Technology has come a long way since it was introduced to the restaurant industry and the benefits of a restaurant management system (RMS) address many of the pain points restaurant owners currently face.
Restaurateurs used to have to find a different way to meet each of their needs. Unfortunately, these tools didn’t always communicate with each other and couldn’t always be accessed outside of the restaurant. Nowadays, restaurant operators can find everything they need to run their businesses with added benefits on an all-in-one RMS.
An RMS like TouchBistro is equipped with various capabilities and benefits. From a point of sale system and online ordering to reservations, gift cards, loyalty, marketing, and more, these tools work together to help you increase sales, deliver a standout guest experience, and save time and money.
In this guide to all-in-one restaurant management software, you’ll learn:
What restaurant management systems are
What you can manage with a restaurant management software like TouchBistro
4 benefits of a restaurant management system
What Is a Restaurant Management System?
A restaurant management system (RMS) is a point of sale (POS) system that can handle fundamental transactions, but also supports and benefits you and your employees with other facets of running a restaurant, like marketing, online ordering, loyalty, and more. With an RMS, these additional functions work seamlessly not only with the POS, but also with each other to offer benefits across the business.
How Does an RMS Differ From a Standard POS?
With a point of sale system, restaurants perform transaction-related functions, such as order processing, menu management, and analytics. An RMS encompasses multiple products that work alongside, and integrate seamlessly with, a POS to expand its functionality and benefits.
With a restaurant management software like TouchBistro, for example, you can process transactions, manage a loyalty program, take online orders and reservations, and sell and manage gift cards, among other benefits.
What Can I Manage with a Restaurant Management Software Like TouchBistro?
You already know about some of the functions you can access when you expand your RMS with add-on tools. Now, here’s a closer look at exactly what , in fact, a restaurant management software like TouchBistro can do for your restaurant.
Point of Sale
A point of sale system helps restaurants handle essential business functions. TouchBistro POS helps restaurants do the following and more:
Process and track sales
Manage your floor plan, assign sections, and monitor tables
Build your menu and update a photo, description, or pricing category on the fly
Simplify managing shifts for your employees
Unlock your restaurant’s business insights through analytics
Take orders right at the table
In short, the POS is the core of your restaurant management software. It’s what all of the other tools in the system connect to and where data is collected, which benefits restaurant operations and informs business decisions.
One of the key benefits of TouchBistro POS is that it seamlessly integrates with TouchBistro Online Ordering, Loyalty, Marketing, Reservations, Gift Cards, Payments, and other guest engagement platforms so your data automatically flows from one solution to the next. This provides a unified experience for both your employees and customers.
A restaurant online ordering system enables your restaurant to accept and process payments for takeout and delivery orders directly through its website, so you can circumvent third-party restaurant ordering platforms.
With a solution like TouchBistro Online Ordering as part of your RMS, orders flow directly from your restaurant website to your POS. This means benefits like reducing your risk of errors, saving time and money, and needing fewer tablets on your countertop during shifts.
The beauty of an RMS is that its tools work together. For example, integrating Online Ordering with TouchBistro Loyalty comes with benefits like letting diners earn and redeem rewards whether they order online or in-venue. This tool also works seamlessly with TouchBistro Gift Cards, so diners can pay for orders digitally. And, with our TouchBistro Marketing integration, customers can redeem promotions in your restaurant and online.
Driving repeat business is the name of the game when you incorporate a restaurant loyalty program into your RMS. This integration lets you capture guest details like birthdays, items purchased, and visit history so you can enhance the guest experience. You can think of this tool as a customer relationship management platform (CRM): a centralized repository for all of your customer data.
In fact, TouchBistro Loyalty lets you create a flexible reward system that benefits the customer experience with, for example, discounts and buy-one-get-X offers. Plus, members can check their progress with ease thanks to digital loyalty accounts and a branded customer web app.
When your loyalty program speaks to the rest of the tools in your RMS, you unlock powerful benefits. For example, TouchBistro Loyalty integrates with TouchBistro Marketing so you can combine guest data with advanced marketing tools for a 360-degree customer engagement solution – all on one restaurant management platform. And with the benefits from the TouchBistro Online Ordering integration, diners can take part in item- and spend-based loyalty programs, and redeem rewards – both in-venue and online.
Keeping your restaurant top of mind is a breeze when you make an integrated marketing solution as part of your RMS. A seamless integration makes it easier to create enticing promotions that turn your existing guests into regulars.
