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Restaurant Management Systems: Point-Of-Service, Delivery, Organization, And More

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Restaurant Management Systems: Point-Of-Service, Delivery, Organization, And More

Last time on our restaurant startup series, we looked at methods and guidelines for pricing items on the menu. Today, we'll be examining the importance of restaurant management software and what it can do for your business.

The restaurant industry is a landscape that has been profoundly shaped by technology. Long gone are the days when face-to-face interaction was a requirement for service. The advent of phones, the Internet, and various smart devices have dramatically reshaped customer expectations and experiences regarding business interactions. This evolution has led to the prevalence of software in restaurant operations.

The core element of restaurant management software is the point-of-sale or POS system. This refers to the transaction made between the customer and the merchant. In the restaurant world, this has taken the form of touchscreen tablets and kiosks with special software that operators and customers can use to create, process, and track orders. This is the most important benefit of installing a POS system—the ability to keep a detailed, organized overview of all the orders coming in and being completed. Especially in the tech-savvy world of today, when takeout and digital orders are very popular, it can be hard to manually keep track of every customer's specifications and instructions. A POS system keeps everything, in-person or otherwise, strictly under your purview and control.

Many POS systems include functions that go beyond the customer-merchant interaction. In particular, they possess the ability to streamline, organize, and monitor back-of-house operations. These operations can include scheduling employee shifts, distributing customer tips to the respective server, and changing digital menus. Utilizing these functions to the fullest is a boon to the oversight of operations and employee efficiency.

It may also be worthwhile to become a partner with an online ordering and delivery platform. Grubhub, Uber Eats, and many other services are popular options with consumers who want food from their favorite restaurants, but don't have time to stop in. Utilizing these services requires an application, usually placed online. Visit the website for the service you are interested in and provide your contact information to them in order to apply for a partnership with that service.

Finally, we'll cover the subject of costs. The most important thing to note is that there are two primary ways of paying for a management system, depending on the company you choose to do business with. The first payment type is known as perpetual licensing. With this kind of agreement, you pay one fee to the company for the use of the service and are guaranteed full use of the service for as long as you wish. The second payment type is subscription licensing. As the name implies, it is a monthly or annual fee that is paid to the company for the continued right to use their service in your restaurant.

Ultimately, analyzing your budget and your financial situation will be the best way to figure out which licensing plans—and therefore, which management systems—will be the best purchase for you. Perpetual licenses cost more because of the upfront nature, but you won't have to pay the company for service after the fact. Subscription licenses are cheaper to start, but there are of course the recurring costs incurred from the subscription fees. On top of the licensing, there is also the matter of whether the system is installed locally or if it is a cloud-based service on an external server. All of these factors should be considered along with the restaurant budget when determining which management system company to go with.

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Restaurant management systems are powerful integrations that are key to the success of most modern restaurants. They enable owners and operators to keep up with fast-paced demands, respond to business complications immediately, and accurately manage every step of the foodservice process.


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