Restaurant management systems are a type of restaurant management software intended to assist with the tasks associated with the day-to-day management of a restaurant or similar business. In this article, you can learn about what the technology does, the main features, and the different components that make up a sound system of this kind.

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What is Restaurant Management?

Restaurant management refers to the process of managing day-to-day operations within a restaurant or similar setting. It encompasses a broad range of tasks and responsibilities, from overseeing company finances and facilitating business growth to overseeing marketing, managing the workforce, and delivering a great customer experience.

Essentially, a restaurant manager’s job is to balance the various needs of the business, provide leadership, set strategic objectives, make use of restaurant management software, and ensure all departments are functioning as they should. Ultimately, restaurant management is concerned with guiding a restaurant to long-term success.

What is a Restaurant Management System?

A restaurant management system is a type of software that has been specifically designed for use within the restaurant industry. Also known as restaurant management software, such solutions are intended to assist leaders and others in carrying out the most critical managerial tasks.

A system of this type may be a comprehensive all-in-one solution, including elements of a point-of-sale system, such as payment processing, with more complex back-end features, such as workforce management, inventory management, and a booking or reservations system. However, some restaurant management systems focus on specific areas.

What Are the Benefits of Restaurant Management Systems?

Many of the benefits associated with the use of restaurant management systems are related to automation and speeding up processes to improve the customer experience. Modern customers expect fast, frictionless service and restaurant management software play a key role in meeting these expectations.

Additionally, such solutions can serve as a critical piece of restaurant technology because they bring so many different processes together in a single location. A comprehensive restaurant management system will allow for payment processing, financial management, sales tracking, performance monitoring, personnel management, and more.

What Are Key Features of a Good Restaurant Management System?

The best restaurant management systems will share similar traits and features, including the following:


Cloud-based restaurant management software provides several benefits that more conventional on-premises deployment cannot. For instance, remote access to software becomes much more manageable, data is continually updated and backed up, and the start-up costs are minimised in exchange for predictable subscription fees.

Using software that relies on cloud infrastructure does require continuous internet access, but the benefits also extend to greater security and compatibility with other similar applications.

Reporting & Analytics

Another major part of restaurant management systems is reporting and analytics features. In most cases, an easily-accessible dashboard will provide a basic overview of the primary information that those involved in restaurant management may need to know on a daily basis. At the same time, more in-depth reports can also be generated.

This allows managers, owners and other leaders to keep a close eye on restaurant performance over time. Meanwhile, analytics tools can help restaurants assess, analyse and understand the vast amounts of data they collect.

Additional Integrations

Modern businesses tend to utilise a variety of different applications, and the data needs to be able to be passed between them as seamlessly as possible. This requires integration options, which is why such functionality is so essential for the very best restaurant management software solutions.

Service providers offer some cloud-based solutions that can customise the restaurant management system for each business based on the integrations they need. However, where this is not possible, a basic level of integration with CRM, revenue management and restaurant POS systems must be on offer.

Technical Support

Finally, your chosen restaurant management system must include technical support functions. After all, when things go wrong with your software or when you encounter system failures, it has the potential to disrupt your entire business, meaning solutions need to be found as quickly as possible.

Technical support features can come in many forms, from access to live chat support or a ticketing system for accessing professional assistance to built-in help, troubleshooting and tutorial sections within the software itself.

5 Most Important Types of a Restaurant Management System

There are several different categories of restaurant management systems or components that combine to make up the entire system, and you can learn about five of the most significant of these below:

POS System

As the name indicates, your restaurant POS system, or point-of-sale system, is where you carry out many sales tasks. Here, you can process card, cash, or mobile wallet payments, manage billing print receipts, and have all of this information automatically feed into more comprehensive company data.

Modern, cloud-based POS systems are compatible with a wide range of devices, including mobile phones, iPads and other tablet devices. This has transformed point-of-sale processes for many restaurants because it means payments can be processed using portable devices that can also be used for various other tasks.

Restaurant Management Software

Restaurant management software is designed to consolidate some of the basic management-related tasks involved in running a restaurant. For instance, it can bring together information from all online booking channels, allowing you to see all bookings and keep this data up-to-date to avoid double bookings.

The software can provide automation tools so that guests are automatically sent confirmation emails, or an email or SMS on the day of their booking, reminding them to attend. Reports can be generated, highlighting key performance indicators, while a dashboard provides a general overview of your current restaurant status.

Order Management Software

The order management software component of restaurant management systems is concerned with managing orders from customers and your orders from suppliers. As customers make orders, the information can be collected by your order management software and can automatically update current stock levels.

Generally, there will be options to view past orders from customers or access current orders so that guests receive the right food. As stock levels decrease, orders can be placed to suppliers for more of a particular product or ingredient, and orders can be monitored over time, so you can see how much of a specific item you are purchasing.

Video: Order Management Explained


Employee Management Software

Within all sound restaurant management systems is an employee management component, allowing you to handle tasks associated with the management of your workforce. This could include options that will assist you with the creation of a work schedule that balances your business’ needs with employee availability and contractual obligations.

Usually, options will be included to monitor attendance over time and view when staff are away on holidays or other authorised absences. Payroll can also be managed through this component, while there may also be some additional communication features, along with functions related to Human Resources (HR) and employee benefits.

CRM & Marketing Software

Customer relationship management (CRM) is vital for restaurants because customers may contact you to make special requests, ask dietary questions, or make complaints. Through CRM functionality within restaurant management systems, all communication can be kept in a single place for easy access.

Marketing software, meanwhile, can be used to handle almost all elements of promoting your restaurant, especially online. You can control pay-per-click advertising, your content marketing strategy, special offers and other promotions, marketing emails, and much more through such software.

Restaurant Management Systems and the Restaurant Industry

The best restaurant management software has to be versatile and customisable because the restaurant industry is so varied and complex. After all, it comprises many different types of restaurants, from fast food and casual restaurants to fine dining experiences, and within each category, there can also be significant variation.

You can learn more about the entire restaurant industry, the different types of restaurants that exist, and a lot more besides in our article, “Restaurant Industry: The Complete Guide”.

An Overview of Other Restaurant Management Systems

Aside from the use of restaurant management systems, most restaurants will also rely on other solutions, from finance and accounting software to table reservation software, customer service chatbots, and delivery management software. Choosing the right combination of tools is crucial to achieving the best outcomes.

Information about all of these software types and many more, along with an explanation of the benefits, can be found in our article on the subject, “Restaurant Management Software: A Complete Overview”.

Restaurant Management Systems: Understanding Restaurant POS Systems

Restaurant POS systems offer customers the means to accept payments, making them one of the most important examples of restaurant management software. However, there can be much more to POS systems besides the simple processing of payments, as these systems also offer back-end options and integration with other tools.

To fully explore the topic of restaurant POS systems and to gain a greater understanding of the main trends influencing this software, read “Restaurant POS Systems: The Latest and Future Trends”.

Restaurant Management Systems and Other Restaurant Technology Trends

There are many technology trends to be aware of in the broader restaurant industry, beyond good restaurant management software. Examples of some of these trends include self-order kiosks, handheld point-of-sale devices, digital display screens within kitchens, and the use of restaurant chatbots.

Understanding these technology trends and the underlying reasons for their emergence helps get the most from your restaurant. Read the “Latest Restaurant Technology Trends You Need to Know About” article for more.

Restaurant management software plays a crucial role in helping those in the industry carry out essential tasks and activities while also optimising financial results and customer experience.

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