The Best 6 Software Strategies to Help Your Restaurant Management Software Thrive in 2022

2021 has seen a dramatic shift in the restaurant industry. Restaurants are now looking forward to another quiet holiday season due to COVID-19-related restrictions that have impacted in-person dining in many States. However, holiday parties are not the only money-maker for the fourth quarter. Some innovative changes to your Restaurant Management Software strategy could help you get a solid start for the new year.

These are our Top Tips for using your software tools to make your restaurant a success in 2022.

Add Online Ordering Channels to Your In-House

Customers prefer ordering delivery directly from restaurants to third-party apps, with 59% and 63% respectively. Over the past year and half, 98% of customers have used digital ordering. 70% of customers prefer to place orders online over in-person.

Restaurant Management Software

This all points to the importance of establishing online ordering channels within your company. Now is the best time to get them. You should consider offering delivery if your restaurant is in an area that experiences a lot of wintery weather. Your customers are more likely to order your delicious burgers if they don’t have to go through a snowstorm just to pick them up.

This service can be offered in many ways. Your cloud-based POS Software will likely offer an online ordering option. Some app-based POS Software offer an online ordering system for free or less than $15 per month. You can also choose from a variety of excellent website design platforms that specialize in creating custom-branded online ordering websites for restaurants.

Some website design platforms have a monthly fee. Some charge only a per order fee or processing fees for online payments. You may be able to find an online ordering system that is free, but these sites do not always allow you to accept online payments.

Loyalty Programs with Leverage

Loyalty programs are a favorite with customers. A recent survey found that 69% of respondents believed loyalty programs were encouraging them to make more frequent restaurant visits. According to the National Restaurant Association, repeat customers can account for as much as 64% of a restaurant’s revenue. It is a great way to create long-term success by turning first-time customers into loyal customers.

Nearly 80% believe loyalty programs should offer immediate benefits and not just tracking points. This is good news to restaurants. It is much easier to manage your expenses when you offer a complimentary appetizer or a complimentary dessert, than losing 100% of your revenue on a steak due to a customer applying all their loyalty points for one meal.

Almost all POS Software offer some form of loyalty tracking. Most Restaurant POS Software can be customized to track points and give a discount of a dollar or percentage. You can also reward loyal customers with one-time bonuses when they reach certain points. You can also integrate loyalty apps with different POS Software such as TapMango or Lunchbox if your POS doesn’t offer them.

Assess your Assets and Your Financial Needs

Most likely, you already use some kind of software for your restaurant. Software tools are often a source of conflict between restaurants. They can be difficult to use and not all functions may be covered. These frustrations are not always due to the apps.

Restaurant managers and owners don’t have enough time to understand all the functions of their software. They also have trouble keeping up with the latest developments in the software. This is a crucial step if your business has been struggling to stay afloat for the past year.

Many restaurant POS companies spent 2021 quickly developing new online ordering tools and delivery tools, customer relationships management, inventory management, and employee scheduling solutions. You may find that a POS Software you’ve used for five years has many new functions that can help you grow your business and cut down on time.

Take a look at the tasks that you depend on software for, and then note which daily tasks could be improved. Are the tools you use solving your problems, partially solving them or creating more work? Are the tools that you use to track inventory, sales, employee performance, and accounting all compatible? Is it because they aren’t capable of communicating with each other or because you haven’t integrated them? A training refresher could help you get the most out of your software.

Many restaurant software tools are offered on the software-as-a-service (SaaS) model. There are often multiple subscription tiers with different functions. Are the tools you use able to provide better support for you at a higher-tier subscription level? Are you spending too much on tools you don’t need? Do you have the budget to downgrade to a lower-priced subscription tier?

Make time to speak with your customer success managers or account representatives and adjust your subscriptions to meet your needs. Tell the truth about your needs and how you plan to use them. Restaurant software companies can only improve their products and services by having conversations with customers. They value your insights.

If your contract is due to expire soon, your rep will inform you about any system updates and new tools. They may also offer promotional pricing. Asking if they can lower your payment processing fees or offer a lower price is a good idea. Each penny saved can increase your bottom line.

Once you have assessed your current software, you will want to look into additional add-ons.

Add Waitlisting Tools

A waitlisting app can help you manage restaurant occupancy. A waitlisting app is a great alternative to a reservation system that can be hampered by no-shows. You can still use paper and pen to record customer numbers. But if you are short on staff, who will call waitlisted customers when there is a table available?

Waitlisting apps today automatically send text messages to customers by clicking a button. You can add customers to your waitlist immediately upon their arrival, or allow them to join the list before they arrive. Although most waitlists and reservation tools can be used as standalone applications, there are many cloud POS Software that integrate with multiple waitlist apps.

You can also find waitlisting software for free, but most of them charge a flat rate per month that can be anywhere from $24 up to $200. Most popular reservation systems like Resy, OpenTable and Eatapp include a wait list tool.

A Scheduling App will appeal to your staff

Smart scheduling apps that send schedules to employees’ smartphones used to be rare, but now almost all restaurant workers expect one. A scheduling app not only saves you time building weekly schedules manually, but it also tracks all requests and availability of your staff.

It’s no longer necessary to keep track of shift swap requests made on Post-it Notes, or wait until you get to the restaurant to approve a shift shift change. Scheduling apps can send you alerts to your smartphone, so you can make changes to your schedule from any internet-connected device. You can also track your labor costs and create schedules that fit within your labor budget. These apps aren’t just for multi-location restaurants. For small restaurants, there are many scheduling apps like 7Shifts or Homebase that offer tools such as 7Shifts.

Learn More About COVID Vaccine Tracking Applications

Many states have implemented COVID-19 vaccination tracking apps. The Excelsior Pass is the most advanced app available. It comes with a scanning app for businesses. New York restaurants can scan QR codes from their customers using an iPad or smartphone. The Excelsior Scanner app will show you if the record is valid. This tool is invaluable in New York City where proof of vaccinations is required to eat indoors. You can download the scanning app from both Google Play and Apple App Store.

MyIR Mobile is now a partner in Arizona, Louisiana and Mississippi. The app currently does not support scanning QR codes for vaccination records, but they plan to add this feature in the near future. Keep an eye out for any updates if your restaurant is in one of these states and requires proof of vaccination to allow indoor dining.

Bottom line

Winter without holiday parties does not have to be dark. It’s worth taking the time to evaluate your restaurant software strategy to help you grow your business over the coming months. Giving customers and employees access to the information they want, turning first-time guests into repeat customers, and planning to manage COVID-19-related restrictions in your local area are some of the best strategies. It doesn’t take much money to improve your software strategy. Nearly every tool mentioned here offers free or trial options to help you get started.

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