Operations Software: Everything You Need To Know As a Restaurant Manager

Published on:
June 8, 2024
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Running a restaurant may seem like a dream job from the outside looking in. A restaurant manager's typical workday can be perceived by those outside the sector to consist mostly of tasting new dishes, going to farmer's markets, and moving from table to table during the evening service, all the while lending a helping hand to their regulars. Projected annual sales in the restaurant industry are $863 billion – that’s 4% of the country’s gross domestic product.

The actual world of managing operations at a restaurant is a whole other story. There are a hundred smaller daily tasks that have to be finished as soon as possible in a functioning restaurant. Managers at restaurants must be skilled at juggling multiple tasks at once since they oversee the whole operation.

A restaurant manager has to be multi-skilled to keep everything operating effectively. Effective staff management, customer service, culinary expertise, and financial management are essential for successful restaurant operations. There is significant overlap between these abilities and other hospitality domains, such as bar and hotel operations management.

One of the most significant individuals in the restaurant is the manager, who plays a crucial role in the industry. Managers have a significant impact on how a restaurant is operated, much more so than head chefs and owners. A competent manager can often spell the difference between success and failure.

It may be challenging to execute and much more so to acquire good restaurant operations software. We'll discuss the value of operations management in a restaurant business in this blog, along with some practical advice that managers can apply to enhance restaurant operations management in their own companies.

The intricate challenge of managing a restaurant demands a careful balancing act between technology and managerial abilities.

If you want to succeed in the restaurant business and rise above other restaurateurs, you must use the best restaurant operations software. It can set successful restaurant owners apart from others who don't dominate the hospitality sector and bring in over $40 million annually.

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What is Restaurant Operations Management?

Although it is simple to describe, restaurant operations management can be quite complex in reality.

The process of managing a restaurant's day-to-day activities is known as restaurant operations management.

Managers oversee the running of restaurants. These managers will be in charge of the staff members and the business overall. 

There may be multiple managers in one business, depending on the size of the restaurant, and they often switch shifts. In a lot of restaurants, the manager doubles as the owner.

The manager has a lot of responsibilities when it comes to making sure the demands of the company are satisfied in the numerous facets of restaurant operations. The manager will increase the operational efficiency of the restaurant the more successfully daily activities are conducted. 

The restaurant owner or manager is also responsible for creating and executing a restaurant operations management plan.

This plan directs the restaurant's approach to the resolution of its ongoing problems. An effective plan could significantly improve restaurant operations management and change everything.

Why is Operations Management Important?

To put it simply, the difference between excellent and mediocre restaurants is operations management. Even if a restaurant has competent operations management, inefficiencies will eventually creep in. If these inefficiencies are not addressed, they will worsen and eventually become unmanageable, ultimately causing the company to fail.

The restaurant can lose money from inefficiencies like food waste or bad scheduling that might have been reinvested in the operation. These problems can be resolved by an experienced manager or one who is supported by an intelligent hospitality point of sale [POS] system before they become much more complicated.

More importantly, managers who implement effective operational techniques improve the work environment for their team members. The core of the restaurant industry is the collaboration of front-of-house and back-of-house staff to provide superior customer service.

Your employees will create better meals and work harder to improve client satisfaction if they are pleased with what they are doing.

Purpose of Restaurant Operations Software 

Restaurant operations software, sometimes referred to as restaurant management systems, is an essential digital tool for food service businesses. They act as a digital point of focus that helps managers and owners of restaurants carry out a variety of daily tasks effectively. Among these are a few of these:

  • Order Processing
  • Audits and Inspections
  • Digital Checklists
  • Inventory Management
  • Work Order Management
  • Table Reservation Management
  • Corrective Actions
  • Employee Scheduling
  • Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

The main goals of restaurant operations software. are to maximize resource allocation, automate repetitive manual operations, and improve your daily workflow. so that you may efficiently and affordably manage the operations of your business. 

Advanced features like POS system integration, online calendar sharing, and online ordering solutions are also included in some of the best restaurant operating platforms. These enable you to build an all-encompassing ecosystem that raises profit margins and improves operational execution effectiveness through software.

