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As a restaurant manager, we know you would love to have more time to actually run your restaurant. You want to attract more revenue, increase the number of customers you can serve, and help ease your staff’s stress. At the same time, you wish there was a way to make inventory management and juggling your employees’ work schedules painless. 

If you’re internet savvy, you may have even started looking into restaurant management software solutions. However, as you dig into your research, you’re likely to find that there are several definitions for this term, and that the service offerings are widely varied. In this article, we’re going to give an overview of the two main focuses of most restaurant software: Front of House and Back of House. FYI, we’re leaving POS software in its own category entirely as it can integrate with either of these two categories.

Click here for more about integrating FOH with POS.

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Front of House Restaurant Software

The FOH is where diners have initial in-person contact with your restaurant. Making a great first impression is important here so that first-time guests turn into repeat fans of your food and business. FOH restaurant management software, such as TableUp’s platform, offers several modules that help you accomplish this as well as build a relationship with your customers after they’ve paid their bill.

These modules can also help your restaurant stand out in a saturated industry. Here are the areas where your restaurant can benefit from FOH restaurant management software.

Front of House Operations

Say goodbye to handing out physical pagers to your diners and fielding inquiries from them on how much longer they have to wait to be seated. FOH operations software integrates with your current POS and is accessible through a user-friendly iPad interface. Your staff can more easily manage seating and servers to increase table turnover. And your diners can see their place on the waitlist right on their mobile device—they can even pre-order food, decreasing dropouts.

Learn about TableUp’s restaurant pre-ordering software.

Your restaurant can accomplish the following with FOH operations software:

  • Increase table turnover through optimized seating and servers
  • Decrease customer wait times by managing reservations and waitlists
  • Reduce dropouts by allowing diners to view their position on the waitlist
  • Record your guests’ preferences for future dining experiences
  • Build long-term relationships with your guests
  • Obtain real-time guest and server analytics

Your diners will enjoy the following perks when you use FOH software:

  • Monitoring their position on the waitlist
  • Pre-ordering during their wait
  • Providing real-time feedback to management
  • Sharing dining preferences with wait staff
  • Connecting with your restaurant on social media, allowing for future marketing
  • Viewing custom announcements from your restaurant

FOH operations software makes for a more streamlined experience for both your staff and diners.

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Online Ordering

Studies show that diners value restaurants that offer online ordering. Incorporating online ordering software brings added convenience to your guests while creating an additional revenue channel for your business. Online ordering easily integrates with FOH software and it helps free your staff from answering the phone to take orders.

Loyalty/Rewards Programs

70% of a restaurant’s revenue is attributed to repeat diners, according to a National Restaurant Association study. However, many restaurants struggle with retaining customers. A loyalty/rewards program software module can help you create personalized loyalty programs, enabling you to offer more perks to your diners. It also eliminates the need for them to carry around a physical card.

Your diners can be rewarded for each purchase, receive discounts and merchandise, redeem rewards, etc. through an integrated loyalty program. You’ll maximize guest retention and revenue by customizing reward programs instantly, offering different types of loyalty options, and capturing diner data to know their preferences.

Marketing Automation

A built-in marketing automation tool with your FOH operations software allows you to quickly segment your customer base and send targeted promotions based on their preferences and historical spending at your restaurant. You can easily distribute marketing campaigns through email and mobile push notifications. Campaign performance analysis with detailed metrics allows you to fine-tune the next campaign.

Back of House Restaurant Management Software

You already know that your restaurant’s back of house operations is like an internal hidden engine that keeps your business humming along smoothly day to day. It’s also where an enormous amount of responsibility lies as you struggle to effectively manage your employees’ shifts, minimize food waste, and track your inventory. Trying to take care of these tasks the manual way can be time-consuming and confusing.

Restaurant management software for your BOH operations streamlines everything in a digital format so you’ll save time and can more easily make informed decisions about managing inventory and food costs.

Here are some of the BOH areas that can benefit from a quality restaurant software platform.

Workforce Management

Moving workforce management to a cloud-based platform creates convenience for you and your staff. Managers can approve time off requests, create staff schedules, and send messages about shift openings or important updates right from their smartphone, tablet or desktop. Team members are empowered to easily offer, pick-up, and swap shifts directly from their own smartphones, tablets, or desktop computers. The user-friendly interface is easy to use and encourages greater communication between management and staff.

Food Cost Management

Eliminate waste and reduce food costs by managing your food budget digitally. You can forecast your food production schedule based on historical consumption and sales projections. Food cost management can also help prevent fraudulent activities and minimize loss prevention.

Food cost management software can also analyze and optimize your menu so you can be assured your dishes are properly priced according to customer demand and food costs and to maximize revenue.

Inventory Management

Counting and managing inventory is one of the most tedious duties of running a restaurant. Inventory management software can transform the way you approach this task. It provides you with real-time tracking of all inventory levels from ordering to depletion at your restaurant and eliminates having to track inventory manually. It can be integrated with your vendor suppliers’ systems so you gain control of vendors, products, and prices available to the operations team.

With cloud-based inventory management, reporting is also available within seconds.

Which Restaurant Software Solution To Use?

As you can see, there’s really no “right” solution to choose, it’s more a matter of what fits your needs. In many cases, a restaurant may choose both an FOH and BOH solution to help streamline all aspects of running a hospitality-based business.

The best way to see if a platform feels right for your business is to request a demonstration with the company. This will give you a chance to see first hand how it can impact your business and to get all of your questions answered.

With the right software solutions, you will see your restaurant’s ROI increase and your day to day experience of running the business become significantly more enjoyable!

More Useful Resources

Offer Online Ordering to Your Restaurant’s Customers for Minimum Cost
Leverage Customized Restaurant Loyalty Programs
Engage Customers with Targeted Marketing Campaigns

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