making it easy to reply to customers questions and concerns quickly.
For restaurant owners that need an employee scheduling app, but are on a very limited budget, Sling is a good, free option. This restaurant management app lets you review and create schedules for your employees by day or by week. To make the process simple, you have the option to copy the schedules you create and turn them into custom templates for future use. This way, you don’t need to create a schedule from scratch each week. Instead, you choose the template you saved previously and make any changes that are needed. This is a big time saver for any owner or manager.
The app also tracks employee availability and any time off your employees have requested. This way, when you’re making the weekly schedule, you don’t have to worry about scheduling someone for a time when he or she is unavailable.
As you create your schedules, you have the option to enter your estimated sales amount for the shift so the app can compare your labor costs with your estimated sales amount to ensure you aren’t over scheduling. Also, your employees can use the app to clock in and out of work. This way, you can easily compare the actual hours worked to your schedules for future reference. And when it’s time to complete payroll, you simply export timesheets from the app.
ChowBot lets you sync your POS menu to your online ordering site so customers can order food online for takeout or delivery. When you use ChowBot in conjunction with EAT24, GrubHub, or Postmates, it’s simple for your customers to order online.
The beauty of ChowBot is that it provides the latest technology and convenience for customers, yet doesn’t change a thing from a kitchen operational standpoint.
All you need to do is choose which third-party online ordering system you want to use and set up a printer in your kitchen. When someone places an order online, it’s sent directly to your kitchen printer to keep the process simple and effortless.
Whether you’re opening a new restaurant or you need to streamline your current procedures, the right restaurant management apps make a huge difference. Take the time to determine what type of apps you want to use and integrate them into your day-to-day operations to save time, money, and run a more efficient restaurant.