Computer programs in gastronomy

In the catering services market, we distinguish a lot of software that are designed to facilitate the work of owners and employees of gastronomy.

There is a multitude of programs designed to facilitate the work of owners and employees of restaurants. The functionalities of individual programs vary significantly, and finding the most suitable solution can be a challenge for any restaurateur. Therefore, in today’s article, we will take a closer look at the various types of software available and suggest what to consider when making a decision.

Which type of software should you choose?

Before choosing the right software for our venture, 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 an establishment with a completely different business profile. It is just like with hand tools – we have a masonry hammer and a carpenter’s hammer. A bricklayer will consider a carpenter’s hammer worthless and… vice versa.

Two types of restaurants – different needs

Some restaurants have guests eating on-site, and some provide home delivery service. This fundamental difference will help us determine the needs of our establishment and narrow the search for a suitable system.

The first type of restaurant – restaurants with guests eating on-site, sell not only food but also the entire restaurant experience. What counts for restaurant guests is pleasant room decor, friendly service, relaxed atmosphere, delicious and beautifully presented meals, music, the methods of serving dishes, etc. Hence, the system’s main task is to provide the highest quality of customer service. For this type of restaurant, the software will help restaurant employees match the order to the appropriate table, control the inventory, efficiently accept the order, and flawlessly settle customers’ bills. Software dedicated to restaurants should help owners control what is happening in their establishments and, above all, increase the efficiency of waiters.

The second type – restaurants which provide delivery service. Customers who order food to be delivered evaluate the quality of a restaurant differently. It’s all about the order. It has to arrive quickly, be warm, and still look good.

To make this happen:

  • the waiter has to write down customer data and delivery address correctly, and give instructions to the chef,
  • the chef must remember which orders go first,
  • the order must be packed properly and handed over to the driver,
  • the driver has to get to the client as soon as possible.

 

There is plenty of room for mistakes. 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 overly optimistic about the expected delivery time. The driver may get lost on route or fail to pick up the order at all. On the other hand, the chef may forget the order in which the meals should be prepared, etc. Fortunately, appropriate software can help organize all these aspects.

Software functionalities for restaurants offering delivery

Restaurants offering delivery should invest in solutions adapted to their needs. Standard software for the sector lacks functionalities that organize and improve the course of delivery, such as:

1. Possibility to enter data about the delivery.

In restaurants that specialize in deliveries, the waiter taking the order must collect a lot of information from the customer. Among others:

  • customer contact details,
  • address,
  • delivery time,
  • details of the order,
  • form of payment,
  • floor number…, etc.

 

Software that is not intended for home deliveries does not process this type of information. This is often linked to the design of the database itself, which makes it impossible to accept such an order. The inability to enter an address or a telephone number significantly reduces the system’s usefulness for the food service industry. In this scenario, the waiter has to write down all the necessary information on a piece of paper, which extends the waiting 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 offering delivery services 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 no longer happen.

3. Delivery zone view

Another functionality of this type of software is the automatic assignment of orders to specific delivery zones. Waiters taking orders often don’t know their cities well. Washington 15 will not tell them much until they check the map to see the zone and decide how much to charge for delivery. A system created especially for restaurants with deliveries will automatically make this decision on their behalf.

4. Controlling the location of drivers and assigning orders

Thanks to the appropriate software, employees taking orders see the location of drivers in real-time and can decide which driver will reach any one of the customers the fastest. Software with an integrated map is a great help:

  • for waiters who 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 them at any time;
  • for the owner who can check whether orders are delivered on time and how effective their employees are.

 

5. Quick settlement of drivers

Using software dedicated to restaurants offering delivery significantly shortens the time necessary to settle the drivers. Thanks to the system, restaurant employees know how much cash the drivers had with them, how far they traveled, and whether they incurred any additional costs (e.g. by purchasing fuel). The process only requires a short summary to be printed, with the exact amount that each driver should receive. Without a suitable system, waiters and drivers are often forced to stay after hours, settling the working day using a calculator and a piece of paper.

Advantages of using software for restaurants offering delivery

Software for restaurants offering delivery has functionalities that standard POS systems are lacking. The view of the location of drivers, automatically assigned delivery zones or quick settlements at the end of the day improve the delivery process and facilitate the work of employees and drivers.

Dedicated software helps restaurant employees make better decisions, decreases the number of mistakes they make, and shortens the delivery time. This is especially helpful for restaurants that employ more than one driver.

Such 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 serve the restaurant’s guests, and over time, using other functions of the system, deliver food to customers.

Software functionalities for sit-down restaurants

Most computer solutions are designed for sit-down restaurants. Their wide selection allows you to choose software tailored to the needs of a specific eatery. Here are some functionalities that will be useful in restaurants with customers eating on-site.

Possibility of quick ordering – transparent interface

The main task of software for sit-down restaurants is to improve the quality of customer service. Waiters can enter an order with a few clicks on the screen of a computer or tablet. Additionally, they can edit orders or add new items from the menu at any time. Using specialized software eliminates the possibility of losing an order (sticky notes with handwritten information often get lost), improves the quality of the customer service process, and enhances the image of a professional and modern restaurant. A transparent and easy-to-use interface is a must. Restaurant employees need to learn how to use it in a fairly short time. Long implementation processes burden restaurants with unnecessary costs.

Ability to use the software on various devices

Mobility is a relevant feature of the software for restaurants with guests eating on-site. The system should function correctly 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 walk up to the tables, and orders are collected mainly by phone, using food delivery platforms, or the restaurant’s website. However, a large monitor can be very helpful in entering customer data correctly.

Software solutions working on different devices are available in the cloud. To use them, you have to have a decent Internet connection. They are usually paid for using a monthly subscription system, so you can unsubscribe at any time. Dedicated 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. A subscription payment system is a more reliable solution for restaurants that are just starting out using a gastronomy program and do not want to spend large amounts at the very beginning.

Access to data

Access to data is extremely important both for sit-down restaurants and those delivering. Without software dedicated to the food service industry, 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, its promotional campaigns, and the look of the menu itself. In the case of restaurants offering delivery, suitable software will help them choose the right number of drivers or define a delivery zone.

Making a data-driven business decision will help local restaurants to survive among the growing number of chain ventures.

Is it worth investing in a system dedicated to the restaurant sector?

Along with the development of the restaurant industry, a growing number of systems are launched on the market. Software for the restaurant sector has different functionalities, so the key to success is investing in a system that meets the needs of a specific enterprise. For restaurants offering deliveries, an extremely important function is the ability to view the driver’s location. At the same time, the system for restaurants with customers eating on-site should enable the assignment of orders to individual tables.

Before deciding on specific software, it is worth paying attention to the following:

  • how long it takes to implement the system,
  • whether we have access to technical support during the restaurant’s opening hours,
  • whether our equipment will be compatible with the new system.

 

Using software dedicated to the restaurant sector increases the efficiency of restaurant employees. Waiters take more orders, drivers travel less, and restaurant owners make business decisions based on data.

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