Software for restaurants 101: an introduction for new restaurant franchisees
As a new restaurant franchisee, you’ve been provided with a lot of new hardware and software to run your business smoothly, but you may not know what the software does for each part of your business.
There’s the front of house, back of house, point of sales, drive-thru, etc., and every area has its own software with its own data to track, analyze, and use. All of this software is designed to streamline operations to help you understand what’s happening 24/7. Still, it can be overwhelming to understand right away, so we’re here to help!
Here are the software essentials for each area of your restaurant.
Front of house
Your front of house system includes everything that your guests see and interact with. The main component is your point of sale (POS) system, which could include credit card terminals or kiosks.
Understanding how your front of house works is key to making sales and streamlining operation. To do this, make sure your managers know the ins-and-outs of your front of house, so they can train your staff effectively. This ensures your front of house software boosts sales instead of hurting them.
Back of house
Your back of house system is a little more heavy duty than your front of house. Your guests will never interact with your back of house, but you and your staff will work with it every day. This system handles things like operations metrics, sales forecasting and scheduling, cash reconciliation, inventory systems, food and supply ordering and employee information. It helps you manage everything guests don’t see and is absolutely essential to making a profit.
Your back of house provides a lot of data. As a restaurant owner, you’ll need to know what numbers to pay attention to. Your software will help with this.
The right crew is essential for a profitable restaurant. Making your human resources processes smooth and easy to follow will help you keep the right people onboard. Your human resources software will support everything from hiring, onboarding, training, promotion, and termination.
Not only do you need to know how this software works, but your HR department needs to know, as well. Mistakes during the hiring process could lead to hiring employees who don’t fit well at your restaurant and, ultimately, increase your turnover rate. We know you don’t want that.
This type of software might also be called “voice of the customer.” Essentially, it lets you know what your customers are thinking, what they like, and, more importantly, what they don’t like. This software might include mystery shopper data, a complaint line/email address, and customer surveys.
This information will give you a pulse on how your restaurant is doing in the customer’s eyes. Don’t worry about tracking down every tiny mistake and trying to fix it. Instead, focus on the trends. For example, if your customers are consistently complaining about long wait times, identify the source of the problem and fix it. Doing this will help you make major improvements quickly and effectively.
The pros and cons of restaurant software
Like any other tool, software can be beneficial and challenging at the same time.
It’s great for storing all employee information, which keeps confidential documents safer. So, say goodbye to your file cabinet and endless rows of paper documents. You won’t be needing those anymore. In fact, paperless back of house reports can be viewed and printed on-demand, saving time and energy in filing.
Software solutions do have some drawbacks. For example, your employees must enter accurate data every time they use the system to generate correct data for you to analyze. Software doesn’t necessarily think for you (although some restaurant management systems do!), it usually just processes the data that’s entered. For your inventory to be accurate, the correct inventory must be taken and posted. For employee information and payroll to be correct, the entry must be timely and accurate.
Making sure your employees are well-trained on your systems and responsible when entering data is crucial to the success of your business. As long as that occurs, your software will be a huge asset.
Getting the whole picture
When your restaurant software is used consistently, it will give you a wealth of information, but tracking and understanding data from several different systems can be difficult and confusing.
The easy solution is putting all of these stats into one place. This makes comparing the information from every piece of software simple and shows trends that will help you make smarter decisions. Solutions, like Delaget Stats, allow you to easily analyze your data in hundreds of different ways. Perfect for a new restaurant owner looking to conquer the industry.