- From inventory management to optimizing online ordering and guaranteeing customer satisfaction, the restaurant business can get hectic
- The best management software for restaurants gives you the collaboration tools you need to keep your workers on the same page in real time and make sure nothing falls through the cracks.
- Homebase’s all-in-one team management software is made specifically for small businesses with hourly teams and streamlines the way you do business, keeping your restaurant running smoothly.
At a glance: Our top pick for the best restaurant management software
We work hard to make Homebase the best all-in-one team management app for small businesses like yours. Whether you’re using sales forecasts and labor targets to create the perfect employee schedule or processing payroll, Homebase gives you the tools you need every step of the way. Track working hours accurately, reduce time theft and buddy punching, and empower your team members to give your customers the best service possible.
Homebase also links all your management tools together, giving you a complete solution. For example, our free Basic plan gives you access to timesheets, time clocks, hiring, and scheduling. You can even add payroll to any plan to simplify paying your team. And if you’re already using another payroll solution, you can always sync it with our platform with our wide list of built-in integrations.
What to look for in restaurant management software
There are many software solutions that offer team management services, and you may find that some of them make more sense for restaurant operations than others. Here are some of the major features to look out for:
- Affordable pricing — Profit margins can be tight for small businesses, so you’ll need a tool that’s either free or has flexible and affordable pricing plans.
- Ease of use — Getting your entire team on board with new software is difficult, but an easy-to-use tool will be simpler for your staff to get the hang of quickly.
- Dynamic scheduling — Advanced restaurant management tools don’t only let you optimize scheduling, but also enable employees to swap shifts without any fuss. Homebase scheduling lets you split shifts, create custom schedule notifications, and set up templates to streamline the way you run your business.
- Works well on the go — Your software solution of choice should give you and your staff the flexibility to use it from anywhere using only your phone, whether you’re making a delivery or traveling to another location.
- Useful integrations — Integrations give your software superpowers and let you easily transfer data between platforms. Make sure the solution you choose connects with the other tools you use most, like your payroll and POS systems.
- Buddy punching prevention system — Buddy punching and time theft deal a massive blow to profits every year. So make sure your restaurant management solution has systems in place to ensure accurate clock-ins. For example, Homebase’s time clock tool assigns unique PIN codes to employees and can even take their photos as they sign into work to make sure it’s really them.
Top restaurant management software comparison chart
|App||Pricing||All-in-one||Mobile app||Dynamic scheduling||Top integrations||Top features|
|Homebase||Free basic plan
Upgrades start at $20 per location
|Clockify||Free basic time tracking features
Paid plans start at $4.99 per user per month
|7shifts||Free basic scheduling and time tracking features
Paid plans start at $21.99 per location per month
|Lightspeed||Paid plans start at $90 per month||X||✓||✓||
|Toast||Free basic POS functions
Paid plans start at $69 per month
|✓||Team communication available through Sling||✓||
5 excellent restaurant management software options
Homebase’s team management system integrates with cloud-based timesheets, time clocks, payroll, hiring, and scheduling to support your small business every step of the way.
Homebase is an all-in-one team management platform built specifically for small businesses with hourly workers. Our software solution lets you and your team members turn almost any device with an internet connection into an app that makes running a restaurant as seamless as possible.
- Time clock
- Sales and labor analytics and predictions
- Integrations with POS systems like Clover and Lightspeed
- Team announcements and shoutouts
- Automated reminders and notifications
- Shift notes and employee feedback feature
- File storage and sharing
- Data and analytics
- HR and compliance
- Options for mobile payroll with Homebase payroll
Pros and cons
Homebase offers an affordable, one-stop solution that’s designed to meet the needs of small business owners. Customers frequently praise our platform’s ease of use and user-friendliness, and many of our core features, like time tracking, scheduling, and hiring, are free to use.
Additionally, our paid plans only charge per location, as opposed to some platforms that charge per employee. That means you can grow your team without having to worry about a price increase every time you hire someone new.
However, if you’re only looking for a single-function app and don’t need a whole suite of HR tools for your business, a more simple platform might be a better fit.
Free! You can access messaging, timesheets, time clocks, scheduling, and hiring with Homebase’s free plan.
Clockify’s GPS tracker and timesheet features help small business owners simplify time tracking.
Clockify is a simple time tracking and timesheet app that lets agencies, freelancers, and small businesses categorize their work by tasks and projects. The platform also has reminder notifications that alert your team members to log their hours if they’ve forgotten to do so, helping you keep accurate records.
- Time tracking
- Employee scheduling
- Alerts and reminders
- Invoicing tool
- GPS tracker
Pros and cons
Clockify is a simple, straightforward solution for those who are only looking for a time tracking tool. It’s also available in both English and Spanish, which makes it accessible for bilingual teams.
