Restaurant Management Software is the over-arching term used to refer to any data-organizing software that helps managers make profitable decisions. For instance, some software providers focus on specific aspects of the business, such as loyalty or service timers. Others merge multiple categories into one solution like a marketing platform that handles loyalty, mobile ordering and digital menu boards.
Likewise, some companies focus on one concept like a POS system that only works with pizza restaurants. Others, however, may have a broader scope, like an accounting software that services retail, healthcare, and restaurant industries. But often, especially online, they all present themselves similarly, leading a pizza restaurateur to believe they’re comparing "apples to apples." But, all too often that is not the case.
For example, search online for the term, "restaurant management software." Then, visit a few different websites that categorize themselves as such and you'll notice most use language like this:
• Increase profits.
• Improve service.
• Save money.
• Integrate data.
• Create reports.
• Decrease loss.
• Engage customers.
This can be misleading because the broad language poorly explains what the software does provide, as well as what it does not and how those services and benefits are reached. For instance, one company's definition of "reports" could be completely different and incomparable to others.
So why such vague details?
Perhaps some RMS companies include vague terminology or leave things out of their descriptions because they fear a prospect will review their site and omit them from consideration because they didn't see X, Y, or Z.
They may be more prone to vague details when the software lacks powerful features. For example, when an RMS company claims to have "restaurant reports," but can only deliver a series of canned reports, there will be confusion. As software providers in the restaurant industry, we should all make an attempt to lessen any confusion there may be about how our software works and benefits our customers.
How to get a better understanding?
First, it’s important that you, as the restaurateur, fully understand what your company needs from a software system. That way you can ask the restaurant management software providers you speak with about specifics regarding how their products’ features benefit your needs.
Second, know your budget for these purchases so you’re looking in those specific boundaries. And third, ask around for referrals from other industry peers who had similar needs. Then start shopping with a better mindset of which of all those "profit-making" software promises best fit your individual needs.
Dave Bennett With prior experience with Dunkin’ Brands and IBM Global Services, Dave Bennett has led Mirus through its formative years and its current growth phase. Dave holds a B.S. in Business Administration and MBA from Northeastern University. www