The Importance of Restaurant Operations Software

Getting restaurant operations software is a wise investment since it facilitates the following tasks:

  • Reduce Manual Errors – By automating administrative tasks, you can streamline restaurant operations and lessen the need for human involvement in critical procedures. These include monitoring inventory levels and order supply.
  • This reduces the possibility of human mistakes.
  • Enhance Customer Satisfaction – Your restaurant staff can concentrate on more important tasks thanks to automation. Assume for the moment that you buy inventory management software. 

To cut down on wait times, other software enables your kitchen staff to deliver meal orders straight from the customer's table to the kitchen. You can increase client satisfaction and loyalty by offering exceptional customer service with the support of all these choices.‍

  • Improve Labor Management – You can keep track of staff schedules, hours worked, and general performance with the use of restaurant operations software. By using this information, you may reduce labor expenses and increase staff productivity.‍
  • Make Better Decisions – Real-time performance analytics are provided by some of the top restaurant operations software solutions. You'll understand what aspects of your company are successful and what needs development. After that, you can make data-driven choices to grow and develop your weak areas.
  • Improve Your Bottom Line – Food cost control is made easier with excellent restaurant operations software. To increase revenue and decrease food waste, it can strategically arrange your menu and prices. To reduce food waste, 28% of restaurants repurpose food trimmings, 26% offer varied portion sizes, and 25% compost.

Key Features to Look for in Restaurant Operations Software

A few essential features and services to look for in a food company management platform are listed below. These include components that enhance essential front- and back-of-house activities, like:

  • Multiple Location Management: This function makes sure that you can quickly monitor and manage all of your restaurant's locations from headquarters. All of your end-of-day restaurant report analysis, promotion application, and inventory level checking can be done in one location. 
  • Audits and Inspections: Get regular and systematic evaluations of restaurant facilities, processes, and compliance with health and safety regulations. By implementing scheduled audits and inspections, restaurant managers can ensure consistent standards are met, identify areas needing improvement, and mitigate risks associated with non-compliance, ultimately maintaining a safe and efficient environment for both staff and customers.
  • Digital Checklists: Transform traditional paper-based tracking into a more dynamic and accessible format. These checklists can be used for opening and closing procedures, cleaning schedules, and food safety checks. The real-time updating and sharing capabilities staff can more accurately and efficiently complete daily tasks, with managers able to monitor progress and compliance remotely, ensuring operational consistency and accountability.
  • Restaurant Task Management: Managers can create tasks, track their progress, and document the completion of each process. By effectively managing maintenance tasks, restaurants can reduce downtime due to equipment failure, extend the lifespan of their assets, and ensure that all facilities are functioning optimally, which is critical for smooth operations and customer satisfaction.
  • Employee Scheduling: Staff schedule management can be difficult, but RMS makes it simple. Without the headache of manual scheduling, RMS's timekeeping, payroll processing, and scheduling tools help you make sure you have the right people in the right place at the right time.
  • Corrective Actions: When issues are identified during audits or daily operations, the corrective actions feature helps managers quickly assign and track remediation tasks. This ensures that any deviations from standard procedures are addressed promptly, thereby reducing the risk of food safety incidents, improving operational efficiency, and maintaining high standards of customer service. 
  • Customer Relationship Management (CRM): Use the CRM capabilities from RMS to establish lasting relationships with your clients. To keep your customers coming back for more, collect customer data, monitor their preferences, and send them targeted SMSs and promos.
  • Table Management: You can handle bookings, organize seating arrangements, and cut down on guest wait times with the help of RMS's table management tool. Taking advantage of the QR ordering tool will ensure a flawless eating experience from beginning to end.
  • Analytics and Reporting: With RMS's end-of-day restaurant report, you can learn important details about how well your restaurant is doing. RMS gives you the information you need to make wise business choices, whether you're assessing staff performance, keeping an eye on inventory levels, or reviewing end-of-day restaurant reports.

Types of Restaurant Operations Systems Available

A restaurant operations platform can handle almost all of your culinary operations. You don't have to purchase them all, however. 

