Find the best Restaurant Management Software
Reviews: Sorts listings by the number of user reviews we have published, greatest to least.
Sponsored: Sorts listings by software vendors running active bidding campaigns, from the highest to lowest bid. Vendors who have paid for placement have a ‘Visit Website’ button, whereas unpaid vendors have a ‘Learn More’ button.
Avg Rating: Sorts listings by overall star rating based on user reviews, highest to lowest.
A to Z: Sorts listings by product name from A to Z.
Talk with us for a free
Meet Eric, a software expert who has helped 1,534 companies select the right product for their needs.
Talk with us for a free
Tell us more about your business and an advisor will reach out with a list of software recommendations customized for your specific needs.
STEP 1 OF 4
How many stores do you have?
Linga rOS System
When I Work
The dinner rush has begun, and once again, your kitchen is struggling to get plates out on time. You’re short-staffed because a server forgot their shift, and the cooks are worried there aren’t enough ingredients to serve the daily special until closing. Everyone is scrambling, and for good reason. You can’t afford another bad revenue day or negative Yelp review in this competitive market.
Such is the life of managing a restaurant, where a thousand things need to go right to keep you afloat, but one thing going wrong can sink you immediately. If you find yourself struggling to keep on top of day-to-day operations, or you don’t have an accurate picture of the road ahead, restaurant management software can help.
If you’ve never researched or purchased a restaurant management system before, that’s OK. This Buyer’s Guide highlights everything you need to know to help find the right solution.
Here’s what we’ll cover:
What Is Restaurant Management Software?
Restaurant management software is designed specifically to help users manage their food service establishment. Some platforms have functionality related to customer interactions, such as that found in a point of sale (POS) system, but more often restaurant management software focuses on behind-the-scenes processes such as restaurant employee scheduling, inventory management and accounting.
Restaurant employee shift schedule in HotSchedules
Restaurant management software exists in two forms. Systems like HotSchedules are best-of-breed applications that focus on one particular need. But, there are also all-encompassing suites like PeachWorks, which are designed to take care of everything related to managing your restaurant.
Common Functionality of Restaurant Management Systems
Though products vary, here are some examples of common functions you can find in restaurant management systems:
Create and manage employee schedules, calculate labor costs and track compliance with laws and regulations.
Keep running counts of what’s in stock and create custom reports.
Create and maintain recipes based on inventory, set menu prices and analyze historical trends.
Manage your general ledger, compare financials against budget and generate reports.
Collaborate with other users, store customer feedback, take notes and create to-do lists.
Collect sales data from your POS system and track how it affects other areas of your restaurant.
5 Benefits of Restaurant Management Software
Using dedicated software to manage your restaurant offers a number of benefits over manual methods like pen and paper or Excel spreadsheets. These include:
Reducing duplicate entry. Instead of having to transfer inventory numbers and labor costs into your accounting ledger manually, restaurant management software can do it automatically. Better integration between applications means you don’t have to enter numbers twice, saving valuable time.
Improved communication. Individual user logins allow all of your staff to keep up-to-date with information and tasks relevant to them, while automated reminders can ensure that workers never forget when their next shift is again.
Greater flexibility. Cloud-based systems allow you to access your account from anywhere with any device if you have an internet connection. If you need to generate a report or switch someone’s schedule from home or while you’re out and about, you can.
Fewer errors. Audit trails and flagged entries for anything that appears out of the ordinary can ensure that the information you have is complete and accurate.
More accurate forecasting. Using historical data, restaurant management systems can give you more accurate predictions regarding future sales, inventory needs and otherwise. You can dig into your numbers and view them in different ways to uncover trends you might not have otherwise.
How Much Does Restaurant Management Software Cost?
The cost of a restaurant management software system largely depends on the complexity of the system’s functionality and how many locations you need to manage with it.
A basic restaurant POS system to manage your sales and accounting needs may only cost $150 a year, while a more complex restaurant management suite to track every aspect of multiple locations may run you thousands of dollars a month. If you need integrated hardware, such as a tablet or cash register, that will bump up the price as well.
Your payment schedule is also going to vary depending on whether the software is sold with perpetual or subscription licensing.
With perpetual licensing, you pay one large fee upfront to use the software indefinitely. Recurring costs are lower, but the initial cost is substantial. With subscription licensing, you pay a smaller monthly or annual fee as you go along. The upfront cost is lower, but the recurring costs are higher than those with a perpetual license. Costs associated with each licensing option tend to equal out over time.
Ask vendors about the specifics of their particular pricing structure so you can budget for the system accordingly.
Additional Restaurant Management Software Resources
The information found in this Buyer’s Guide offers a good baseline to help you begin researching restaurant management software vendors. Here are some additional Software Advice resources to check out as you decide on a system and learn how to get the best use out of it for your business:
How to Inventory Items With Your POS Software: If you’ve never digitized your inventory numbers before, it can feel like a daunting task. This guide offers best practices to help with the transition. We even have an Excel inventory template to get you started.
Increase Restaurant Upselling and Grow Revenue With Mobile POS Systems: Did you know your restaurant management software can actually make you money? It’s true. We show how automated server prompts found in mobile POS systems can aid your upselling tactics. An embedded calculator allows you to see how even a $1 average ticket increase can benefit your bottom line.
Why Restaurants Fail—and How Yours Can Succeed: There’s no guarantee that a restaurant will succeed. We talk to experts to uncover common mistakes that new restaurants make and offer advice on how yours can excel from the start.