The internet has many resources for restaurant owners; from marketing to finance to general tips and tricks, software and advice for the food industry has never been more accessible. Here are 22 deliciously useful resources to help your restaurant grow and succeed:
“Simple Hosting Management”
A tool designed to simplify hosting duties, No Wait provides access to a real-time wait lists from multiple devices around your restaurant. Let parties know their tables are ready from anywhere in the establishment, create customized messages to customers, and more.
Enjoy benefits such as:
- Creating custom floor maps
- Keeping track of reservation info and special parties
- Streamlining seating, allowing you to seat more peopleand increase revenue
“Get More Orders, Your Kitchen Can Take It”
Want to be part of a burgeoning network with unlimited access to potential customers? OnlineOrdering.com makes it easy to receive orders by fax, email and more. It’s free to join -- simply send your menu to the software’s portal to be added to the network. The system works automatically and sends you customer orders directly.
Some of the software’s features include:
- Simple commission rather than fees for receiving orders
- No hardware required
- Direct deposit into your bank account every two weeks
- Receive orders from your official website if desired
3. Humm Systems
“Insights Made Easy”
Want to know what customers are saying about your restaurant online and on-premise? Humm Systems provides access to all reviews, meaning you won’t have to perform extensive internet searches or read dozens of feedback cards. Humm also features a widget for sharing positive feedback on all social channels instantly and easily.
Additional features include:
- Creating and sharing detailed data reports “anytime,anywhere”
- No tech team necessary -- Humm runs on Google’s secure platform
- 24/7 Cloud control
- Search filters for determining what’s trending and what isn’t
“Tablet Restaurant Menus For Wine and Beverages”
Uncorkd is a resource for wine makers and distributors, as it makes it easy for customers to order wine and other libations, educate themselves on wine and spirits, and access discounts and other special offers. A wine list app for restaurants, Uncorkd is a simple way of encouraging customers to order more wine, and higher-priced wine. Studies indicate customers order more when using iPad restaurant menus.
Some of the app’s notable features include:
- Extensive menu and wine list organization
- Filter searches by region, price range, country or grape varietal
- No WiFi required
- Fully-integrated database with information on nearly 100,000 wines, spirits and beers
- Real-time control panel
- Food pairing recommendations
“Start Taking Online Orders Today”
ChowNow builds custom apps for restaurant owners that incorporate logos and brand names for increasing brand awareness and number of online orders. The platform is 100% integrated into your current website, meaning customers won’t have to use a third-party site to place an online order.
A few of the software’s features include:
- Easy menu changes across all ChowNow-powered menus
- Orders through Facebook as well as establishment website
- ‘Order With Friends’ tool that allows groups to pay separately while eating together
- Catering platform for large orders--because orders are made electronically, there’s no room for error
- Direct deposit on a weekly basis
"Our mission is to connect people with gluten-free friendly businesses"
An app and site dedicated to finding gluten-free restaurants, Find Me Gluten Free is a way for customers to find your establishment quickly and easily. Whether searching for a gluten-free restaurant while traveling or looking for gluten-free pizzerias, bakeries and fast food for delivery, this service makes it simple.
- Customer calling for placing orders directly from the app
- Restaurant ratings and reviews
- Directions to gluten-free establishments
“We Heart Regulars”
A loyalty program that helps small businesses “across all sectors” offer incentives and discounts comparable with airlines and credit card company rewards, Perka Mobile Loyalty creates programs designed to ensure repeat business.
Some of the program’s best features include:
- Tailored customer tiers
- Transaction reporting
- Communication features
- VIP discounts
“New Customers. Guaranteed.”
Purchased-linked promotions is the name of the game for CardSpring, which allows business owners to turn social media fans and followers into bona-fide repeat customers. Reaching millions of customers at one time is easy thanks to automatic promotion distributions via online advertisers such as Facebook, Foursquare, Twitter and more. Customers simply see your promotion on one of these sites, link the promotion to their payment card using their credit or debit card number, and redeem the card at your location.
Create custom promotions during “dead” or slow restaurant days or seasons, and receive verified results, or a measure of link between online promotions and actual establishment patronage.
“A mobile payment rewards and engagement platform”
Appetite provides services to franchises and independent merchants, allowing them to develop customer profiles and learn who their customers are, how often they patronize the establishment, and much more.
A few features of interest:
- Ability to pay with smartphone
- Segmented deals for specific customers
- Instant push marketing
“Shop. Earn. Smile.”
