There are many apps for restaurant owners designed to streamline and innovate restaurant management and enhance customers’ dining experience. From food delivery apps to reservation apps, POS software, and guest WiFi systems, these apps can do it all.
Using a web and mobile platform is key to staying competitive in almost any industry. However, they’re particularly important in the restaurant industry. New eateries and food establishments pop up daily, each battling to win over new customers. Those who keep their business going and provide the best experience are more likely to survive.
All the best apps for restaurant owners help you do exactly that. Need help finding the right ones to boost your business operations and success? Keep reading for our complete guide to which apps are worth downloading and why.
What Are Restaurant Apps?
Restaurant apps are software programs specifically designed for restaurant management, to serve customer needs or both. For example, Yelp is a popular online review platform that collects and publishes customer reviews. It also serves as a table reservation app. It is, therefore, a valuable app for both customers and businesses.
Another example is the McDelivery app, aka McDonald’s trademarked online delivery system. This allows customers to work directly with their nearest McDonald’s to get orders fast and delivered to their door. However, the app also helps the chain reach more customers, manage orders, and works as a marketing tool as well. These both show how apps for restaurant owners deliver value to both the business and its customers.
So what are the categories of must-have apps for restaurant owners? They include:
- Management apps for administrative and logistical tasks.
- Inventory management apps to keep track of inventories.
- Reservation apps to streamline the reservation process.
- Menu apps for quick and easy menu design and management.
- Food delivery apps for an efficient and convenient online ordering solution.
- Online payments and POS apps for restaurant owners.
- Review apps to keep track of customer reviews, gather valuable insights and manage online reputation.
- Social media apps to establish a strong online presence and build a solid community.
Best Free Apps for Restaurant Owners
The best free apps for restaurant owners help you drive business more effectively and serve customers better. Check out the list below, and make sure to try them out.
- Social media apps. With billions of social media accounts online, establishing a social media presence is a no-brainer. Social media facilitates a direct, seamless connection with customers and makes it easier to build a community around your brand.
- Snapseed. Beautiful food photography can help you increase sales by up to 30%. If you don’t have the budget for a professional photographer, don’t worry. All you need is your camera phone, good lighting, your appetizing plates, and Snapseed. This is a free photo-editing app by Google, available for Android and iOS. Snapseed is also an excellent alternative to the photo-editing tools available on Instagram.
- MailChimp. MailChimp offers a Free Marketing Plan with all the basics you need to start a successful email marketing campaign. If you already know how to grow your restaurant email list, you can use MailChimp to build a custom email template. Use it to suit your brand’s identity and automate email sending to your customers.
Consider these three apps your starter kit to stay up to date in the restaurant world. They won’t eat up your marketing budget while still noticeably boosting your online marketing and reputation.
Restaurant Apps for Reservations
One of the first apps for restaurant owners you should purchase is one for reservations. Having a restaurant app for reservations is another win-win solution for everybody. You can lessen the daily responsibility of your restaurant staff so they can focus their energy on providing excellent service. This translates into improved overall operations. (The less stressed your workers are, the better they’ll serve your customers.)
Additionally, your customers can have a hassle-free experience booking a table. They can make restaurant reservations via their phones whenever and wherever they are. Or they can do so by using their computer via your website. Here are some restaurant apps for reservations that are worth checking out.
Eat App’s key feature is its user-friendly interface. On this app, you gain table management, guest databases, CRM, and a widget displaying real-time table availability. Your guests can schedule appointments directly from your social media page or your website by clicking on the widget.
You can also use it to view and create employee schedules, which helps you keep your team organized. Lastly, Eat App now works as an email marketing automation platform as well. That way, you and your content marketing specialist can keep in touch with visitors and share updates and deals.
Apps for restaurant owners also benefit customers, and Resy is a prime example of that. This restaurant reservation app also includes a waitlist system and allows mobile booking, table management, and POS integration. Your guests can confirm, update, or cancel their booking through text.
The app also gathers information from your customers, such as birthdays, food restrictions, food allergies, etc. With this information, you can provide a personalized and enhanced dining experience. Remember, owning a successful restaurant means knowing how to stand out from the crowd. A customer will remember your establishment if you make their visit as tailored to their needs as possible.