To maximize your restaurant business's success, several kinds of restaurant operations software are required. For a variety of uses, you need the following crucial RMS types:

Inventory Management Software

The back office software you need to monitor the current condition of the inventory in your restaurant includes inventory management solutions. You won't need to constantly go around checking inventory since they automate the whole process of inventory monitoring. 

These solutions provide you peace of mind so you can focus on other areas of your business while saving you time. 

Make sure the inventory resturant operations program that you choose has the following features:

  • Inventory at the ingredient level: By doing this, food waste may be avoided and overstocking or understocking can be avoided. 
  • Monitoring in real-time to determine which goods are selling quickly and which ones aren't. You can replenish the necessary things in the appropriate amounts and at the appropriate times by using automatic stock alerts that provide a prediction of what's needed.
  • Permit the establishment of purchase orders and buying administration. 
  • Digitalization and innovation in the food sector.

Food Costing Software

A restaurant owner's average income is reduced by 35% due to food expenditures.

Software for food costing can assist you in reducing these expenses and raising your profit margins. It accounts for the price of your ingredients and offers comprehensive statistics about the expenditures associated with preparing various cuisines. After that, you can determine your dish's pricing appropriately to cover all of your preparation expenses and turn a healthy profit.

Essential features to take into account in food pricing software include the following:

  • Considers labor expenses as well as other fixed costs
  • Emphasizes the meals that bring in the greatest revenue to guide your marketing strategies.
  • Provides facilities for custom pricing, so you should be able to test out several price points to choose the ideal ones and maximize your earnings.
  • You can evaluate whether meals are worth selling by calculating the profit margins they provide.

Menu Management Software

Restaurant menu design and maintenance are made easier using menu-building software. These systems take into account the cost of food and use the latest menu engineering techniques to assist you in creating appealing menus that increase sales.

The following are essential characteristics to look for in menu-building and restaurant operations software:

  • Menu builder that you can drag & drop
  • Completely customizable
  • Encourage exceptional deals.
  • Encourage the production of QR code menus

Point-of-Sale (POS) System

When paying for a high-ticket item (e.g. fancy dinner), 88% of guests pay with their card. 

One of the most efficient tools for maximizing the operation of your restaurant is a point-of-sale system.

A computer and cash register together create a contemporary point-of-sale system. With just one dashboard, you can handle client payments, issue receipts, and manage the whole service station.

What your ideal point-of-sale system needs to do is fulfill the following tasks:

  • Monitor important sales data
  • Accept a variety of payment options, including credit card payments
  • Keep track of cash flow
  • Make reports on sales

Restaurant Reservation Management Systems

To transition from a manual pen-and-paper booking system to an online one if your restaurant accepts reservations, you'll need well-designed reservation management software. This enables you to get additional reservations via several online resources. 

Instead of phoning and asking you to take notes, customers may reserve their seats by submitting their information via your restaurant's website or mobile app. This saves you a great deal of time.

Comprehensive table management options are another feature of the top reservation management software. These let you make the most of the space in your restaurant by arranging seats according to your floor plan.

The following features are essential to look for in these platforms:

  • Facilitate online reservations in many locations via various methods.
  • Customized reminders, which can be sent via direct SMS updates or time-sensitive alerts, can help decrease no-shows.
  • Maintains visitor data for use in future marketing campaigns, such as delivering personalized offers via email on their birthdays, anniversaries, or other noteworthy events.
  • To avoid overbooking, you can choose certain tables for walk-in clients and others for reservations. 

Labor Management

Labor management solutions improve employee performance and provide your team members with a positive work environment. Staff schedules can be arranged based on each employee's optimal working hours, enabling them to provide top-notch services.

Payroll creation and monitoring functions are also included in staffing solutions, which makes it simple to properly and on time compensate your employees.

