Computer programs in gastronomy
In the restaurant market, we distinguish a lot of programs that are designed to facilitate the work of owners and employees of gastronomic establishments. The functionalities of the individual programs for gastronomy vary significantly and finding the most suitable one may be a challenge for a restaurateur. Therefore, in today’s article, we will take a closer look at the various types of software available on the gastronomy market and suggest what to consider when choosing one of them.
Which software for gastronomy is the best one?
Before choosing the right software for gastronomy, it is worth clarifying our expectations. Each restaurant has different needs, so it needs different TOOLS. Therefore, software ideal for one restaurant will not necessarily work in a gastronomy establishment with a completely distinct business profile. It is just like with hand tools – we have a masonry hammer and a carpenter’s hammer. For a bricklayer, a carpenter’s hammer is worthless and…, vice versa 🙂
Two types of restaurants – different needs
In the gastronomy industry, we can distinguish restaurants with the customer on-site and those that deliver food to the clients. This fundamental feature will help us determine the needs of our gastronomic establishment and narrow the search for a suitable system for gastronomy.
The first type of restaurant – restaurants with a client on-site, sell not only the dishes but also the entire restaurant experience. What counts for restaurant guests is the appropriate room decor, friendly service, conversation-friendly atmosphere, delicious and beautifully presented meal, music, way of serving dishes, etc. Hence, the main task of the system for gastronomy is to provide the highest quality of customer service. In the case of this type of restaurant, the gastronomy system will help restaurant employees match the order to the appropriate table, control the inventory, efficiently accept the order, and flawlessly settle up customers. Software for gastronomy should not only help the owner control what is happening in the restaurant but above all increase the efficiency of waiters.
The second type – delivery restaurants. Customers who order food in delivery evaluate the quality of the restaurant differently. It’s all about the order. It has to arrive quickly, be warm, and still look good.
To make it happen:
- a waiter has to write down customer data and delivery address correctly, and give instructions to the cook,
- the cook must remember which orders go first,
- the order must be packed properly and handed over to the driver,
- the driver has to reach the client as soon as possible.
There is plenty of room for a mistake. One shortcoming can affect the entire delivery process and even the rest of the working day. All it takes is a mistake in a client’s phone number or being too optimistic about the expected delivery time. The driver may get lost on the route or not be ready to pick up the order at all. The chef, on the other hand, may confuse the order in which the meals are served, etc. Appropriate gastronomy software can help organize all those topics.
Software functionalities for restaurants with delivery
Gastronomy establishments with deliveries should invest in solutions adapted to their needs. Standard software for gastronomy lacks functionalities that organize and improve the course of delivery, such as:
- Possibility to enter data about the delivery.
In restaurants that live on deliveries, the waiter receiving the order must collect a lot of information from the customer. Among others:
- customer contact details,
- the delivery time,
- details of the order,
- form of payment,
- floor number…, etc.
Software for gastronomy that is not created especially for deliveries does not process this type of information. It often happens due to the construction of the database itself, which makes it impossible to accept such an order. The inability to enter data about an address or a telephone number significantly reduces the usefulness of the system for gastronomy. In this case scenario, the waiter has to write down all the necessary information on the piece of paper, which extends the service time for one customer and increases the probability of making a mistake.
2. Integration of orders coming from various sales channels, i.e. integration with portals
Software for restaurants with deliveries collects orders from various sales channels and places them in the order in which they should be delivered. As a result, restaurant employees can serve more customers, and the situations in which the waiter makes a mistake writing down the order or the cook forgets which meal goes next do not happen anymore.
3. Delivery zones view
Another functionality of the software for gastronomy is the automatic assignment of orders to a specific delivery zone. Waiters accepting orders often don’t know the city well. Washington 15 will not tell them much until they check the map to see to which zone it belongs to and how much to charge for delivery. System for gastronomy created especially for restaurants with deliveries will do it for them.
4. Controlling the location of drivers and assigning orders
Thanks to the right system for gastronomy, people accepting orders see the location of drivers in real-time and can decide which of them will reach the customers the fastest. Software for gastronomy with an integrated map is a great help:
- for waiters that no longer have to call drivers and ask for their availability,
- for drivers who, thanks to the application with built-in GPS, know the way to the customer and can contact him at any time;
- for the owner who can check whether orders are delivered on time and how effective his/her employees are.