Wisely offers a reservation system as part of its comprehensive operations and marketing system. Other features include waitlist management, table management, smart seating, marketing tools, and more. Wisely’s advanced system automatically integrates customer data and reviews across the internet. This helps you keep up with customer feedback and consistently deliver exemplary service.
Have you heard of Tock? This restaurant reservation app not only facilitates efficient table management but also helps improve restaurant revenue. How? With its ticketing system, which takes reservation deposits and prepayments — thereby reducing no-shows. Other features include automated notifications and waitlists, pre-visit questionnaires, an offline mode, and fully-configurable guest notes.
One of the most well-known apps for restaurant owners is OpenTable. The software enables automated reservation reminders, shows real-time table availability, offers table categories, saves customer details, and much more.
For your guests, the app isn’t just great for booking a reservation. It also acts like other review sites in that they can leave feedback and read other diners’ reviews. Guests can also use the app to accumulate points every time they book that go towards free meals and rewards.
Apps for Restaurant Management
It’s not easy to manage a food business. You must keep up with industry news, be effective at task management, and stay up to date with restaurant stakeholders.
That’s why finding an app that helps you with all your to-do lists in one place is crucial. The following apps for restaurant owners can help you with all of this.
7shifts manages employee shifts according to availability and requirements. It ensures you comply with labor laws and uses smart AI technology to design the best schedule for all employees. You also see all your messages from staff members in one hub. What’s great about that? You don’t have to worry about missing time off requests, shift trades, etc.
In addition to upping employee engagement with the scheduling tool, the app features other savvy management options. Like the labor cost savings calculator that helps you align scheduling decisions with a healthy profit margin. The app also allows POS integration.
If you need HR but don’t want to spend a ton of money on a whole department, use Zenefits. This app is the go-to for people operations services. It’s a cloud-based service that makes payroll and health benefits simple. You can use it to streamline onboarding, track PTO, schedule performance reviews, and more. It’ll also come in handy during tax season since it makes paychecks a breeze.
Do you need assistance with your restaurant’s inventory and food costs? Try out Orderly. This is a must if you’re opening a new restaurant, especially. It’ll save you from keeping up with all your suppliers. Plus, it ensures that you have the right produce for menu items.
This app enables invoicing, accounting, and inventory management. Keep track of price trends, supplier pricing, and food spending. Export spend reports directly from the app to your accounting software and more.
Looking for apps for restaurant owners that can accomplish all your accounting tasks? Call upon FreshBooks to make payments and inventory easy as pie. This is a cloud-based accounting solution that allows you to create invoices, process payments, track expenses, and manage inventory.
Like some of the other apps mentioned, BlueCart is an inventory management app. You can use it for a variety of back-of-house functions. These include managing your inventory, ordering from your suppliers, checking in arriving items, returning extra or damaged products, and more.
A major place where you might be losing money in your business operations is through beverages. So often, folks over-order the wrong things or spend too much on liquor. But with the right app, you can change that.
Bevspot is a bar inventory management app. It helps you keep track of your liquor stock and sales and minimize costly liquor spending. You’ll know what sitting inventory you have, cut down on creating more, and receive notifications of what needs ordering.
Whether you’re a new restaurant owner or an industry veteran, you know the importance of food health and safety. FoodDocs is an app that helps restaurants create a vital food safety system in minutes.
The app alerts owners to critical issues and analyzes hazards to keep you and your customers safe. This globally-trusted app for restaurant owners is the best way to protect your business and base from illness.
There’s a psychology to menu design that you can use to help sway customers’ buying decisions in your favor. For example, placing an expensive item more prominently on the menu helps to make other dishes more reasonably priced.
And according to menu engineer Greg Rapp, strategic menu design can boost sales by 30%. These menu apps for restaurant owners are helpful even if you don’t have a graphics or branding background.
Canva is a popular app for amateur designers the world over. It offers an extensive library of menu design layouts that simplifies menu design. All it takes is copying and pasting matching texts and food images.
Canva has a free plan with all the tools you need to create an appealing and professional menu. You can also easily create marketing materials for printing and for social media posts.
