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In this digital age, restaurants must ensure that their technology infrastructure is up-to-date and secure. Having robust software and IT systems in place allows for efficient and effective operations, higher customer satisfaction rates, more informed decision-making, and improved financial performance.

In this article, we’ll discuss some of the most important software elements of a restaurant’s ecosystem including:

  • Point of Sale (POS) systems
  • Kitchen Display Systems (KDS)
  • Table Management Systems (TMS)
  • Inventory Management Systems
  • Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems
  • Marketing Automation Systems
  • Accounting and Financial Management Systems
  • Reporting & Analytics Systems

A restaurant Group's Software & IT Ecosystem

Point of Sale (POS) Systems

POS systems are used to process orders digitally in restaurants. They help to streamline payments, manage inventory levels, track customer information and purchases, and if done well, provide a user-friendly interface for your servers and cashiers to quickly process customer bills at the end of their dining experience in your venue. Most POS systems also provide tools to enable coupon codes, discounts and promotions allowing businesses to increase sales with carefully planning marketing campaigns and events.

Key Components of a Good POS System

  • Easy to use and understand interface
  • Simple set-up of new menu items, specials or promotions
  • Real-time data dashboards, reports and analytics
  • Flexible payment processing options, such as split bills
  • Integration to leading EFTPOS solutions
  • Offers functionality to manage customer loyalty programs
  • Integration with Kitchen Display Systems (KDS)

Kitchen Display Systems (KDS)

KDSs are a combination of hardware and software used for order placement and kitchen management. These systems aim to help front-of-house, and kitchen staff communicate and collaborate quickly. They allow chefs to view either printed or digitally displayed orders as soon as customers place them so they can start cooking immediately. A good KDS also enables efficient stock tracking by providing alerts when food supplies are running low or need reordering. Additionally, KDS can facilitate shift changes between cooks by displaying instructions for each dish being prepared in the kitchen at the time of handover.

Key Components of a Good KDS System

  • Quick response when receiving orders from POS
  • Robust integration options for Point of Sale systems
  • Simple hardware that is easy to reload consumables such as docket paper
  • In-kitchen alerts when orders are not printed properly
  • Integration with Table Management Systems (TMS)

Table Management Systems (TMS)

TMS’s help restaurants manage reservations, seating arrangements and waitlists effectively. A good TMS allows servers to take orders from tables quickly with digital menus displayed on their tablets or phones, or more recently as a dedicated tablet PC on each table. TMSs can also keep track of customer preferences if they are regular diners, so wait staff can serve them better in future visits. A TMS is especially useful during peak hours when lines tend to be long since they can allow customers to check in remotely which greatly cuts down time spent waiting at the restaurant entrance.

Key Components of a Good TMS System

  • Real-time table updates on seating availability
  • Reliable connectivity to the POS
  • Waitlist tracking to ensure accurate wait times are given to customers
  • Integration with POS systems for easy checkout of orders from tables
  • Customisable menu display options

Inventory Management Systems

Some more comprehensive POS solutions also offer inventory management as a core module. Inventory management systems help restaurants to keep track of food stocks and ingredients accurately without manual counting or paperwork. This helps them better manage their purchasing decisions as well as provide real-time reports on the usage of all ingredients used in meals served at their restaurant outlets. Restaurants using these systems often have greater control over their costs enabling them to achieve higher profits while ensuring high-quality products are served consistently across all outlets at all times.

Key Components of a Good Inventory Management System

  • Easy input of stock and ingredient details
  • In-depth reporting capabilities to keep track of usage patterns
  • Two-way Integration with other systems for automatic updating
  • Ability to compare pricing across multiple suppliers automatically
  • Customisable alert system when stocks are running low

Having robust software and IT systems in place allows for efficient and effective operations, higher customer satisfaction rates, more informed decision-making, and improved financial performance.

Tiernan O'ConnorSales Director - DWR
Tiernan OConnor

Tiernan O'Connor is an accomplished Sales Director and NetSuite expert at DWR Consulting, a top-tier NetSuite Solution Provider and Implementation Partner. With over 25 years of experience in Sales, Marketing, Cloud ERP and technology, Tiernan has become a trusted authority in the NetSuite Partner community, helping businesses of all sizes streamline their operations and achieve success. Tiernan's in-depth understanding of NetSuite's capabilities and his extensive experience in implementing cloud-based ERP solutions have positioned him as a thought leader in the industry. He is known for his ability to identify and execute tailored strategies that meet each client's unique needs, ensuring they unlock the full potential of NetSuite's powerful features. Connect with Tiernan on LinkedIn

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