Designed for small to mid-size businesses, Punchcard can still work for the restaurateur, as it allows you to communicate with your customers via offers, event notices and brand messages “at the right time” among offerings.
A few of these features are:
- Options for attracting new customers
- Rewards for existing customers
- Measure results - who is purchasing what
“The World’s Best Loyalty Program”
Designed to increase customer frequency and retention, Belly also allows you and your fellow restaurant owners to manage email and social media sites, and obtain customer information.
A few other features include:
- Email marketing campaigns
- Facebook and Twitter integration
- Loyalty cards
“Attract, Engage and Retain Your Restaurant Guests”
Full of ideas and how-tos regarding digital marketing, the NextRestaurants blog offers a wide range of restaurant-specific posts and podcasts designed to help you increase both customer base and brand awareness.
Receive insider information on:
- Running Instagram contests
- Elements of an optimized restaurant website homepage
- Restaurant marketing and SEO
- How to get more restaurant visits from your email list
“A turnkey website solution designed to help restaurants, cafes and bars attract more customers and thrive on the web.”
The Restaurateur's Tips Blog from Restaurant Engine offers useful information regarding digital promotion, online ordering, restaurant business plans and more.
Enjoy tips and advice on topics such as:
- Integrating online ordering into Facebook and emailcampaigns
- Promoting online ordering through your website
- Making online ordering mobile-friendly
14. Swipely Blog
“Understand, Manage and Grow Your Business.”
Another restaurant resource, the Swipely Blog offers a variety of tips and advice.
Some topics include:
- Healthy kids’ menu options that attract families
- How top chefs use technology to run better restaurants
- Coffee shop trends that increase popularity
“A blog about digital technology and data in the restaurant industry”
The Zipscene blog features categories such as “Customers,” “Data,” “Technology,” “Insights” and more.
- Is Twitter working for you?
- What restaurants can learn from the ballpark
- Restaurant mobile search trends
“The next generation of restaurant marketing”
Founded by a restaurant industry consultant, Eateria features a blog with tips and advice on a range of business-related culinary topics.
- Mother’s Day marketing tips
- Email frequency tips
- How to prepare your restaurant for harsh winters
- Five ways restaurants can use QR codes
17. Punchh Blog
“Bringing CRM to brick-and-mortar businesses.”
Another blog to follow for restaurant tips and tricks, Punchh doesn’t feature the most attractive layout, however it does offer a few interesting posts.
- How to use dynamic marketing to bring customers back
- How to romance your customers on Valentine’s Day
- Word of mouth marketing in the mobile and social era
18. Rockbot Blog
“We’re on a journey to 1 million engaged restaurant customers”
Rockbot itself is a "social music engine" that allows patrons of restaurants and bars to be in charge of the music playing. Their blog, which focuses on the idea of customer engagement, has helpful tips and ideas for bars and restaurants.
Exemplar articles include:
- Three definitive partnerships for your local restaurantmarketing strategy
- Nine reasons to get your restaurant employees on socialmedia
- Seven essential tips for opening a hookah bar
- The 10 best bar games for your pub
- The ultimate St. Patrick’s Day playlist for bars andrestaurants
"Restaurant Point of Sale Reinvented for iPad"
A Point of Sale system designed for the restaurant industry, Breadcrumb offers the “lowest credit card processing rate in the industry” and a live, 24/7 tech team.
A few of its best features include:
- Automatic customer profiles
- Credit card and cash acceptance
- Real-time sales and product breakdown reports
- Easy order customization
“The iPad Point of Sale chosen by thousands of restaurants, bars, coffee shops, cafés, bakeries, delis, and more.”
Increase sales and receive a free, PCI-secure credit card reader when you sign up. Instore allows you to purchase what you need “piece by piece” rather than buying packages/bundles at one time.
Key Features include:
- Multiple wireless printers, secure stands and cash drawers
- Credit card processing
- Ability to run on an unlimited number of iPads at different locations with subscription
“Understand, Manage and Grow Your Business.”
A point of sale system with a helpful blog (see Swipely Blog above), Swipely provides “all the insights you didn’t know you were missing,” making it easy to effectively run your business.
You get detailed information on subjects like:
- Which menu items are the most popular and result in repeat business
- Server ranking according to sales
- Credit and debit card sales by month
- Average number of transactions for each day
22. Next Gen Dine
“The Future of Restaurant Dining”
Another Point of Sale system exclusively for the restaurant industry, Next Gen Dine makes it easy to reduce overhead and order turn-around time among other things.
Notable features include:
- Loyalty programs
- Social media management
- Split check option
- Reservation services
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