TouchBistro Marketing, specifically, is equipped with tools like email templates, analytics, and a custom-branded web app. Integrations with the rest of the TouchBistro ecosystem unlock other benefits for your restaurant. When you also use the TouchBistro Loyalty integration, you can capture specific guest details like orders placed, average spend, last visit, and birthdays to create custom filters for your marketing campaigns. And with TouchBistro Online Ordering, you can send targeted promotions that customers can redeem in-venue and online.
When marketing solutions are part of your RMS, you can create promotional campaigns that turn first-time guests into regulars and bring lapsed customers back into your restaurant. Plus, this benefits your campaigns because you can leverage tips and strategies from our restaurant marketing guide.
Gift cards help your restaurant drive immediate cash flow and repeat business. When you make gift card management part of your RMS and integrate that tool with your POS, you can access powerful reporting and end-of-year reconciliation support, which offer benefits like saving both time and money.
With TouchBistro Gift Cards, you can offer your customers both physical and digital vouchers. Your restaurant can also include gift cards as part of promotions and generate revenue for future use.
And with a TouchBistro Payments integration, diners can buy and send gift cards online. Gift Cards also integrates with TouchBistro Online Ordering, so recipients can redeem gift cards when placing online orders. Plus, with our TouchBistro Loyalty integration, customers collect points and earn rewards while redeeming their vouchers.
A restaurant reservations system gives customers a way to book a table directly through your website and a number of online touchpoints. When your reservations software integrates with your RMS, it helps keep everything in one place, making it easier for front-of-house and back-of-house teams to work together.
With TouchBistro Reservations added to your RMS, you can also easily ensure employee shifts are balanced with expected capacity. Other benefits include enhancing the customers’ experience with reservation reminders, two-way guest communication, and reservation notes.
4 Restaurant Management System Benefits
Now that you understand what you can do with an all-in-one RMS like TouchBistro, let’s explore the benefits of using all-in-one restaurant management software.
1. Streamlined Operations
When all of your restaurant tools integrate with your POS, you gain access to 360-degree control over every facet of your business. Seeing everything in one place streamlines operations and increases efficiency.
Not to mention, when all of your tools work with each other, you benefit from enhanced reporting. With this panoramic, data-driven view of your restaurant, you can ultimately make more informed business decisions.
2. More Sales
One of the advantages of a restaurant management system, especially an all-in-one software, is the increased opportunities to bring in revenue. When you can take orders and process payments online, give customers a way to buy gift cards, and send irresistible marketing offers, you grow your income streams and create more ways to drive sales.
Restaurant management software can help you make every dining experience a memorable one for your customers. When all orders go through the same restaurant management platform, your kitchen is always working on the right order, at the right time. You can guarantee order accuracy and reduce wait times.
An all-in-one RMS also benefits how you serve customers in various ways: on-premises, off-premises, order ahead, schedule pickups, delivery, and more. When your RMS is equipped with a loyalty program, you can reward regular customers for their business and keep them coming back for more.
4. Time & Money Savings
Lastly, the advantages of a restaurant management system range from helping you find cost savings to improving internal communication – an RMS can save your business time and money in a number of ways.
According to TouchBistro’s State of Restaurants Report in 2023, inventory costs are the greatest source of financial strain for restaurant owners. An RMS with an integrated inventory management solution can help your restaurant reduce food waste and spend less on ingredients.
With improved FOH-to-BOH communication due to an integrated system, the right orders get sent to the kitchen every time. The benefits: you’ll spend less time and money correcting errors and your staff will feel more organized.
Enhanced reporting also helps you make the right business decisions from the start. Your menu engineering and promotions efforts will be more successful when they’re backed by data.
And, with direct online ordering and reservations, you can save up to 40% on commissions and cover fees.
Running a restaurant is challenging, but technology offers ease and many benefits for restaurateurs. Gone are the days when restaurant operators had to look for tools from various vendors, without a guarantee that they’d function together, every time they wanted to introduce a new revenue stream or capability.
Today, the benefits of a restaurant management system like TouchBistro have simplified operations for busy restaurant owners. These powerful systems help operators increase sales, save time and money, streamline operations, and enhance the guest experience.
To determine if a restaurant management software is right for your business, do a system analysis and a software analysis of your current restaurant operations. If you see gaps or weaknesses in how your restaurant and employees operate and ultimately serve customers, then a management software for restaurants can help improve your business.
Katherine is the Content Marketing Manager at TouchBistro, where she writes about trending topics in food and restaurants. The opposite of a picky eater, she’ll try (almost) anything at least once. Whether it’s chowing down on camel burgers in Morocco or snacking on octopus dumplings in Japan, she’s always up for new food experiences.