Restaurant technology is evolving at a rapid pace. Not only is there a vast number of apps available for the restaurateur but they are also becoming highly specialized and sophisticated. At Tenzo, we see specialization necessary due to the complexity of tasks these apps are tackling, as they require a vast amount of time and resources to be reliable solutions. However, the potential downside for restaurant tech is two-fold:
For restaurateurs, the requirement in juggling multiple apps could potentially lead to human error in handling increasingly complex business data; and, specialized tech apps are blind to other data sources making them less valuable to the restaurateur.
It is for these reasons that technology apps are starting to work together through integrating systems. Integrations allow suppliers to share data and therefore provide more powerful insights. Integrations allow for a more easily manageable technology infrastructure allowing smoother transitions between apps for managers.
We understand there is a vast number of solutions available on the market (Figure 1 below), so in this article, we break down some of the main categories as well as provide a few example solutions.
Figure 1: Restaurant Technology Ecosystem Wheel
Point of Sale (POS) Technology
The POS is an app allowing restaurants to record transactions in the simplest way possible and gather them in one place. It has evolved from being crank-operated cash registers to simple tablets. POS’s have also evolved towards being an analytics app when used with APIs, which allow connections with other software products such as business intelligence, inventory, or employee management apps.
Lightspeed is very adaptable to your restaurant with a customizable menu and real-time updatable floor plans. It also allows you to gather your integrations, staff, and loyalty programs.
iKentoo is the most advanced iPad-based POS and business management system on the market for the hospitality industry. iKentoo offers seamless, intuitive, and reliable solutions for restaurants, multi-site chains, food trucks, festivals, bars, hotels, coffee shops, and delis.
Tevalis is specially designed for the hospitality industry. Tevalis has always managed to meet the demanding and constantly evolving requirements of people working in the industry. With a client-focused approach, Tevalis offers you a tailored solution for your business needs.
Human Resources Technology (Staff Scheduling, Labor Apps)
These apps help to schedule employees hours depending on their availability (shifts/holidays), their skills, and in compliance with the law. The staff schedule can be published for employees to see their shifts in advance. The apps enable businesses to track and organize their workforce in real-time.
Human Resources Companies
Planday makes communication with and between employees easier, provides a business overview of staff activity, and lets managers choose how much autonomy their employees should have to schedule their own hours. Bonus feature: mobile availability.
Deputy helps manage the unique complexity of your workforce by giving you the best shift structure for your business and picking the best employees for each shift. With a mobile-first approach, Deputy is a user-friendly end-to-end workforce management app and is easily integrated with other HR software.
Purchasing & Inventory Technology
These apps ease the process of paying vendors, provide cost insights on food and beverage supplies, and cut down bookkeeping costs through automation.
Purchasing & Inventory Companies
Kitchen Cut's main focus is to bring innovation and automation to the kitchen while remaining very simple to use and entirely scalable as your business grows. The real-time alerts and notifications give actionable insights into your business.
Business Intelligence (BI) Technology
BI apps typically centralize the software to help businesses run more efficiently. The data is drawn from POS and Staff Scheduling provides sales analytics, sales forecasting, and measures staff performance. An advantage of these apps include overlaying the data to provide quick and novel insights such as measuring the cost of labor as a percentage of sales at any given time. The data drawn from social media platforms can also be collated to give easy access to reviews, trend analysis, and detailed metrics. Real-time push alerts are also available to help determine review trends and statistics.
Business Intelligence Companies
Tenzo provides actionable and relevant insights on your hospitality business, defining where and how you can save business resources. Tenzo manages this by integrating with many POS, Staff Schedulers, Inventory, and Social Review platforms. Furthermore, Tenzo provides highly accurate sales forecasting thanks to its proprietary machine learning algorithms.
Reviews & Reputation Management Technology
Created to help consumers find restaurants, pubs, cafes, bars, hotels and all kinds of hospitality establishments. These establishments can be broken down by location, food type, atmosphere, and ratings. It also allows the user to rate and write reviews on the places you’ve been depending on your experience there. This feedback is valuable both for restaurants and customers: restaurants get to know how to improve their service, food, necessary repairs, and future customers can get a feel before actually visiting the location.