The main factors to take into account in this situation are:

  • An instinctive approach to shift management
  • Direct contact with staff members, particularly during shift changes
  • Compliance with labor regulations
  • Labor-cost control

Online Ordering Software

With more customers choosing to eat at home, accepting online orders is essential to the success of any business. Look for an online order system that:

  • Offers a user-friendly design along with a variety of online buying alternatives. 
  • Enables tracking of delivery services

Restaurant CRMs

CRMs for restaurants assist you in keeping positive client interactions and promoting repeat business. The following features are ideal for CRM solutions:

  • Keep track of and retain client information for marketing needs
  • Gather input from clients
  • Implement loyalty schemes 

Reporting and Analytics

Sophisticated analytics and reporting tools are critical for monitoring your company's overall performance and pinpointing areas for expansion throughout your business.

Whether your objective is to increase sales, reduce labor expenses, or boost staff productivity, this program gives you the information you need to make wise strategic choices and achieve your objectives.

The following features are essential for reporting and analytics software: 

  • Real-time sales performance tracking
  • Easy-to-interpret advanced analytics

The Benefits of Restaurant Operations Management Software

While many restaurant operations software solutions are designed to address various issues, such tools can usually be linked to the following general benefits:

Improve Time and Resource Efficiency

The capacity of restaurant operations software to increase efficiency is one of its major possible advantages. Many software solutions include an automation feature that allows calculations to be completed instantly and allows for the completion of repetitive or predictable operations without requiring your hand.

Optimizing the usage of materials, equipment, and other company resources may be achieved via restaurant operations software, and organizations can also benefit from increased staff utilization as a result of time-saving. This is important because waste reduction or elimination can boost profitability for businesses in the food sector.

Reduce or Eradicate Human Error

No matter how skilled and knowledgeable humans are about what they do, human error still happens. An employee could compute something incorrectly, enter the wrong value into a system, forget a crucial component of an equation, or type something improperly.

Restaurant operations software for restaurant management can significantly minimize or perhaps eliminate human error. In addition to data consistency arising from data sharing across apps and the ability to completely automate other restaurant processes so they are never inadvertently forgotten, the software conducts computations and provides consistently correct responses.

Increase Revenue and Profit

Workers might not be required to put in as much overtime thanks to automation, which can potentially allow restaurants to run with a smaller crew.

Accurate data enables managers and other higher-ups to make more evidence-based choices at the right time to maximize financial outcomes.

For example, the restaurant can swiftly adapt by identifying fluctuations in demand and ordering fresh supplies at the ideal moment.

Tips for Management Success in the Restaurant Business

It requires a lot of attention to detail and expertise to run a restaurant right. When anything goes wrong, the humble restaurant manager is often the first to know and is expected to correct issues right away.

We've put up a handy list of suggestions to assist managers remain on top of operations management. The fundamentals of maintaining a restaurant's health and efficiency are covered in these guidelines.

Build a Culture of Trust

There are a lot of dominant personalities and concepts in the restaurant business.

It's easy to forget that your employees are the true heart of the company if you're not paying attention. You couldn't run a restaurant and serve food to customers if you didn't have front-of-house and back-of-house staff working in sync.

Particularly high turnover rates are known to exist at the lowest echelons of the hospitality business, such as in the case of waiters and line cooks. These employees typically see what they do as a means of advancing their careers in other fields or as a last resort until they can find employment elsewhere.

It is the manager's or owner's responsibility to cultivate a solid working relationship with the employees. Your staff will be more committed to the restaurant if they are given the impression that their needs and views are valued. The management and team member's confidence in one another could significantly improve the overall performance of the business.

Optimize Inventory Management and Reduce Food Waste

Proper management of food inventory is crucial for the success of any restaurant. Without the right ingredients, kitchens struggle to deliver high-quality meals, potentially leading to a decrease in customer satisfaction and a significant drop in restaurant sales. It is essential to ensure that operations continue smoothly by effectively managing your food inventory.

Although fresh ingredients are key to producing high-quality dishes, they can spoil quickly if not handled correctly. While some level of spoilage is inevitable, minimizing food waste is crucial because it represents a significant cost with no return on investment for the restaurant.

Managing food inventory manually can be time-consuming and inefficient. To streamline this process and enhance efficiency, managers should consider utilizing restaurant operations software.

