Finding software can be overwhelming. Software Advice helps hundreds of restaurants choose the right restaurant CRM system to manage marketing campaigns, maintain customer data and improve sales.

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Epos Now

Epos Now is a retail management system for small to mid-sized businesses. In addition to its Point of Sale module, the solution also offers integrated Inventory Management, Customer Management, and Retail Accounting, including gen... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 97 recommendations

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HungerRush

HungerRush is a food delivery solution that enables restaurants of all sizes to streamline operations related to online ordering, loyalty programs, reporting and more. Professionals can utilize the platform to create custom order ... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 61 recommendations

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Toast POS

Toast POS is a flexible system built exclusively for restaurants and the food service industry. Offering tools like online ordering, delivery, takeout, mobile app ordering, contactless payments, and e-gift card purchasing, this so... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 58 recommendations

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talech

Talech POS is a cloud-based retail, restaurant & bar and professional services solution that offers point-of-sale (POS), inventory and customer management, appointment scheduling and deep, real-time analytics. The solution stores ... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 35 recommendations

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SpotOn Restaurant

SpotOn Restaurant is a cloud-based point-of-sale solution that enables businesses to streamline processes related to food ordering, tableside payments, customer retention and more. The online ordering functionality enables busines... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 19 recommendations

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BrewPOS

BrewPOS is a Windows IOT solution for restaurants designed to intuitively manage the daily functions for your restaurant. Open Tabs with EMV chip cards and close them without the customer present. Never keep a credit card behind t... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 10 recommendations

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Revel Systems

Revel is a cloud-based business platform that integrates operations and customer channels with point-of-sale (POS) functionality in a single dashboard. It is suitable for stores and restaurants of all sizes and provides users with... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 7 recommendations

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Acumatica Cloud ERP

Acumatica Construction Edition is true cloud construction and accounting software that provides office and field teams real-time data including job costing, change orders, project management, dashboards and more. With field and of... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 1 recommendations

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Bepoz

Bepoz is a cloud-based point-of-sale (POS) solution designed for restaurant, retail and admissions businesses of all sizes. The product caters to both single as well as multi-location retail. It offers stock control, cash control,... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 1 recommendations

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PayPal

PayPal is a digital payment platform that enables businesses and individuals to pay and accept payments through an online portal without revealing any financial details. The solution is suitable for businesses of all sizes. P... Read more

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Square Point of Sale

Square Point of Sale is a mobile POS system available for iOS and Android devices. Key capabilities of the Square POS system include online payment processing, sales reports, inventory tracking, digital receipts, Square marketing ... Read more

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PayPal Here

PayPal Here is a mobile application that allows retailers and merchants to process transactions. The application uses a card reader device attached to a smartphone. This solution helps retailers and field sales staff to process tr... Read more

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Odoo

Odoo Point of Sale (POS) is part of Odoo’s integrated suite of business applications. The module is available both on and offline and provides unified data across stores and has an integrated inventory management function. Od... Read more

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SeatMe

Yelp Reservations is a cloud-based restaurant management system that helps manage reservations and guests. Primarily catering small to midsize businesses, it enables real-time communication between customers and restaurant owners.... Read more

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Route4Me

Route4Me is a cloud-based fleet management solution designed for small, midsize and large businesses. Primary features include route planning and routing guides. It allows users to type-in or upload customer addresses and plan a r... Read more

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Loyverse POS

Loyverse POS is a cloud-based, mobile point-of-sale solution aimed at small retail, restaurant and salon establishments. With this software, users can manage inventory, visualize sales analytics and manage customer relationships. ... Read more

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WooPOS

WooPOS is a cloud-based solution that helps small to midsize businesses in the retail industry manage inventory and streamline point-of-sale operations. The centralized platform enables users to record clients' contact information... Read more

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GoFrugal

GoFrugal POS is a hybrid point of sale (POS) solution that helps retailers across various industries, to manage their distribution and billing routines and automate financial transactions. The solution can be deployed either on-pr... Read more

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LS Retail

LS Retail is a retail management system consisting of point of sale (POS) and enterprise resource planning (ERP). Key features include inventory management, customer management, retail accounting, e-commerce, warehouse management ... Read more

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Lightspeed POS

Crafted specifically for the hospitality industry and perfect for cafes, restaurants, bars, and any other hospitality business imaginable. Lightspeed Kounta POS is the point of sale that is easy to use, simple to manage and powerf... Read more

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Buyers guide


Last Updated: April 22, 2021

In the restaurant business, growing your customer base is important, but it isn't the ultimate prize. The real prize is your list of regular patrons, which you must constantly try to expand by turning new patrons into repeat customers. Sure, your food plays a big role here, but technology can also help.

