Restaurant Management Software: 6 Top Picks

The food and beverage industry is constantly evolving and restaurant owners need flexible software in place to keep up. With the right system, you can decrease costs and increase profits.

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Common functions of a restaurant management system

Important functions to consider when shopping for software include:

  • Simple order taking
  • Inventory control
  • Quality reporting
  • Table management
  • Employee timekeeping
  • Customer management
  • Tracking sales and taxes
  • Menu setup
  • Credit card processing
  • Gift cards capabilities
  • Collection customer data

The biggest benefits of using restaurant management software

Restaurant management software helps maximize profits, reduce costs, and provide top-notch customer service. Benefits include:

  • Improved communication
  • Greater flexibility
  • Fewer errors
  • More accurate forecasting
  • Labor cost savings

Following are summaries of 6 popular POS (Point of Sale) restaurant management systems along with reviews from real customers.

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1. TouchBistro Restaurant POS

TouchBistro is an iPad-based POS solution for all types of restaurants. TouchBistro comes complete with food service specific features and advanced management capabilities. Staff have the ability to bring the POS system to each table, allowing customers to pay bills or place orders. TouchBistro can manage split-checks and parties of various sizes. Receipts can be printed, if desired, or signed on screen and emailed. Detailed sales reports within the system can help provide management with insight into which items are selling the best.

A recent 5-star review reads:

Overall experience of this software is very positive. I have years of data saved conveniently and the everyday use of visual and set up is a breeze. This platform is the easiest I have used for a POS. Great visual display, very easy to access the info from any device. Perfect menu building.

A free trial is available here.

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2. Toast POS

Toast POS is billed as a single platform to power all types of food service businesses, including bars, quick service, and full-service restaurants. The platform combines POS and payment processing with a suite of third-party integrations to help restaurateurs improve operations, grow revenue, and enhance customer service.

For restaurants with table service, servers can easily process payments and take orders tableside using Toast's handheld tablets, known as Toast Go. Bars can track tabs and look up drink recipes.

Toast’s Payroll and Team Management product integrates POS and Payroll allowing seamless time tracking, approvals, and HR functions. It’s powerful reporting and analytics features allow restaurant management to identify opportunities for cost-savings, best-sellers, and much more.

Toast receives rave reviews online including:

My overall experience has been nothing short of amazing. I wish I switched to Toast long before I did. Toast offers the simplest POS interface I've ever used, if you can work an iPhone or iPad, you'll be flying through this system with no issues. I really don't have anything to say negatively about Toast, at first I was worried about the learning curve, but that was practically nonexistent.

Schedule a free demo here.

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3. Lavu

Lavu is a Point of Sale solution designed for use by restaurants, bars, and nightclubs - from full-service, quick-service, and franchise restaurants, to food trucks, coffee shops, and lounges. Users can choose between bar, restaurant, and quick-service interfaces, each designed for the correlating environment. The system allows users to customize most aspects, including unlimited menu modifiers, custom menu item icons, and layout. Lavu gives establishments the option to implement tableside ordering, supports take-out and delivery routing, and offers rewards and loyalty through an integration with Loyaltree, as well as an in-house program.

Lavu includes inventory management tools, including low-count warnings and an ‘86 countdown. Employee scheduling, shift-trading, and payroll reports are examples of what’s offered for Employee Management. Lavu offers a host of sales, inventory and expense reports that can be accessed anywhere with an internet connection. Currently being used in 89 countries, Lavu can be translated into any language.

A September 2019 review reads:

I absolutely love the point of sale system. Helps to be able to take orders from customers and send the order to the kitchen from the table. Then you can move on to the next table. It is so easy to learn and use. I like that you can go into the backside of the program and check your sales for the day, your amount of hours that you worked for the week and also what your own statistics are for tables waited on, amount of food you sold and what the prices of everything are. It is so Awesome!

Visit the Lavu website for more information.

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4. Epos Now

Epos gives users an instant overview of their restaurant business across all locations and devices and the ability to access real-time product, sales, and employee performance information. You can set individual and customized dashboards to access KPIs quickly, without having to run custom reports.

The Back Office feature will automatically generate staff hours with a clocking in and out system. Detailed employee reporting recognizes staff who are performing particularly well and will highlight those that are under-performing to identify any gaps in knowledge and training. The system encourages repeat business by adding customer details and collecting essential information like email addresses to keep customers updated with events and promotions. There’s also a loyalty module which allows you to provide customers with branded loyalty cards to redeem points for discounts on future purchases.

A recent review reads:

Best POS customer service provider out there! I appreciate the way Epos handles their customer support. It is pretty much 24/7 and the customer service dept is helpful and understanding of the clients, walking me step-by-step through any problems/questions I encounter. The thing I like most about the software is that I can access my data and sales information from anywhere. I can check/make changes at home from my mobile device, home desktop, or my laptop.

Visit the Epos Now website here.

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5. Upserve

Upserve is a complete restaurant management solution featuring an Android or iOS-based point-of-sale (POS) system, automated inventory management, sales analytics, and more. The platform offers shift notes, tip adjustments, check-splitting, an integrated logbook, and workforce management. Upserve also offers a table-side POS and allows front-of-house staff to assign tables to different zones and get a view of what is happening at the tables. Servers can course items, add modifiers, customize menus and fire orders with one tap while adding notes to checks that are seen by the front- and back-of-house. The “Upserve Live” feature lets users track sales, guest counts, and week-over- week trends.

Upserve is available on a monthly subscription basis including support via phone, email, and an online help-desk with 24/7/365 availability.

A December 2019 review reads:

Upserve is an easy point of use system to set up and use. New employees require very little training, as the interface is simple and intuitive. Likewise, setup and admin work is quick and easy to figure out, even for those of us who are not all too tech savvy. It is far more affordable than most POS software/hardware options, is reliable, and has great customer service.

Contact Upserve here.

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6. Cash Register Express

Cash Register Express (CRE) by pcAmerica is a point of sale solution for retail stores and small businesses including liquor stores, convenience stores, grocery stores, and other specialty retailers. CRE offers inventory management, customer loyalty, timecards, advanced reporting, and credit card processing integration. The application provides fast customer checkout and the ability to manage employee labor and marketing to customers based on purchasing trends.

Unlike cloud-based POS solutions, Cash Register Express can be purchased on a one-time basis with no ongoing payments and can operate independently from the internet.

A review on the website Capterra reads:

I did months & months of research on many (20+) different POS systems before deciding to finally make the switch to POS Nation (CRE). We have used 4 other systems in the past 37 years and I can already tell you POS Nation FAR exceeds any customer service and technical support we have ever received. It was a rocky transition (as expected) but support team and many others at POS Nation were extremely patient & supportive throughout the entire transition. If you are in need of a new POS system, I highly recommend considering POS Nation.

Schedule a demo here.

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