Restaurant Software is a backbone for any modern Restaurant, Café or Takeaway business. Choosing the right one is very important for long term growth of the Restaurant. So, how should you select the right Software or the right Company which is offering these services? As, we live in Information age, too many Ads, Social Media Influencer and Unwanted stuff are making our life puzzling as compared to making it simpler. Which Software is best for your restaurant business, we shall try to present few tips to help you decide or shortlist the right Software Company offering best Restaurant Software in your area.
Tip# 1: Identify your Requirements
The first tip is related to the Restaurant Business Owner/Senior Management. You should know what you are looking for. A few guidelines are:
- Mark your restaurant type. i.e. Dine-In, Takeaway, Home Delivery, Café, Single Branch and Multi Branch.
- You should identify very clearly about the operations you want to automate. For Example, Point-of-Sale, Back-office and/or online.
- How much computer literate staff you are going to hire.
- What is the initial and monthly Budget you have for Restaurant System?
- Do you want to invest on Servers or would you want Cloud based Restaurant Software?
- What kind of basic information and Reports you are expecting to generate from Restaurant Software?
Tip# 2: Restaurant Software Types
As the technology evolving, the Restaurant Software and applications are also becoming more and more advanced. Normally, standard Restaurant Software are modular based which includes POS, Inventory, Accounts, Payroll and Attendance. More advanced Software like Plattium, comes with additional Software including, Tablet Ordering, Digital Menu, Digital Custom Feedback, CRM, Analytical Reporting, E-Commerce and Mobile APP for Ordering.
You should also consider choosing between On-Premises Restaurant Software vs Cloud Restaurant Software. For on premises, you need to maintain a separate Server in your Restaurant and you need an in-house IT resource or a regular contract with an IT Services providing company. For Cloud based Restaurant Software, you just only need a high-speed internet connection and focus on Sales. There are also Hybrid form of Restaurant Software available these days, suitable for high order volume restaurant businesses, which runs locally and sync data to the Cloud on regular basis. In such type of Restaurant Management Systems, if internet goes down, the Sales operations never stops.
Tip# 3: Referral
It is very important and convenient to ask for the Restaurant Software in your existing circle. Someone would definitely have good or bad experience in it. The referral could be from friends, family or staff. If you think the information is reliable, you can consider that Restaurant Software or atleast shortlist your search with its name in it.
Tip# 4: Search Google and read online forums
Another important place to search for Restaurant Software is Google. You can search for terms like “Restaurant Software”, “best Restaurant Software”, “Restaurant POS” and get the results instantly. You can also include your Country or City in search to get the list of Restaurant Software vendors in your locality. Normally the companies working on their branding and SEO are serious about their business and credibility, so you can shortlist few of them.
Tip# 5: Check Company’s History and Clients
Once you have shortlisted Restaurant Software companies based on Referral, Search or Social media, consider these points for further narrowing down your list:
- Visit website and read about the company providing Restaurant Software.
- Check the features of their Restaurant Software online and see if they match your requirements.
- Check their clients list.
- Download/View the demo of their Restaurant Software product.
- Talk to their representative and discuss any queries you have.
- Check the company’s credibility, age and outlook on Social Media forums.
Tip# 6: Look for local instead of international Restaurant Software Vendor
Once you search for Restaurant Software, you may find local, domestic as well international Software. Running and maintaining a Software is a long-term relationship. Just like you cannot change your restaurant building easily (unless there is a major flaw), you cannot also change the Restaurant Software more frequently (unless there are major problems in the Software). Software implementation requires deployment, hardware procurement, customization, staff training and a good after sales support. So, you should build up this relationship with a vendor which is easily accessible to you. Choosing the right Restaurant Software vendor only on the basis of features in her Software or its price, is definitely not advisable.
Also, the local Restaurant Software are designed specifically for local market, keeping in view of local requirements, whereas, the international Software are more generalized and are hard to customize.
Tip# 7: After Sales Support matters a lot
As mentioned in the previous tips that buying a Restaurant Software from a vendor means a long-term relationship with her. There might be many freelancers available in the market which are selling their own or international Restaurant software at cheap rates but this could be a trap. Normally the Restaurant Software price offered by companies with Development, Functional and After Sales Support Teams, is more on higher side but you will get the return on your money when they provide you support in odd times and keep running your system without compromising on your operations.
Tip# 8: Call for Restaurant Software Demo and check the Software features
Once you shortlisted Restaurant Software Companies (atleast 3) based on tips mentioned above, you can call these companies for Restaurant Software demo. During the demo, you can check for these points:
- Features in restaurant Software
- Restaurant Software price, including upfront and recurring
- User ease of using Software
- Management and user reporting
- Software Security
- Audit Trails
Tip# 9: Restaurant Software Customization and Integrations
In many cases, you may need Restaurant Software customization or integrations in start or near future. Customization includes adding additional features in Restaurant Software whereas Integration includes linking Software with other Systems, For Example, local Tax authorities, Payment Gateways, E-Commerce websites and/or Hardware devices e.g. programable keyboards or customer display counters. Usually, off the shelf Restaurant Software does not allow these functions. If you have any such requirements, you should consider asking this to Restaurant Software vendor before finalizing it.
Tip# 10: Turn Key IT Solution Provider Company
There must be Software vendors in the market which provide all IT services under one roof, just like Plattium. These services may include Restaurant Software, Hardware, Till Machines, Receipt Printers, and Networking. Working with such a company would help you to deal with a single company for all the IT needs. If you can find such a reliable company in your area, you should consider choosing it.
In the current era when we are bombardment with too much information, we need to do proper research in order to choose the right and best Restaurant Software for our business. As choosing the right Restaurant System is a critical and long-term decision, we hope that these few tips might help you to make the right and best choice. Once you short list your vendors, just negotiate and go ahead with your journey in digital age.