Graphic designers, digital artists, and illustrators widely use Adobe software because of its first-rate design features. However, you don’t need design skills or experience to use Adobe Express for your menu creation. The software’s free plan comes with various beautiful typography and imagery options.
You’ll have to pay a small fee to remove the Adobe watermark if you want to use your own logo. But with the one-time fee, Adobe Express will automatically integrate your logo on all your other design projects.
Design Bold is a menu designing app for restaurants. It offers restaurant menu templates, free stock images, editing tools, and several popular download formats. Using it is straightforward, so even restaurateurs with no experience in design and photo editing can create an exquisite menu.
We’ve equipped you with apps to help you design menus. Now let’s get into those software options that go above and beyond. These specialized tools are strictly for menus and restaurateurs so they can level up their offerings.
iMenuPro was one of the first menu design software and continues to be a dedicated program for restaurant menus. For an affordable monthly subscription, you can access and customize menu templates with fonts, logos, and images. The best part? It’s all drag and drop.
The subscription also comes with your own iMenu database. Here you can store a list of your restaurant’s food items, which allows quick and easy menu updates and changes.
Poster My Wall
Poster My Wall is perfect for restaurant owners with room in their budget. With a premium subscription, you can use its intuitive menu maker, sleek and original templates, and photos. Essentially, this is a way to level up your offerings. If you want your menu to look better than the competition, try this app.
Must Have Menus is another great choice for restaurants that have the budget for a professionally designed menu. Especially if they need it done quickly. The app also offers a DIY lower-cost option. This only involves five easy steps and produces a striking and cleanly made menu.
Best Food Delivery App for Restaurant Owners
The demand for food delivery services shot up at the height of the pandemic. Still, this immensely convenient option transformed food delivery apps into a basic luxury that customers crave. To give your establishment that extra competitive edge, you should consider partnering with these food delivery apps.
So what should you look for in a delivery app? The best food delivery apps for restaurant owners offer accessibility, convenience, and efficiency to you and your customers. Here are our top picks.
Grubhub. The app has an extensive reach — it is available in 4,000 US cities and Europe. It delivers from national chains and local restaurants and supports multiple payment methods.
Seamless offers the same features as Grubhub. Having a backup food delivery option for your customers during peak hours is always a good idea. That way, they won’t have to wait too long to enjoy their favorite items from your menu.
We’ve all heard of DoorDash. This food delivery app for restaurants also serves as a restaurant recommendation service. It’s available in 4,000 US cities, plus Canada and Australia. The service includes delivery services to both national chains and local food establishments.
Uber Eats. If you’re in a city where Uber is available, odds are that most of your customers also use Uber Eats. This food delivery app for restaurants is available in more than 7,000 cities in 45 countries. The app also offers real-time delivery tracking and supports various cashless payment methods.
Restaurant WiFi Apps
Apps for restaurant owners don’t just stop at building up your business. Offering free WiFi access to dining guests is now a standard perk in virtually all food establishments. You can use your guest WiFi to deliver more than just the ability to stay connected online. You can fully customize your end-to-end guest WiFi experience with the right WiFi app for restaurant owners. This service can work to your advantage and give your guests a more pleasant experience.
A WiFi system that suits you and your guests, like Beambox, allows you to enhance your guest WiFi experience. It also gives you access to valuable restaurant management and marketing tools. Beambox enables connecting, capturing, and retaining customers so that your guest WiFi drives business and builds customer loyalty.
Make your dining guests feel appreciated with WiFi that remembers and welcomes them each time they visit. Build a loyal following on your social media or display targeted content to your guests via a customized captive portal. Harness actionable customer insights and use analytics to understand better the people who love your business. Establish a perfect online reputation with customer reviews.
Of all the apps for restaurant owners, Beambox can do the most to increase positive customer experience. Beambox has a client base of over 3,000 venues that use our customizable WiFi marketing solutions in rewarding ways. You can:
- Drive sales with time-sensitive deals and promos for your restaurant
- Boost social engagement through Instagram or Facebook contests
- Climb up on online ranking platforms through real-time customer reviews.
Beambox is an all-in-one WiFi solution that accomplishes all of the above. Accelerate your business growth — start your Beambox free trial today!
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