Reduce Labor and Food Expenses

Restaurants run on very narrow profit margins. Operators of restaurants are always searching for ways to reduce expenses, often by making budget cuts. Walking the tightrope between cutting expenses and maintaining high-quality food and service is challenging for management.

For every restaurant, the largest costs are labor, food, rent, and insurance. Rent and insurance premiums are usually hard to change, even if you may be able to bargain for them. Managers could influence labor and food expenses even more.

Food waste can come from poor inventory management in restaurants, as we have already discussed. Spoiled food equals wasted money, so get it under control. Spend some time every morning reviewing your food storage practices, utilizing your POS system to verify inventory levels, and making sure you're making the most of what you have. This will increase food safety and help save money.

It's not only wasted ingredients that contribute to food costs. Discuss your inventory expenses, including wholesaler and other food supplier pricing with your chef. Even though you should stay away from purchasing inferior materials, you may be able to negotiate better prices with other vendors.

Reducing food expenses is very simple while reducing labor costs requires more skill and attention to detail. 

The employees at your restaurant do much more than just deliver food, so keeping a positive working rapport is crucial.

You must establish and adhere to an operations strategy if you want to reduce labor expenses. Be careful to create schedules that only include the people you need for that particular shift. Your POS system's scheduling software can be quite beneficial in this regard. Additionally, try not to hire more assistance than you need.

Elevate Staff Training Standards

Restaurants, like many other hospitality-related businesses, depend on positive word-of-mouth to promote their brand and draw in new customers. It implies that each time somebody enters your restaurant, they should have a satisfying experience.

Ensuring that each staff member receives excellent training is the main strategy by which you can offer this positive experience. In addition to greeting guests and taking care of their dietary needs, your servers must be able to serve food. Your kitchen employees must sharpen their knife skills, be confident in their prep work, and assist when required.

Collaborate with your staff members and learn about their strengths and weaknesses. With this knowledge, you can develop training programs that will improve their performance in their current roles.

You have to have a conversation with them and find out what they want from their business. The talents of your employees have a direct impact on their productivity.

Harmonize Complex Restaurant Operations with Xenia

Xenia is the all-in-one restaurant operations management solution that makes managing your restaurant's operations as smooth as your best gravy.

Imagine having everything—from daily task management and compliance to maintenance and operations—all neatly organized in one powerful dashboard. 

That's our all-inclusive solution for you!

With Xenia, you can stop worrying about the chaos of managing multiple locations. Toggle seamlessly between locations, set up unlimited workspaces, and keep your standards sky-high with customizable checklists that ensure consistent quality across the board. 

And because it’s mobile-friendly, your team can stay on top of tasks from anywhere—whether they’re in the kitchen or on the floor.

But that's not all. Xenia also takes your food safety management, alongside a slew of different restaurant operations, seriously. 

With automated temperature monitoring and smart inspections that include conditional steps and corrective actions, you can ensure that everything is regulated and there’re no near misses anymore. 

Assign and track work orders, conduct mobile inspections with image attachments, and chat in-task to keep everyone in the loop.

Get started for free with Xenia and transform the way you manage your restaurant. Less stress, more success—that’s our promise

Let’s make it happen!


How Much Does Restaurant Operations Software Cost?

Depending on the features and services provided, restaurant operations software varies in price.

As little as $40 a month can be spent on basic restaurant management software. To gain the whole set of capabilities you want to manage your restaurant operations with ease, you'll probably need to add other software to these.

You'll need to spend a significant amount of money, but it's worth it to have a complete solution with almost all the necessary capabilities on one platform. The majority of suppliers demand that you get precise prices by contacting their sales staff.

What is CRM in a Restaurant?

Restaurants can quickly gather, store, and manage critical customer data with the use of a CRM, which they can then utilize to customize the in-service and marketing experiences for their customers. By doing this, restaurants increase customer loyalty and income.

What are the 3 core principles of a successful restaurant?

  1. Quality of Food
  2. Exceptional Customer Service
  3. Consistency
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