Introduction to Restaurant Management
If you own, manage, or work in a restaurant or any F&B business, you can appreciate how challenging and tedious it can be. From inventory planning to the management of the workforce, every small-to-big task has its own set of challenges and obstacles. Especially in the Post-coVID world when sanitization is more important than ever, abiding by the standard operating procedures is essential. It can be really hard to manage all these things manually, which is why you need a Restaurant Management System to reduce your management bandwidth and optimize the efficiency of your internal processes.
Be it a cloud kitchen that you are running, or a quick-service restaurant, business, all sorts of F&B businesses require an efficient restaurant management system to run their business smoothly and manage their data digitally. We live in the 21st century which is the age of information, growth without data is impossible in today’s world.
What is a restaurant management system?
Restaurant Management System is a software solution that helps in the automation, digitization, and optimization of the various operations of your F&B business.
Be it the management of inventory, supply-chain, stocks, vendors, orders, or work-force, an efficient restaurant management system lets you take care of all of that with just a few clicks.
Most evolved restaurant management systems these days are cloud-based. This keeps your data secure on their servers so that you can access them from anywhere, anytime, and get real-time updates.
From handling back-end operations like supply chain and inventory management to front-end operations like Billing and managing Reservations, an efficient software solution can help streamline all of these.
Since you can’t take care of everything on your own, Restaurant management systems are one of the best ways to help you continue to increase your profits, reduce your wastage, increase customer satisfaction, and build better processes.
Features that Restaurant Management Systems must have:
1. Point of Sales solution
The restaurant POS system takes care of all your orders and transactions. This removes the chances of errors while order taking. The process becomes faster and more efficient as you can use your sales data and order history to optimize the process. The restaurant staff can send order details directly to the kitchen from the table.
2. Inventory Management System
The POS system accounts for the items sold and an efficient Inventory management system can use that data to assess the depletion of inventory.
This can help you keep a real-time check on the status of raw material and give you alerts when it is time to order something that’s depleting fast. It helps in cost reduction and avoiding food wastage due to overstocking. Automated Inventory updates make ordering and sourcing supplies easy.
3. Recipe Management System
Any good inventory management system takes your recipes into account while calculating the depletion of raw materials based on each item that’s sold.
So when you are selling a burger, for instance, it calculates the bread, mayonnaise, sauce, lettuce, patty, etc that have been consumed for it and reduces it from the inventory.
This also allows you to keep a check on whether or not your recipes are followed and maintain the quality of food you are providing.
4. Procurement and Vendor Management System
The process of buying raw materials from vendors can be really tiresome. There are already too many challenges involved, like the selection of material, storage conditions, etc. But if the process of buying itself is all manual, there are chances of errors and delays.
An efficient Restaurant management system has built-in vendor management capabilities. That allows you to digitize the process of purchase and management of your vendors. This helps you optimize the buying process and give you real-time updates on all steps.
It enables transparent two-way communication, higher-order visibility, and better cash flows. You can generate orders based on par-levels, manage and compare vendors effectively.
With digital ledgers in the restaurant management system, it is super easy to manage your books. You can keep track of your payment ledgers which are created for both restaurants and suppliers. Integrations with accounting software like Quickbooks help you import all your data seamlessly.
For someone who is running the game, the reports are very important to keep a check of numbers. At any point, you should be aware of what’s progressing and what’s causing you loss. The Restaurant management software provides the option of creating a number of analytical reports providing real-time information. There can be a variety of custom reports such as sales reports, purchase reports, ledger, and wastage reports.
7. Customer service
Any F&B business needs it’s customers to also be it’s brand ambassadors. Word-of-mouth is essential to growing the business.
With an advanced restaurant management system, you can establish a channel of communication with your customers. It in turn allows you to stay in touch with them and keep them updated on offers, upgrades, etc in your business.
The established F&B businesses use these features for customer-loyalty and feedback, in order to grow their business by improving service quality and building a community of their customers for increased loyalty.
8. Supply-Chain Automation
An advanced restaurant management system can go beyond the tracking of stock-outs. You can use its automation feature to set-up rules for automatically ordering the inventory when the stocks are about to run out.
For example, if your system indicates that the rice will run out in 2 days. Based on the consumption forecast, your restaurant management system can automatically place the order for rice from your preferred supplier as per the rules defined by you.
9. Payment Integrations
While most of your payments today are coming via PayTM or card swipe machine. A restaurant management system can integrate with your payment mediums and fetch the details automatically. This makes it easier for the reconciliation of accounts and maintaining the books all in one place.
10. Table Management
At the peak hours when all the tables are occupied and online orders just don’t stop coming in, manually keeping a track of it all can lead to errors.
A restaurant management system can help you digitize the ordering process while segmenting the orders per table or items per order.
Hence, reducing the chances of errors.
11. Payroll Management
Running a restaurant requires managing a lot of tasks all at once. The last thing you want to get involved in is maintaining the attendance and calculating the salaries of your staff. A restaurant management system can help you automate the attendance process, leave management. It can also allow you to run performance programs, reward programs, or notify you when a hike is due.
12. Bar-code Scanning
If your outlet deals in packaged items or beverages, a bar-code scanner can help you quickly generate bills without entering information manually. Besides this, you can log the inventory deliveries by scanning their bar codes.
A restaurant management system keeps the track of bar code information. That you can also allocate to your products so that the cashier doesn’t have to enter the information manually.
Besides this, you can log the inventory deliveries by scanning their bar codes.
13. Logistics and warehousing
The restaurant management system can integrate with your logistics & warehousing system to help you optimize your warehousing and logistics costs. Save money and get extra time at your hand by removing the need of managing it manually.
At the end of the day, all it comes down to is your personal requirement. Based on the type of F&B business that you are running, your requirements can vary. So first of all, you need to understand which features are the ones that you’ll be needing in the next 5 years forecast and then choose the software which you can go along with for at least a couple of years.
Changing the software is tiresome and challenging, as the staff needs time to adapt to changes, and learning new software isn’t easy for everyone.