Reviews & Reputation Management companies
Reservation & Waitlist Technology
These apps help restaurants track how the dining space is used in order to optimize as well as predict how long new customers will be waiting. They also help customers to reserve tables online in order to avoid waiting. The aim is to eventually maximize the capacity of restaurants, optimize revenues, extend venue reach and make reservations as easy as possible.
Reservation & Waitlist Companies
OpenTable helps find the perfect place to book a meal - it takes into account location, the price range you want to pay, type of cuisine, reputation of the restaurants, discounts, ratings, free slots for a reservation, and seating options. Once you’ve chosen the restaurant, the reservation process is easy and fast using this centralized service.
Loyalty & Rewards Technology
These apps allow customers to send vouchers or reach loyalty thresholds based on purchasing history, earning them discounts, free meals, and more. These softwares enhance relationships by simplifying and rewarding consumer interactions.
Loyalty & Rewards Companies
ResyOS is a complete restaurant reservation and waitlist system, including table management, ticketing, web and app booking, CRM, a POS integration, and more.
Ordering & Delivery Marketplaces/Corporate Meals Technology
These apps aim is to get any meal delivered to your door. They present consumers various restaurant options in their vicinity and send delivery people to collect and deliver the order.
Another feature of these apps is to have meals/snacks delivered and served routinely to offices. The company delivers tailored menus and snacks depending on a predefined budget. They can also be used for event catering.
Ordering & Delivery Marketplaces/Corporate Meals Companies
Grubhub is a food ordering and delivery marketplace dedicated to connecting diners with local takeout restaurants. The company’s online and mobile ordering platforms allow diners to order from more than 95,000 takeout restaurants in over 1,700 U.S. cities and in London. There is also Grubhub work service were offices can search restaurants and schedule an order tracking it up to their door.
Uber Eats partners with hundreds of restaurants where the consumers can place their order. After the order is placed a delivery partner will pick it up by car, bike, or scooter and deliver to the specified location. The consumer can track the whole process of the order, from preparation until delivery. Uber Eats is available on Android, iOs, and web.
Payment software allows you to pay wherever and whenever you wish and easily register all your bills. A few tech companies also sell cheap, easy-to-use hardware to allow smaller restaurants to take credit card payments.
Square makes it very easy, fast, and cheap for you to accept the different means of payment from customers (chips, contactless, etc). You can accept payment by any means - by phone, in person, invoice, or online. The free app offered by square makes the product very intuitive and easy to use giving insights on your business as well as the ability to see reports in real-time.
Marketing Analytics & CRM Technology
These apps help manage social and marketing data by tracking restaurant reviews, centralizing customer data, and automating marketing campaigns.
Marketing Analytics & CRM Companies
Toast’s CRM can integrate with your point of sale (POS) system, allowing you to easily gather crucial information about your customers. If customers sign up for a loyalty program, Toast will use this information to create a personalized profile for each customer where managers can view their purchasing habits and history. Using this information, you can create customized marketing messages and promotions for that customer to encourage them to visit your restaurant again.
Food Waste Technology
Food waste tech allows restaurants to solve one of the big issues in the catering industry - managing food waste. Different solutions are being offered to cut waste such as selling leftovers at lower prices to customers, more accurate forecasting/inventory management, and quantitatively recording food waste to build reports and allow further transparency of wastage.
Food Waste Companies
Winnow allows the kitchen staff to identify everything they throw away, where all the waste is weighed and costs estimated. The software then analyzes the daily waste amounts to give chefs key metrics and reports to help them cut future food waste.
Copia helps companies that work with food such as restaurants, hotels, hospitals, and other businesses to schedule pick-ups of their surplus food to be delivered to non-profit organizations.
Hospitality Training Technology
These apps are designed to quickly and efficiently train people working in the catering/hospitality industry. The apps help keep staff up to date in a fast-evolving field as well as help keep training costs low when staff turnover is high.
Hospitality Training Companies
Typsy is a company dedicated to providing information and materials to companies related to the hospitality industry where they can access knowledge and tips that would help to increase the value of their businesses. Typsy's lessons can be accessed online to have them anywhere and at anytime.
At Tenzo, we understand that choosing the technology apps that best suit your business is not an easy decision. As Tenzo is uniquely positioned between a range of solutions, we feel qualified to work with you to identify the best software infrastructure. So please don't hesitate to reach out if you have any questions or are looking for advice.