5. Fast settlement of drivers
Using software for restaurants with deliveries significantly shortens the time necessary to settle up the drivers. Thanks to the system for gastronomy, restaurant employees know how much cash the drivers had with them, how many kilometers they traveled, and whether they incurred any additional costs (e.g., fuel purchase). Settling up requires only printing a summary with the exact amount that each driver should receive. Without a system for gastronomy, waiters and drivers are often forced to stay after hours. The settlement of the working day is then done with a calculator and a sheet of paper.
Advantages of using software for restaurants with delivery
Software for restaurants with deliveries have functionalities that standard POS systems are missing. View of the location of drivers, automatically assigned delivery zone or quick settlement at the end of the day improve the delivery process and facilitate the work of waitresses and drivers.
The software for gastronomy helps restaurant employees make better decisions, decreases the number of mistakes they make, and shortens the delivery time. It is especially helpful for restaurants that employ more than one driver.
Gastronomy software is also a good investment for restaurants that have not yet launched their deliveries but plan to do so in the future. The POS system has all the functionalities that will help them efficiently service the restaurant’s guest, and over time, using the other functions of the system, deliver food to the customer.
Software functionalities for sit-down restaurants
Most of the systems for gastronomy are designed for sit-down restaurants. A wide selection allows you to choose software tailored to the needs of a specific eatery. Here are some functionalities of the system for gastronomy that will be useful in restaurants with a customer on-site.
Possibility of quick ordering – transparent interface
The main task of the software for sit-down restaurants is to improve the quality of customer service. Thanks to the system for gastronomy, waiters can enter an order with a few clicks on the screen of a computer or tablet. Additionally, they are able to edit them or add new items from the menu at any time. Using software for gastronomy eliminates the possibility of losing an order (sticky notes with written details often get lost somewhere), improves the quality of customer service process, and enhances the image of a professional and modern restaurant. The condition for the software to fulfill its role is a transparent and easy-to-use interface. Restaurant employees should learn how to use it in a fairly short time. The long process of implementing the system exposes gastronomic establishments to costs.
Possibility of using software for gastronomy on various devices
Mobility is a relevant feature of the software for restaurants with customers on-site. The system should function properly on both computers and tablets. The waiter must be able to serve the customer at the table without having to rewrite the order on a sheet of paper. Mobility of software for gastronomy is not as important in restaurants with deliveries. In their case, the waiter does not have to go to the tables, and orders are collected mainly by phone, through food delivery platforms, or the restaurant’s website. However, a large monitor can be very helpful in entering customer data correctly.
Gastronomy systems working on different devices are available in the cloud. To use them, you have to have a decent internet connection. They are usually paid in a monthly subscription system, so at any time, you can unsubscribe. Gastronomy programs installed on a computer are prepaid and have a higher initial cost. There is a risk involved in investing large amounts without being able to test the system first. If the software fails, the owner of the restaurant will have to sell it at a loss. Payments made in the subscription system are a more reliable solution for restaurants that are just starting their work on the gastronomy program and do not want to spend large amounts at the very beginning.
Access to the data
Access to data is extremely important both for gastronomic establishments with a customer on-site as well as for those delivering. Without software for gastronomy, it is difficult to define the target group. We do not know which dishes sell best (our perception may be completely different from reality), on which days and at what times the traffic is the highest, how the average order value changes, and how many people worked on each shift. Thanks to the reports provided by POS systems, we can better plan the work of the restaurant, promotional campaigns, and the appearance of the menu itself. In the case of delivery restaurants, the gastronomy software will help them choose the right number of drivers or define a delivery zone.
Making a data-driven business decision will help local gastronomy to survive among the growing number of chain restaurants.
Is it worth investing in a system for gastronomy?
Along with the development of the gastronomy industry, a growing number of systems appear on the market. Software for gastronomy have different functionalities, so the key to success is investing in a system that meets the needs of a specific place. For restaurants with deliveries, an extremely important function will be the ability to view the location of the driver. Whereas the system for gastronomy with customers on-site should enable assigning orders to individual tables.
Before deciding on a specific gastronomy software, it is worth paying attention to the following:
- how long does it take to implement the system for gastronomy,
- whether we are entitled to technical support available during the restaurant’s opening hours
- whether our equipment will be compatible with the new system
Working on gastronomy software increases the efficiency of restaurant employees. Waiters take more orders, drivers travel fewer kilometers, and restaurant owners make business decisions based on data.