Restaurant Management System — All Components Explained

LimeTray
5 min readAug 28, 2019

A restaurant management system is a multi-faceted software that helps streamline your restaurant’s operations and provides automation so that you can worry about what matters most — preparing great food. All types of food businesses ranging from restaurants, bakeries, bars, cafes, bistros, food trucks or delivery businesses are immensely helped by a restaurant management system.

It brings together everything that is good about a conventional POS, with tools that can manage your telephone calls, automate table reservations, streamline inventory management, provide actionable analytics, handles billing and also assist with marketing insights and activities such as CRM, loyalty and building an online presence. Likewise, it works flawlessly with your currently-in-use restaurant technology system and deploys open APIs that let you use any third-party software/program/tool.

As you can imagine, these products are rarely available at modest prices. Added to that, re-examining them each time your needs evolve, is such a futile exercise, not to mention a waste of money too. You need a system that is structured with a futuristic view and packed with needed features.

Components of a restaurant management system

Let us dive into what makes a restaurant management software stack in detail so that it saves you reading 5 different blog posts to get an idea of the whole picture.

1.Restaurant POS

A POS is a central unit of your restaurant management system. Your database gets updated every time a new customer gets their order punched in. Apart from this, a POS helps in handling essential operations such as printing KOT, ticketing, and of course, billing.

A competitive POS will be able to collate your customer data in real-time, which is like a gold mine for your marketing activities. It enables you to analyze data, figure out what works for you and thus make better and more informed decisions. Your SMS and email campaigns and social media ads that convince your buyer to make that click and repeat a visit to your website are all possible due to this data which was collected with the help of a POS system. The bottom line, your POS can do more than you think.

2.Online Ordering Platform

Not just that having your own website and/or app helps you get business directly on your platform, having your own assets has several benefits :

1. Commission saved which you would have to pay to third-party aggregators

2. Each order gets you more profit saved

3. Opportunity to showcase and market your unique brand and separate yourself from competitors.

4. It enables you to gather client information — further enabling you to run your very own CRM campaigns, re-marketing and keep customers coming back for more.

5. Gives you your virtual estate on the web, your permanent and non-devaluing e-resource.

A seamless experience goes a long way when it comes to bringing the customer back to your restaurant, in terms of order placement, checkout, delivery status, discount, feedback and loyalty among other things. Selecting a robust POS which has built-in online ordering system is highly recommended.

3.Order Management

It is always good to keep a tab on what’s happening in your restaurant, both online and offline. Like you get orders both through your ordering platform and through third-party apps like FoodPanda, Swiggy and Zomato. You can easily manage the dashboard which shows an integrated picture of your orders coming in through all channels. Notifications and status messages will get to you from your dashboard, making it significantly easier to manage orders.

The key advantages of having order management platform are:

1. All-encompassing order management — covers all channels

2. Incoming notifications for order statuses

3. Deal with all aspects of orders and customer calls on one dashboard

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4.Table reservation system

This is crucial in the dine-in segment of restaurants. The goal is to be able to accept table reservations from your website and deal with all the table reservations from a single dashboard. The ability to keep a keen eye on the guest list and waiting time is a given and is important in a dine-in facility. It’s always good to know when your loyal customers are coming in, so you can get ample time to amp up the wow factor for them.

5.Restaurant Marketing Management

Convey your offers,menu items and your special discounts the right way and much more with restaurant marketing management.These activities and efforts will keep your customers engaged and make them come back to your restaurant.

Given below are the key elements of a restaurant management set-up:

1.CRM management

Post sign-up by the customer,the CRM process gets kicked off for that customer as their data gets inserted in the database and the marketing system takes care of CRM activities which helps you categorize database on the basis of age,preferences and items ordered.This helps in better customizing the messaging in your outreach campaigns.

2.Loyalty Management

This can be called the secret sauce which helps you convert your new customers into returning ones. Loyalty programs, if well executed and promoted can help you reward your loyal customers with rewards with enhanced and better offers.This can be even further segmented into categories based on the degree of loyalty,which can be determined by their total orders,frequency of visits and average order value,for instance.

3.App Marketing

Your recent updates and latest happenings can be easily delivered to your app subscribers through push notifications.Push notifications have been found to be a huge sales driving phenomenon in any type of retail business.

You should encourage your customers to download your applications so that it helps you further amplify your activities.

Restaurant marketing has evolved to focus on the below aspects now more than ever:

1.Automation in marketing activities

2.Data-based segmentation and data analytics

3.Middle funnel marketing — includes drip-email marketing,loyalty management and CRM.

4.Employee management tools

Integration with a specialised employee management software is highly recommended.Some features to look out for in such a system are:

1.Attendance tracking

2.Overtime,productivity and timesheets tracking

3.User access settings

4.Employee details

5.Payroll management feature

5.Restaurant finances and Accounting software

Every company has its own special set of requirements when it comes to restaurant finances and accounting systems. In general, your accounting and finance software should help you with your COGS(cost of goods sold), sales and profits tracking and tax management.Integration with a specialized accounting software is highly recommended.

Given all of these vital components which comprise of your restaurant management system, it becomes important that you select your restaurant software with proper research and analysis.

To read more refer this link How a robust restaurant management system can help you in more ways than you can imagine.

More power to you!

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