There’s no doubt that technology has changed the restaurant and food service industry. In addition to revolutionizing customer service and streamlining operations, software has helped optimize restaurant management operations and take them to the next level. Instead of paper log books, manual spreadsheets and printed employee schedules, managers can easily automate every aspect of their business, including POS systems, supply chain management, and inventory control. Whether you have management tools you wish to replace or intend to replace your traditional business solutions with the best restaurant management tool for your business, use the following questions to guide your selection process.

Restaurant Management Tool

Restaurant Management Tool

“Should I Buy the Software or Build it?”
You need to decide whether to buy your next restaurant management tool or build it. Building may seem to be the logical solution for most restaurant owners, since it allows them to customize their solution and determine its size. However, buying a system can be a better option for most businesses. For instance, it spares you from wasting your time on uprooting your current tools, substituting different incompatible systems, and testing to ensure that everything works well together. Also, it’s difficult for most restaurant owners and managers to keep completely up to date on technology and how to apply that technology in their business. Most readymade applications already understand the technology curve and are designed to be seamlessly integrated with other systems, so you can quickly get down to business and avoid wasting your resources. Some go further to customize certain aspects, reflecting your brand and delivering your needs.

“Does the System Deliver Good User Experience?”
You need to ensure that the solution you pick is a truly unified system. Ask the developers or vendor whether or not all your data and applications will have the same look and feel at all touch points and if they’ll work seamlessly with the rest of your software One of the best ways to determine how seamlessly the system will operate is by requesting a customized demo and seeing how well a new restaurant management tool would work for your business.

“Is the System Designed for Web and Mobile Delivery?”
With many restaurants embracing online management tools, you shouldn’t lag behind. Find out if the software you’re planning on purchasing comes with a native mobile app that offers most of the important features you need to run your restaurant on-the-go. As for the application’s web version, make sure that it provides a responsive design, allowing you and your workers to access it regardless of device.

“How Flexible is the System Really?”
The best restaurant management tool is ready to tackle the problems and needs of both the present and future. The system should be flexible enough to accommodate changes and future hardware integrations as well as additional applications you intend on integrating. If you plan on embracing a few trends in the future, share your vision with the vendor and see how much they can customize the system for you.

“Are Analytics and Business Intelligence Part of the Package?”
Operations, marketing, finance and franchise development departments have different reporting needs. Therefore, you need to ensure that the system’s reporting features are easy to use and relevant for each department¬. Some important specs you should focus on getting are dashboard capabilities, data analysis tools, and ad hoc reporting.

“Do I Need to Train My Team?”
Training is essential for all business applications, but members of the restaurant industry hardly have time for extensive training requirements. Therefore, aim for an easy to use tool that requires little to no training. If, however, the best restaurant management tool you found requires a little training, make sure that it comes with video tutorials to save everyone’s time.

“Can I Leave Any Time?”
Not all software survives forever; there will be a time when you’ll need to move to a different system. In that case, you need to know beforehand if the system’s data belongs wholly to you. Also ask if the vendor will help with your transition to another system or else they may hold your ata hostage.