When it comes to the delicate balancing act that is restaurant management, you should use any tips, tricks and tools available to streamline your job that will ultimately enhance the overall experience for your customers. iPads are quickly infiltrating the business world and there’s no excuse for restaurateurs to miss out on the numerous opportunities the trusty tablet provides. There are plenty of iPad apps for restaurants, solutions and online tools capable of running on the iPad that provide ways to simplify the simplest and most complicated tasks – everything from timing your food prep to POS systems that integrate seating, ordering, payment, inventory and more.
We’ve identified 15 must-have iPad apps for restaurants that focus on the management capacity the iPad can provide – whether it’s being used for staff management, at the front of house or to market your business.
Kounta is an easy-to-use Point of Sale system capable of running on an iPad, or any web enabled device for that matter, that allows you to conduct business from anywhere. As a flexible, cloud based software, you won’t have to purchase extra equipment for it to work. Furthermore, Kounta’s iPad POS System has many more additional features built-in and an API allowing integration with tools to help with inventory management, reporting and analytics, customer loyalty tools and sales insights. Find out more about Kounta’s Restaurant Point of Sale System.
Xero is the all in one accounting package that’s taking the world by storm and it’s easy to see why. The simple yet powerful app makes invoicing and expense tracking a breeze. With the ability to connect to your preferred bank, Xero imports your bank, credit card and PayPal transactions, allowing you to keep track of all your financials from a single dashboard. Xero’s automation features means you can devote time to making sure your restaurant is running smoothly rather than spending time number crunching.
Like Xero, MYOB provides cloud accounting without compromise, by bundling fully-featured invoicing, GST, inventory and payroll in one place. If you’ve got franchises. then MYOB provides centralised and real time management, tracking and control of your stores from one location. MYOB’s secure bank feeds automatically import and match your bank statements to do data entry for you as well.
With the vast majority of casual staff that work in the hospitality industry, managing staff schedules is a delicate balancing act – but it doesn’t have to be thanks to Deputy. The app lets you create, update, cancel, and set shifts all from your iPad. You can send your staff messages via text, email, or the web, so they can get scheduling updates and notifications in real-time no matter where they may be. Deputy also makes it easier for your staff to pick up shifts, switch their schedules, and request time off.
Loved by users and businesses alike, Collect uses rewards to encourage people to keep coming back and share their dining experience with their friends. Essentially Collect helps you to build stronger relationships with your customers by allowing you to create unique and personalised rewards based on each person’s history.
SAP’s mobile app keeps you informed about your business, let’s you view reports, manage contacts, and handle sales and service activities. The app provides you the opportunity to visualize key information about your business in real time with reports and interactive dashboards. It even lets you monitor inventory levels and get product details, including purchasing and sales prices and photos so you’re in the know all the time.
This app lets you manage your files right from your iPad so you can upload, access, and share them even when you’re on the go. This is particularly handy when you need to share important files with staff, vendors, or customers and aren’t near a computer. Dropbox offers massive cloud storage capacities at affordable plans so you don’t have to worry about not being able to share large files.
Beat the Q can help attract new customers to your café, increase customer loyalty, increase order values and help you generate more orders. Your customers will be able to send orders directly to your own dedicated Beat the Q order screen, and payments are transferred directly into your account.
NoWait Host is a useful wait list and seating tool for casual dining restaurants. The premise is simple: eliminate the need for expensive pagers, and instead use NoWait Host to handle your reservations, wait list, and eventual seating by sending updates and alerts to waiting guest via their iPhone or Android phones. Eliminate the need for expensive pager equipment that’s easily lost or stolen. Organize your wait list and plan seating, sending timely updates to customers via text message
The Suggestion Box
Ditch the traditional suggestion box and load your restaurant’s iPad with The Suggestion Box app. Train your staff to hand it over to guests at the end of every meal while their bill is being calculated so they can rate their overall dining experience and leave detailed comments that ultimately provide you with valuable feedback which you can use to improve and get a leg up against your competitors.
Having a social media presence is essential for any business to get their brand noticed amidst the clutter. Hootsuite is a simple tool that makes it easy to manage all your social networks from one platform. Use the easy use platform to schedule posts, cross-publish photos, status updates, and more to Facebook, Twitter, FourSquare, LinkedIn and Google+. You can also use Hootsuite to respond to customer enquiries and feedback immediately.
Padgram is one of the best and most popular Instagram apps for iPad. When people think of Instagram, they immediately associate it with pictures of food and drinks and there’s no reason why a restaurant shouldn’t be flaunting their daily specials and signature dishes on Instagram. Encourage your diners to upload their images of their meals or experience to a dedicated hashtag which will hopefully result in new diners.
Foursquare for Business
Foursquare is an absolute necessity for today’s restaurants as it will turn your iPad into a medium to upload photos, post updates, manage and publish specials, and connect with customers. Foursquare allows you to advertise to get your restaurant’s offerings in front of fresh eyes as well as manage your restaurant’s listing by including a menu, descriptions, hours of operation, website details, and much more.