Behind every burger bar, coffee shop and bakery is a dedicated team working diligently to manage a restaurant’s operations. Whether that team consists of a single person or a group of six members, managing a business in the restaurant industry is no easy feat. With restaurant industry sales rounding out at $683.4 billion dollars in 2014 alone, the unmistakable need for restaurant management software to assist with back-office operations has grown increasingly.
Making the leap to a new platform is undoubtedly daunting, so much so that you might even turn a blind eye to the benefits that management software can offer your restaurant. With so many types of software platforms around, there is sure to be one that matches the needs of your restaurant. Whether you are still deciding to invest in restaurant management software or are researching defining functions, here are (in no particular order) four features of restaurant management software that can help streamline business operations.
Accuracy is crucial when managing the expenses and cost of a restaurant, as you always want to know where your resources are being allocated. With an intuitive inventory tracking system, you can order products, review purchase history, determine inventory usage and calculate the cost of goods sold. Many inventory management tools implement recipe management or cost recipes, where inventory stock counts are automatically updated when products are used. This way, no food cost – not even one tablespoon of salt – will go undetected.
A well-rounded system will also include an inventory waste log to track unused items. You can reduce costs by identifying accumulated waste and redefining what kind and how much of each product needs to be reordered during the next purchasing period. Food cost analysis reports help owners gauge their usage habits so that they can make better purchasing decisions based on their purchasing history.
Observe any successful restaurant and you will find hard-working employees at its core. With employee scheduling tools, many software platforms allow managers to easily create schedules for their workers. However, employees can request to swap shifts or take time off – with the granting approval of a manager – should a conflict ever arise. Integrated digital log books make it easy for employers to manage attendance and employees to view their timesheets.
In addition, labor law configuration ensures that all employers are compliant with the U.S. Department of Labor with regards to breaks, overtime and scheduling. Employee profiles also invite conversations between employers and employees for better communication. By incorporating interactive employee solutions, managers can track labor costs and control future costs with expense analysis forecasting.
Daily sales reports show how each day of business is going. With those reports, restaurant owners can visualize their actual usage costs and compare that to theoretical food costs. Fixed and variable budgeting efficiently tracks money to ensure even greater optimization. In robust accounting management modules, accounts payable are MICR-printed with electronic signatures and paid to vendors via ACH, while accounts receivable are billed automatically with house accounts.
Through the general ledger, profits and losses are calculated and displayed via a balance sheet. As the backbone of any accounting activities, general ledgers often provide audit history for complete transparency and guaranteed calculations, leaving little room for error when recording transactions and closing the books at the end of every period.
Technology has rapidly advanced in the last decade, with advanced mobile operating systems being one of the most prominent areas of growth. With smartphone and tablet mobility, restaurants gain convenient accessibility, especially when coupled with cloud storage. Cloud-based management does not confine the software to a computer with internet. Offline abilities eliminate the issue of having to access data where there is no internet connection. Business owners and restaurant managers can analyze their restaurant data from smartphones and tablets. This way, no area – not even freezers or an unloading truck – is off-limits, and multiple users can utilize the platform from their own device at the same time.
These four features only scratch the surface of what restaurant management software has to offer. While all four features are not essential to running a successful restaurant, a combination of the four would be sure to help you manage your restaurant with ease. Including restaurant management software allows business owners to focus more on their business as opposed to analyzing tedious paperwork.