How to Find the Perfect Restaurant Franchise Management System

By Megan Lee

Man sitting in a restaurant doing work on a computer while a woman is standing behind him helping.

Operating a restaurant can be a challenge due to its numerous moving parts, including marketing, employee management, sales, finances, inventory, and more. However, when it comes to running an entire franchise or even opening a second restaurant location, it takes the challenge to a whole new level. You not only have to tackle every part of operating a restaurant, but now you have to do it at multiple locations. And that’s where the magic of restaurant franchise management software can save the day. 

Franchising is a multi-billion dollar industry across the globe and it’s on track to continue growing. So regardless of whether you’re in the initial stage of learning how to franchise a restaurant or knee deep in your franchise operations, it’s important to learn how franchise management software can take your own business to the next step so you can keep up with the competition. 

To help you with the above, we’ll walk you through the following:

  • What restaurant franchise management software is
  • The benefits of using software for franchise management
  • Tips for choosing franchise management software
  • List of the best restaurant management software systems

What Is Restaurant Franchise Management Software?

Restaurant franchise management software is a system used to help franchise owners manage multiple franchise outlets effectively and efficiently with a series of digital tools. It’s essentially an all-in-one system that plays an active role in managing, automating, and streamlining a franchise owner’s operations, including CRM, marketing, sales, inventory control, finances, stuff management, and more.

A woman wearing white and black is sitting in front of a laptop on her mobile phone in a restaurant.

Benefits of Using Franchise Management Software for Restaurants

Now that you know what a restaurant franchise management software is, let’s take a closer look at the key benefits of software for franchise management in action. These benefits include:

1. Streamlining Operations

Software can automate many manual tasks, especially restaurant operations management. That’s where restaurant franchise management software comes in handy, as it streamlines operations for both the franchisor and its franchisees. It centralizes the management of multiple venues on a singular platform, so all parties know it’s the single source of truth. 

The perfect example of this is if menu pricing changes need to be completed. As a franchisor, you can go ahead and update the price of your menu items through your franchise management software, and those changes will be reflected across all your locations at once so you don’t need to carry out the same update manually multiple times. For example, let’s say you have a baked salmon that you serve on the menu for $33, but your supplier price has increased the cost per unit of salmon. If you decide to pass along that additional cost down the pipeline to your customers, you can seamlessly change the price to $36 at all locations that serve this dish.

Say goodbye to the days of making updates manually and to a lack of consistency across your franchise locations.

2. Promoting Consistency Between Venues

Choosing the best franchise management software for your specific business can help you establish more consistent day-to-day restaurant franchise operations. And while this may not seem that important for your average restaurant, it’s critical for franchise owners to ensure all locations are operating the same way and following a standardized system. From data collection to scheduling, uniforms, and more, it’s essential that all processes are consistent across locations, so that guests experience the same quality of service no matter which venue they visit. This allows you to build a reputation for your franchise as a reliable place to dine and ensures guests know what they can expect before they even walk through the doors.

A great example of how software can promote consistency between locations is if you run a fast food restaurant that specializes in a very specific recipe for double cheeseburgers. Software that allows you to store receipt information ensures your staff will be trained on making the double cheeseburger the exact same way across all locations. Therefore, your customers can expect the same product regardless of which location they receive it at. It’s also beneficial if an employee decides to move to a new franchisee location because they are already trained using the same processes, ultimately making the transition seamless and hassle free.

3. Improving Communications

To tie it all together, restaurant franchise management software also promotes consistency between venues, and good communication is an essential part of the relationship between a franchisor and franchisee. Restaurant franchise management software can serve as a bridge to close the communication gap between these two parties, as well as improve collaboration. 

So, how does a franchise management software do that exactly? It provides a centralized platform for information to be shared and communicated. This way best practices can be shared in one place, ensuring that all franchisees are operating within the same brand standards consistently across locations, as opposed to franchisees operating in silos. 

4. Enhancing Data Management

Franchise management software can provide you with a wealth of data on customer behavior, sales trends, and other key metrics. It allows you as the franchisor to do a quick analysis and act accordingly to make informed decisions that are backed by data. For example, you can see how your employees are performing in terms of revenue generated at one location vs multiple locations. If one location is lagging behind, it may be an indicator that extra training is needed.

On a macro level, this data can also make it easy to compare and contrast your different franchise locations to see how they’re performing against one another. The kicker is that it can be done all in one central place: your franchise management software. 

5. Boosting Profitability

Franchise management software is equipped with numerous features that can boost profitability for your franchise business. These features include, but are not limited to, tableside ordering, menu prompts, and guest engagement solutions.