However, the platform’s pricing plans aren’t very flexible. For example, businesses that need scheduling, invoicing, analytics, time off approval, GPS tracking, or advanced time tracking capabilities that help avoid time theft might need to invest in the Pro plan, which starts at $9.99 per user per month.
Clockify offers a free plan for users who only need basic time tracking features. Paid plans begin at $4.99 per user per month.
7shifts is a restaurant-specific scheduling software with broad team communication and payroll capabilities.
7shifts is a restaurant scheduling software that simplifies team management, communication, and labor cost tracking. Additionally, like Homebase, the platform offers various payroll integrations, hiring and onboarding features, and labor and compliance functions.
- Time tracking
- Team communication
- Labor compliance
- File storage
- Payroll integrations
- Employee feedback feature
Pros and cons
7shifts has a wide variety of tools that make restaurant management a breeze. Additionally, the system integrates with over 60 other platforms to help you run your business effectively, and users reportedly find it user-friendly and intuitive.
However, 7shifts’ pricing plans can cause problems for teams of over 15 employees who are only looking for scheduling and time tracking capabilities. That’s because those businesses need to upgrade to a paid plan, with extra bells and whistles they won’t use, just to accommodate their extra staff members.
Additionally, 7shifts doesn’t come with a built-in payroll system like Homebase. That means you’d still have to transfer your accounting data between various platforms, increasing the risk of errors and misplaced information.
7shifts’ basic plan, which only includes time tracking and schedule management, is free for a single location with up to 15 employees. After that, paid plans start at $21.99 per month per location.
4. Lightspeed Restaurant
Lightspeed Restaurant’s POS app is perfect for larger restaurants that are looking for complex management features.
Lightspeed Restaurant is a POS system that also provides inventory tracking and syncing with major food delivery apps like Uber Eats and DoorDash. The platform is great for restaurant owners or managers who run multiple business locations and want to have all their essential information stored in one place.
- Online delivery
- Bill-splitting functions for large groups
- Contactless payments and online ordering
- Integrations with top accounting software
- Complex reporting capabilities
- Customer-facing hardware like a self-order kiosk and iPad
Pros and cons
Lightspeed Restaurant is a popular and well–known POS system with complex capabilities. Its various features, from menu management to providing centralized gift cards, are designed to help larger teams run their operations more smoothly.
However, the platform is quite expensive for smaller restaurants. And for those needing a more straightforward point of sale system, Lightspeed Restaurant will likely be too complicated.
The Essentials plan begins at $90 per month.
Toast’s all-in-one platform includes a POS system as well as team management and marketing capabilities.
Toast is an all-in-one, restaurant-first POS system that also offers additional team management features like scheduling and payroll. Whether your business is quick-service, like a pizzeria, or full-service, like a casual dining restaurant, Toast can help you improve the way you do business and improve your customer experience.
- Self-ordering kiosk
- Multi-location management
- Online ordering
- Payroll management
- Email marketing capabilities
- Gift cards and loyalty programs
Pros and cons
Toast’s free plan is great for small businesses with a single location who are just looking for one or two POS terminals to get started. Users also report that the software is easy to use and simplifies their front-of-house end and back-of-house operations.
However, users who need a true all-in-one solution that offers features other than a POS might have better luck with other platforms. Toast’s free and paid plans only give you the POS system and the hardware you choose, like a kiosk or payment terminal. All the other management features, like payroll and scheduling, need to be purchased as add-ons.
Toast offers a free plan for single-location restaurants. Paid plans begin at $69 per month.
FAQs about restaurant management software
What software do restaurant managers use?
Restaurant managers can use a variety of different software solutions, including apps for point of sale (POS), HR and compliance, payroll, team communications, time tracking, and scheduling. However, the best software solutions for restaurant managers are all-in-one team management platforms like Homebase. That’s because they include all the tools you need to run your restaurant in a single, easy-to-use, affordable package. No more switching back and forth between different platforms.
What are the benefits of restaurant management software?
Restaurant management software helps business owners improve the way they run their businesses, manage their teams more easily, and satisfy their customers. Some other important benefits include:
- Simpler payment processing
- Easier restaurant inventory management
- In-depth labor and sales reports
- Less risk of manual errors
- Better order management
- Lower costs
How can Homebase help restaurant managers?
Homebase helps restaurant managers by saving them time, reducing labor costs, keeping them compliant with state and federal working laws, and improving the employee experience.
- Maintain accurate records and reduce time theft
- Keep their team updated and on the same page in real time
- Automate the payroll process and ensure employees get paid on time
Get easy-to-access sales and labor data, integrate Homebase with your existing tools, and manage your employee clock-ins. Try Homebase for free!