How to Choose the Right Restaurant Management Software

Pete Schott
Published On:
Dec 29, 2020

When searching for solutions to help you run your multi-unit restaurant operation, the proliferation of technologies that identify as “restaurant management software” makes research difficult. So instead of looking at each software and technology option individually, let's discuss some of the main features available and how they may or may not work for you. Finding the restaurant management software that works for your operation is as simple as cutting through the clutter and identifying what your real needs are and which problems you’re looking to address.

What is Restaurant Management Software?

Restaurant management software enables restaurant operators to automate and track critical work that happens every day in each restaurant and across the operation – checklists, execution, point-of-sale, inventory, customer loyalty, and more.

For multi-unit (chain) restaurants, the needs and challenges for operators change dramatically and as such, their needs for restaurant management software often change as well. Operations Execution Software is purpose-built for multi-unit operators, and enables them to instantly deploy new or updated procedures (food safety, brand standards, etc.) across every store, oversee from anywhere the quality of work being done by employees everyday, and automate various tasks in stores to save employees time. 

What is Operations Execution (OpsX) Software?

Managing essential issues like productivity, compliance, field audits, internal communications, and corrective action tracking, traditionally takes up a lot of time and resources. This is why an OpsX system is the most important restaurant management software that you will invest in. With the right restaurant management software, all of these functions and many more become optimized and easy to track and control, giving you unprecedented influence over the most vital functions of your operation. That's true power.

An OpsX solution is not just a narrowly focused niche software program that helps you organize a single facet of your operation, like payroll or health compliance, that is something you will quickly outgrow. Rather, it is a scalable overarching program with the flexibility and functionality to not just grow WITH your business but to actually help DRIVE that growth. You can read more about what is (and isn’t) operations execution software here.

Restaurant owner considering restaurant management software
Restaurant management software enables restaurant operators to automate and track critical work that happens every day in each restaurant and across the operation – checklists, execution, point-of-sale, inventory, customer loyalty, and more.

Why Do You Need an OpsX Platform for Restaurant Management?

Here’s one way to think about how an OpsX platform can make a difference for you: imagine that whenever needed, you could instantly have every store location of yours huddled momentarily under one roof, and all of your general managers and store managers in the same room. You could tell them all the same message, share the most important news, instantly check on each store, hear about the most pressing issues. 

Right now, many restaurants and food-related businesses are being forced to make dramatic adjustments to the way they do business, from increases in app-driven delivery to higher standards for in-house sanitization and food safety measures. Doing this quickly and effectively is a daunting task as multi-unit operation. This is where an OpsX platform comes in.

From ensuring safety standards are met in exact measurements to providing employees tools to complete their tasks faster and with more precision, an OpsX style restaurant management software system will tighten up the organizational aspects of your business, thereby tightening up the profit margins as well. Productivity constraints disappear and both execution and visibility of internal processes become optimized with a quality OpsX platform. With the right restaurant management software at your fingertips, your business will function better than ever before and will prosper in this age of technological reliance.

What Should You Get From an OpsX Platform?

The perfect OpsX platform for your business should be customized to your specific needs, after all, this is the restaurant management software that is going to oversee and organize all of your operations. While there are many minor details to consider, in general, these are the top three factors that must be included in your operations execution platform in order for you to get the most out of it.

1. Role and location-relevant reports  

Productivity, accountability, and compliance reports help you make decisions about the direction of your business. A good restaurant management software system will give you access to the most important data and reports, and enable you to see work completed by specific roles and/or locations; for example, seeing a report of all “travel path” submissions by managers, or recent food safety audit submissions by field employees.

This type of reporting gives you complete oversight and encourages corrective actions that help grow and optimize your operation.

2. Real-Time Tracking of Work 

How much time is really being spent on the projects and tasks associated with your business? With real-time tracking, you actually spend less time trying to track productivity and more time creating space for new endeavors. With data that shows exactly how much time each activity actually takes, in real time, you can design new ways to streamline your business operations and identify problematic areas.  Real-time tracking of work also allows you to plan team work schedules based on actual time frames instead of guesstimating. The result? Lots of new power and control over how and when work gets done so that you can spend more time growing your business.

3. Quantitative and Qualitative Metrics  

There is an old scientific saying that if something cannot be measured, then maybe it doesn't exist. Without getting into a philosophical debate about that, let's just say that when it comes to restaurant management software, the more metrics you can tap into the better. While you want your OpsX platform to offer different ways to set realistic goals that can be quantitatively measured, you also want “soft” measures, such as photos of prepared food or of the cleanliness of the store, to help assess store performance. Being able to measure and track both qualitative and quantitative measures means you can stay on top of all the factors that are important for the success and growth of your business.

Time to Consider What You Need From Your Restaurant Management Software

If you have made it this far, you understand why the right restaurant management software system can dramatically improve your operation. Now it's time to talk about the nitty-gritty: your exact requirements.  You have probably been considering investing in restaurant management software for quite a while, but we're not sure which system matches your needs. By using our Buyer's Guide to Operations Execution Software, you can walk through all the different functional and platform features to be sure that they match your needs exactly. When you have questions, we are here to help you design the right restaurant management software system for your unique business.

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