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The Craft

The ultimate resource for alcohol beverage news, trends and reports for bars, distributors and suppliers.

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There’s no getting around it: the digital age has revolutionized just about every industry and restaurant operations are no exception. Today there are countless apps to help with every part of running a bar or restaurant. While many of them are viable, you don’t have time to comb through each and every one. So, we’ve scoured the app stores for our favorites and present you this list of must-have apps for your bar, restaurant or establishment.

1. Bonusly

Employee turnover is a massive issue in the restaurant industry but you probably (unfortunately) already know that. The app Bonusly is a tool used to incentivize employees and combat turnover. Bonusly works on a points system whereby employees are rewarded for performing well. These points can then be used for prizes, gift cards, or whatever else you see fit. 

2. Buffer


Social media can help make your marketing far more powerful than you might imagine. But with new platforms constantly coming into vogue, it can also be one of the most complex things to handle as an owner or manager. That’s where the app Buffer comes in. Buffer is an all-in-one social media tool that allows you to manage every social media platform from a single app. You can plan and schedule posts ahead of time, analyze social media performance and lots more right from your mobile device. 

3. Evernote


Although not strictly designed for restaurants and bars, Evernote can be a handy tool for any busy professional. The food and bev business is hectic to say the least and it seems there’s always something new on your plate (no pun intended). Evernote is a simple way to write notes or capture ideas wherever you may be. You can organize your notes into folders and notebooks, and you can even attach photos and files to each note. 

4. Order and Pay


Contactless and mobile payments are the present and likely future of the restaurant industry. Indeed, many guests have reported that this is the most important technology to implement during the pandemic. Order and Pay makes it easy for guests to get through the entire ordering process without ever touching a physical menu or payment device. This is a great app for keeping track of bar tabs, as well. 

5. PourMyBeer


This app is an ambitious entry into our list and it may not be perfect for every establishment. PourMyBeer works with a self-serve bar tap system. By using this system, you can run your bar with fewer staff members. It is also easier and quicker for guests to get their beers. 

6. Restaurant365


Accounting is no fun (thanks, Captain Obvious) and chances are you probably didn’t get into the restaurant industry to balance checkbooks. While there isn't an app that can eliminate these tasks, Restaurant365 is an all-in-one back office platform made for the food and beverage industry. This software helps manage your accounting, labor scheduling, food costs and more. It can even help you forecast future sales based on sales history, timing and even the weather outside. 

7. Slack


There's a good chance you're already familiar with Slack. Although not designed exclusively for restaurants, this app is a handy communication tool for any type of team. It allows your employees to easily and quickly send messages, schedules, files and tackle issues on the go. Slack can also help declutter your employees’ phones and email inboxes by keeping all work-related communications in one place. 

8. xtraCHEF


In the restaurant industry food costs may be the number one business priority. xtraCHEF makes it easy to stay on top of your food costs. It provides a platform for account processing, cost management and other inventory management tasks. xtraCHEF also provides food costing analytics to help improve your purchasing practices. If you’re looking for an easy way to use an app to keep track of alcohol or food—here you go!

9. Zero Hour Health


Unfortunately, it is important to have a crisis management solution in place. From food-borne illness outbreaks and worker problems, to any other unforeseen issues that might appear, Zero Hour Health is a great solution for keeping things on track. The app also features Covid-19 solutions, including employee health checks, reopening plans, and other medical guidance. 

10. Avero


Avero is an all-in-one platform for sales and business insight. This app allows you to analyze your restaurant’s performance quickly and easily. That means you can spend less time in the back office and more time in front of your guests. With Avero, you can analyze virtually every part of your restaurant’s performance from sales and food costs to labor and employee management.

11. Feedly


When you work in a restaurant, spare time comes at a premium. There simply aren’t enough hours in the day to get caught up on things like your daily reading. Indeed, some of this reading may be relevant to your professional work. Feedly provides an all-in-one place to view all of the nation’s top publications. In fact, Feedly supports millions of different publications, so whatever you want to read, Feedly makes it easy. 

12. Hootsuite


Earlier in this article we talked about Buffer. Hootsuite is an alternative to Buffer for managing your social media channels. Hootsuite allows you to schedule posts, analyze performance and perform other critical social media tasks from a single platform. 

13. LastPass


The more of these tools you choose to employ, the more passwords you will have to deal with. That is simply an unfortunate reality of the current digital landscape. LastPass is a way to manage all of these passwords from a single program. This app can even generate unique passwords and store them for you. By using this capability, you can effectively eliminate the need to remember passwords. 

Conclusion

These types of software solutions can be critical tools in efficiently managing your restaurant. However, it is also important to carefully curate and decide which ones are right for you. Software can simplify your life significantly as a restaurant professional, but the misuse of software will only make things more difficult. Be sure to carefully analyze your specific needs and act accordingly. 

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