Many restaurant operators today can make an overnight decision to upgrade their technology capabilities with little hassle. The return on investment is clearly worked out. And it can be clearly tabulated regarding reduced costs, which is largely a function of enhanced staff productivity and good management of resources. It can also be a measure of achieved financial targets, or growth in revenue, which is correspondingly a function of happy and satisfied guests, who keep returning because they were pleased the first time.
And in some cases, a technological upgrade would be warranted when the restaurant has to serve an increased number of diners and guests simultaneously. So, the ability to improve income through advanced inventory and labor management can help justify your investment. What to consider If you are looking to buying a restaurant management system, what salient features do you need to find? Here is our list.
A Restaurant Management System
There are currently many restaurant management systems on the market. And many appear on iPads. So, finding the right system for your restaurant can be a daunting task. Do a little research and consider what you can afford to spend? Keep in mind the license fees, the cost of hardware and any monthly software support costs.
Locally installed or web-based
More and more restaurants are adopting systems that store data and updates on a cloud-based server. More restaurateurs are running away from the old-school type systems that update data on a computer located on the premises.
Easy to use
Many restaurant management system developers offer a free trial of the software. Grab this opportunity to check out how easy the system is to use. Run it like it is a live environment much the same way you test drive a car before purchasing it. Invite your own staff who will be using it to run it. Their feedback will be crucial because they’ll determine if it will run smoothly or it will develop bottlenecks in your absence. Examine every nook and cranny of the software and be entirely sure of what you’re buying.
Have a critical look at the features each management system has to offer. If you are not good at assessing software lingo, do not worry, but use simple analogies when evaluating features: “Is it a must-have?” “It’s nice, but it’s not a priority for now,” The objective is to have a system that caters for all your restaurant’s Point-Of-Sale must haves. Let the check-list below form a robust assessment of the most vital features:
• Do you require an accounting software to be integrated?
• Do you like to receive orders online?
• Do you like customers booking tables online?
• Do you want a system that tracks recipe ingredients? For every meal?
• Do you need a credit card processor?
• Will you accept mobile payments?
• Do you like receiving tips?
• Do you have your features you’d like incorporated into the system?
The testing period in a live environment is the ideal moment to test out the management system’s customer support. That is the reason you give out a monthly payment. So, check out if they are responsive. Are they fast enough to resolve a problem before things get haywire in your restaurant? Is their website updated regularly regarding feature tips, educational information, and any troubleshooting guidelines? Do they have a help desk or forum for channeling queries and are they active? If you type a query in the problems box, will a rep be dispatched right away? Are they available at all hours? Is the support available after midnight or during weekends? For some strange reasons those are the times, most problems tend to occur. Just when customer support is out of reach.
Take time and conduct a little research before making a decision. Better delay buying until you are certain you get the right system. Delayed time will be compensated by a reliable quality system that will not break down in the hour of need.