Restaurant CRM: What Is It and Why Does It Matter?

Marketing 18 minute read 17th March 2023

The restaurant business changes continuously. It’s not just about the food anymore; customers want atmosphere, exceptional service, and a superior experience. This is where restaurant CRM comes in.

This handy software tool allows you to manage customer data, preferences, and interactions in one place and can do wonders for your restaurant.

This article will discuss what restaurant CRMs are and what benefits provide to your business. Moreover, you will find a list of the best CRM on the market.

What Is a Restaurant CRM?

restaurant crm

A restaurant CRM is also known as Customer Relationship Management. It is an essential digital tool that allows you to create and manage customer profiles for your restaurant.

These profiles include your customers’ likes and dislikes, feedback, and history. While each CRM is different, the following features are consistent in most:

  1. Report Creation: This feature helps you create reports and analyses from customer data so you can make better and more informed decisions.
  2. Customer Database: Every CRM has an integrated customer database that helps you save and organize customer data.
  3. Order Management: As the name suggests, you can track and manage orders with this feature.
  4. Staff and Resource Management: It helps you assign and manage your staff’s schedules to optimize resource consumption.
  5. Targeted marketing: Are you thinking of restaurant advertising? With a CRM, you can create targeted marketing campaigns to convert visitors easily and manage expectations.
  6. Reservation Management: This feature lets you easily manage table reservations and seating arrangements.
  7. Customer Feedback Management: This restaurant CRM feature allows you to collect, track, and manage customer feedback to enhance the experience.
  8. Loyalty Encouragement: These allow you to create and manage your restaurant loyalty programs and give rewards.

Best CRM Software for Restaurants

To increase your restaurant’s revenue from 25% to 95%, you need to retain only 5% of your customers. With the most appropriate restaurant CRM, reaching this number is effortless.

But with the many available options, it can take time to choose. We have curated a list of the best CRM software for restaurants to help you make an informed decision and choose the most optimal one for your business.

Best Restaurant CRM #1: Toast CRM

Initially started as a POS and management software, Toast now has an integrated restaurant CRM. Along with the standard feature of CRMs, Toast allows you to leverage email marketing for your restaurant.

Toast CRM helps you send automated emails to segmented audiences. For example, its “Miss You”campaign automatically sends a reminder email to customers who have not ordered in the past 30 days. The “Big Sender” campaign can help you appreciate buyers who spend more than your average customers.

Toast offers a free plan with limited features for small restaurant businesses. “Core” starts at $69 per month and is perfect for restaurants looking to streamline and accelerate their operations. To access this restaurant’s CRM perks, go for the “Growth” bundle, which starts at $165 monthly..

Best Restaurant CRM #2: Upserve

Upserve helps you increase your restaurant’s profits by producing detailed insights with its analysis features. It also enables you to calculate your marketing ROI so you can work on making your marketing campaigns better. With the help of Upserve, you can divide customers into categories based on their choices.

But that is not all because it helps you track your performance and compare it to competitors with its reputation management feature. Upserve pricing starts at $59 per month with its Core plan.

The Pro plan gives you all the advantages of a restaurant CRM and costs $149 monthly. The Pro Plus plan is the most customizable, enabling you to attach your tech platform. This plan costs $399 per month.

Best Restaurant CRM #3: Opentable

restaurant crm

OpenTable is a reservation and table management software. It comes with a restaurant CRM that helps you build fruitful customer relationships. You can quickly identify your regulars and VIPs with its tagging feature. With its server management feature, you can observe your system and employees’ performance.

OpenTable has a Basic plan starting at $39 and a free trial. “Core” is the most popular plan, which gives you all the features from Basic in addition to a premium table management system. “Core” starts from $249 per month. The Pro version has several more features and can help you build customer loyalty for your business with automated campaigns. However, it starts at $449 per month.

Best Restaurant CRM #4: Sevenrooms

SevenRooms is a CRM software specifically designed for the hospitality industry. It can integrate with other systems via API, effectively managing ticketing and online ordering.This will help you provide customers with a fast and streamlined experience.

It also has a mobile application for iOS. Pricing for this restaurant CRM is not available publicly as it depends on your business needs, locations, and size. You can request a custom quote based on these requirements.

Best Restaurant CRM #5: Popmenu

This general CRM focuses on online ordering, and you can tailor it to fit your restaurant’s needs. Its features include website design and hosting, menu management, and order and delivery management. These features lower your dependence on mediator platforms.

Popmenu comes with an Indie version which starts at $149 per month. But if you want to enjoy all the benefits of a restaurant CRM, the Pro version, priced at $349 monthly, will suit you best.

4 Free CRM for Restaurants

Many companies provide a CRM that has a free version which you can later update once you scale your business. You can use these if you want to gain the benefits of a restaurant CRM without investing money. But these free CRM for restaurants come with minimal features.

These features seem sufficient for small businesses, but as you grow and scale your business, you must upgrade your CRM. Either with the same provider or a new one (as listed above.) But for now, here is a list of the best free options.