According to Toast's 2017 Restaurant Technology report, 95% of restaurateurs agree that technology improves their business' efficiency. Regardless of the format—quick-service restaurant (QSR) or fine dining, a chain or a stand-alone establishment—restaurant customer relationship management (CRM) tools can change how you engage with your customers.

These solutions allow you to personalize customer interactions, roll out customer outreach and loyalty programs, and integrate with third-party aggregators to expand market reach. Interested? We'll help you learn more about restaurant CRMs and what you should consider while evaluating options.

In this buyer's guide, we'll cover:

What is restaurant CRM software?
Common features of restaurant CRM software
What type of buyer are you?
Benefits of having a restaurant CRM
Market trends to understand

What is restaurant CRM software?

Restaurant CRM software helps restaurant managers and owners maintain a centralized database of information on customers who have visited a restaurant or have ordered online. Restaurants of all categories and size can use this data for marketing and sales promotions, email or social media campaigns, and to support loyalty programs.

This type of software offers standardized communication templates, workflows, and automated processes, which make it easier for users to regularly interact with customers and share personalized offers and updates.

Restaurant CRMs also incorporate functionality for table reservations and online ordering (through a restaurant website or third-party platforms). They can also track customer orders and preferences and record details such as allergies, milestones (e.g., birthdays), and past order suggestions to allow restaurants provide personalized offers and services to customers.

Customer information dashboard in Eatapp Restaurant CRM

Customer information dashboard in Eatapp Restaurant CRM (Source)

Benefits of a restaurant CRM

There are many benefits of using a restaurant CRM. Here's a look at the most notable:

  • Improved customer connections: A CRM helps you reach out to your customers through personalized email marketing campaigns, which are equally vital for multibranch QSRs and single-location establishments.
  • Ease of rolling out loyalty and discount programs: With a restaurant CRM, you can leverage your customers' preferences to create customized loyalty and discount programs to improve customer retention. You can also track the success of your ad campaigns with dashboard views.
  • Integrations with with mobile apps and popular ordering websites. A majority of customers now order food and make reservations through third-party apps and websites. CRMs specifically designed for restaurants usually offer integration with these apps.

Common features of restaurant CRM software

Here are the important features to look for when choosing your restaurant CRM software:

Centralized customer information dashboard The core of a restaurant CRM, customer information includes customer name, contact details, and past transaction history. It can also include milestone dates such as a customer's birthday and anniversary, as well as preferences, allergies, or health warnings.
Email and SMS marketing Marketing emails and mobile messages can be formatted using built-in templates, personalized, and scheduled for every customer.
Single-view performance dashboard Most restaurant CRMs provide a single dashboard view of sales and customer statistics, including daily revenue.
Online table reservation system Some CRMs allow customers to make reservations through third-party apps and websites
Social media and online marketing Integrations with social media platforms help in rolling out marketing campaigns across multiple platforms, all from within a central dashboard. Offers can be announced to all existing followers and their connections quickly and conveniently.
Loyalty rewards and benefits program Restaurant CRM tools come with modules for loyalty rewards and benefits programs that are instrumental for enhancing customer retention.

What type of buyer are you?

You need restaurant CRM software if you own or manage any of the following:

  • Food truck or independent restaurant: Outlets operating out of a single location looking to gain competitive edge with customer retention and brand loyalty will benefit from centralized customer information database that can be used for easier and quicker marketing campaign creation. Constant communication with customers makes brand promotion more effective, increasing customer recall.
  • Multibranch restaurant: Multiple-location restaurants or food and beverage establishments look for full-featured CRM software to communicate their promotions and offers to increase customer footfall and enhance customer engagement and retention.
  • Franchised chain: Franchised chains find restaurant CRM software's social media and online marketing feature useful to establish and expand their online presence.

Market trends to understand

Data analytics for hyper-customization: Big data and analytics are becoming pervasive, and restaurateurs are increasingly using transactional data and order histories to hyper-customize their services. Hyper-customization is a rapidly growing trend that allows restaurateurs to understand their customers better, improve the overall customer experience, and retain more customers.

Growth of mobile ordering and payments. The surge in food ordering via smartphones and the rise in mobile payments have made mobile-ready CRMs a must-have for a growing customer base. Mobile payments grew by 75% in 2017, and the trend will only continue to grow.

Note: The applications selected in this article are examples to show a feature in context and are not intended as endorsements or recommendations. They have been obtained from sources believed to be reliable at the time of publication.