For example, let’s take a look at guest engagement solutions, such as loyalty programs. A loyalty program is a fantastic way to recognize your most loyal customers and showcase how much you value them. Franchise management software equipped with an integrated loyalty program can help you identify which of your customers have spent the most over a specific period of time, allow you to provide perks through a loyalty program, and continue to encourage repeat spending – ultimately helping you boost your profitability in the long-run.

Aside from guest engagement solutions, implementing franchise management software is also equipped with powerful reporting capabilities that can give you real-time data to optimize your franchise operations. And as a result, you can make more accurate business decisions and continuously improve your operations to ensure you’re maximizing your profit margins.

6. Distributing Marketing Plans

As a restaurant owner, there are many areas that must be carefully managed and one of those areas is your marketing efforts. What’s great about a restaurant franchise management system is that you have the capability to provide and share marketing plans that franchisee owners can then use.

Franchisee owners can adopt these marketing strategies and make adjustments based on the market they’re in. For instance, if a franchisor is located in the U.S. and the marketing plan is for American Thanksgiving, franchisees have the option to use it, but tweak it to reflect the nuances of the specific state or market that they operate in.

Woman and man wearing white t-shirts and striped aprons are sitting in front of a laptop reading something on a paper.

Tips for Choosing a Franchise Management Software

After learning about the benefits of franchise management software, we have tips you can employ when it comes to choosing the best franchise management software for your business. Here are three tips to consider when conducting your research for new software

Evaluate Scalability

One of the bigger reasons why restaurant owners look to franchising their business is for quick and easy growth. Franchises are designed for that exact purpose and a powerful franchise management software should be able to assist in that process. It’s important to evaluate the scalability of the software itself and see how it can play a role in helping you scale your business. One of the key features you should look for is in-depth reporting. With powerful reporting features, you can see the performance of each new location to compare all your locations side by side.

Consider Customization Options

Franchises do operate very similarly, however, they do have differences among one another depending on what market they are in. For example, if you operate a small restaurant that you’re only looking to expand and franchise in the U.S., it requires a different franchise management tool than a restaurant looking to franchise on a global scale. Whatever market you’re in, the franchise management tool should be able to help you adapt in different ways.  

Menu customization is a valuable feature to look for in a franchise management system. A prime example of menu customization is the ability to make menu and pricing changes between locations. Based on your market research, if the average price of a burger in Idaho is $5 and $5.75 in California, a franchise management tool that offers granular menu customization should allow you to customize the price accordingly.

Check for Ease of Use

It’s essential that the restaurant franchise management software is easy to use. You want to avoid software that is overly complicated, as dozens or even hundreds of employees will need to know how to use it. Otherwise, you’ll end up in a situation where employees struggle to adapt and learn how to use the software and lengthier training will be required. 

A great example of an easy to use franchise software system is one that uses Apple hardware, since Apple is known for its intuitive hardware and many people are already familiar with it. Operating a franchise is already challenging enough, so try and make it easier for you and your staff (and not harder).

Best Restaurant Management Software

After discussing the benefits of a top-notch restaurant management software, we’ve put together the top six franchise management solutions that you can consider on your search for new franchise management software. These include:

1. TouchBistro: TouchBistro comes equipped with the front of house, back of house, and guest engagement solutions that franchises of all sizes need to streamline operations, manage multiple menus, and access detailed performance data – all from one centralized platform.

2. NCR Aloha: Aloha POS is a robust franchise management system that boasts proprietary hardware and enterprise features that suit the needs of global restaurant brands.

3. Oracle MICROS: Oracle MICROS offers a powerful tool with a robust feature set, which makes it useful for global hospitality brands, as it supports multiple languages and currencies.

4. Toast: Toast POS is beneficial for niche restaurant concepts that prefer to use Android technology, and require extensive third-party partnerships and an open API.

5. Square for Restaurants: Square’s POS is beneficial for smaller businesses due to its quick setup, easy on-boarding, and intuitive technology.

6. Revel: Revel is a popular POS option for fast food and fast casual franchises, due to its robust POS features and extensive add-on solutions for QSRs.

7. SkyTab: SkyTab POS reviews mention that SkyTab offers a cloud-based POS system that has robust offline capabilities and uses Android’s mobile operating system.

Choosing a franchise management software to use as the dedicated multi-location POS system at your restaurant can be a challenge. Each has features that can work for some franchises more than others. Therefore, it’s best to do further research in order to find the best franchise restaurant management software for your specific business needs.

With all the knowledge about what a restaurant franchise management software is and the benefits of one, you’re now better equipped to get started or continue growing your restaurant franchise empire!

by Megan Lee

Megan is the Content Marketing Specialist at TouchBistro, where she uses her passion for food to write about the restaurant industry. She’s a big “foodie” at heart, and you can always find her enjoying a delicious meal at a restaurant with friends and family, or cooking one up at home. She also loves relaxing with a good book and making progress at the gym.

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