Free Restaurant CRM #1: Hubspot CRM

HubSpot has a free restaurant CRM platform with features for everyone on your team. It helps sales leaders track team efforts and sales activity to create reports. With a convenient user interface, it can increase sales and improve your marketing campaigns.

It includes email tracking, prospect tracking, meeting scheduler, live chat, reporting dashboard, company insights, deal tracking, and pipeline management.

Free Restaurant CRM #2: Zoho CRM

Zoho CRM offers a free version of restaurant CRM that is very popular among small businesses. It can support three users with all the critical features.

Zoho’s analytics includes standard reports, while marketing automation features include campaigns, custom email templates, and email withdrawals. Zoho’s free version does not have its AI Zia, inventory management, and priority customer support.

Free Restaurant CRM #3: BITRIX24

Bitrix24 is another free restaurant CRM that can help small businesses become more organized, increase ROI and improve marketing. But it allows only 12 users, and you can only store 5GB of data with the free version.

Its free features include email marketing, a mobile app for iOS and Android, CRM records, website builder and hosting, invoicing, product catalog, time tracker, AI and bots, and contact storage.

Free Restaurant CRM #4: Really Simple Systems

Simple Systems offers a free version of CRM software perfect for small businesses looking for simple software. This software allows you to store 100 company records, unlimited contacts, and 100MB of documents.

It offers basic features like contact management, sales pipeline tracking, email marketing, and customer support.

But a restaurant CRM is more than data collection; you need other features like delivery, order, and table management. These features allow you to optimize your business operations and enhance customers’ experiences to compel them to return.

For that, you will have to use a combination of different software. For example, TicketLeap helps your customers book tickets to your events. TableAgent helps with managing reservations.

How To Choose the Best Restaurant CRM for Your Business?

restaurant crm

A good restaurant CRM includes ease of use, integration, cost, customer support, scalability, automation, and more.

To figure out these factors and choose the right CRM for your restaurant accordingly, follow these general steps:

  1. Identify your Needs: The first step is identifying the needs and goals of the CRM. Do you want customers rushing back to your restaurant? Or do you want to improve your marketing? Knowing these needs will help you choose a CRM to address your goals.

  2. Research and Compare Options: Immediately after identifying your needs, you must check the market and compare different restaurant CRM options. Pay close attention to their features, pricing, customer support, and reputation. Read the reviews and ask for opinions from other restaurant owners if possible.

  3. Schedule Demos and Trials: Almost all CRM restaurant software offer a free trial period. Take advantage of this and schedule demos and trials with your choice of CRM. Try it yourself and test it to see if it meets your needs. Take notes so you can accurately compare different options.

  4. Check for Integration: Make sure your CRM integrates with your existing systems, such as POS, online ordering, and table management systems.

  5. Review Customer Support: Make sure the restaurant CRM offers good customer support. This will enable you to solve technical problems quickly without extra costs.

  6. Consider Scalability: The restaurant business takes little time to grow and escalate. So, to ensure that the CRM is scalable and can handle your changing needs.

Benefits of CRM in Restaurants

The restaurant business is one of the most competitive industries. This is because people’s taste buds are constantly changing. To cater to these changing needs, you need insights into user preferences, customer lifetime value, and social media trends.

A restaurant CRM can help you learn all this and gives you various other benefits. Some of these benefits of CRM in restaurants are:

  1. Actionable Customer Insights: This is among the first in the list of benefits of CRM in restaurants. It helps you create customer profiles and generate reports. It also enables you to build an email list and track the needs and preferences of your customers.
  2. Improved Customer Service: By understanding your customers’ preferences and behavior, you can provide a more personalized dining experience. You can also offer them recommendations based on their previous orders.
  3. Enhanced Marketing: A restaurant CRM can help you create targeted campaigns. You can increase customer retention and loyalty by sending personalized promotions and offers to specific customers.
  4. Streamlined Operations: It helps you streamline and centralize your customers’ dining experiences. This lets you avoid manual errors, eliminate duplicate data, and easily manage customer information.
  5. Better Inventory Management: With a CRM, you can track your inventory and automatically reorder items. This feature of a CRM helps you reduce waste, minimize inventory holding costs and ensure that your restaurant always has the necessary ingredients in stock.
  6. Increased Revenue: When your customers get a personalized experience, they are more likely to become your regulars. This means you can increase your average order size and generate more revenue per customer.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, integrating a restaurant CRM can improve your customer service, marketing, and operations. The most common feature (customer profiles, report creation, reservation management, and customer feedback) can do wonders for your business.

However, you must first identify your needs and find the right solution to unleash the power of a CRM.

After you set up your CRM, get the most out of your free WiFi by implementing a guest WiFi management system like Beambox.

With Beambox, you can gather data from your customer to use them effectively in your marketing initiatives. Moreover, WiFi marketing can help you grow your rating on local review sites on autopilot, secure your network from common cyberattacks and improve your customer experience.

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