Best features for a restaurant ERP

ERP systems for restaurants, more than other businesses, should help workers in a fast-paced environment make choices that serve the customers and help the business earn higher profits.  Like other businesses, restaurant ERP systems must contain a record of transactions and the status of various accounts.

Wait staff

The wait staff of a restaurant are the most visible workers and those whose contact and relationships with customers directly affect the business.  These workers include waiters, busboys, hosts, and hostesses whose primary ERP interface will be a point of service touch screen. Important features include:

Order placement – quick entry of new orders linked by table numbers to help ensure all members of a party receive their meals at once.

Order customization – the order system should allow easy adjustments to an order that can include common modifications such as salad dressing flavor as well as less-frequent specifications such as avoiding peanut oil for an entire table when one party has an allergy.

Order completion – immediately when the kitchen completes an order the waiter should receive a signal that the order is ready for pick up and service.  This signal could be a wireless communication so the waiter is not required to look frequently at a screen.

Reservations – customer reservations are placed in ERP including time, size of the group, and possibly specific table requests.

Wait queue – the reservation system should show upon the customer’s arrival if their table is ready or how many minutes of the queue are remaining.  Then when the table is ready, the ERP should inform the host for immediate sitting.

Bus status – when a group finishes their meal, the bus staff should receive a message to clear that table and allow them to inform the host that a table is ready.

Payment flexibility – the ERP should allow a variety of payments including credit card, cash, and gift certificates.  It also should easily allow common customizations such as bill splitting.

Kitchen staff

Kitchen staff prepares the meals and manage inventory and many behind-the-scene important factors.

Orders should be presented by ERP to various workstations so that all can work to the same table schedule.  When the table order is complete, they send a signal to the waiter.

Order customization – clearly presented to the correct station allowing orders to be prepared rare or well done as the customer requests.

Recipe management – this ensures that all kitchen workers prepare any meal in exactly the same manner ensuring consistency to the customers.

Menu management – allows ERP to update the menu or the recipe based on seasonal products and ingredients that are ready to use immediately.

Receipts from food service suppliers – ERP should easily add receipts to inventory in the unit of measure the supplier uses converting automatically to the units required in a recipe.  ERP should also track the time received and alert the kitchen if an ingredient might no longer be fresh so it can properly be disposed of.

Check out our complete guide to ERP features to find more areas where ERP can improve your business processes

Business management

Sales reports – available to management as requested during a workday and over time.

Attendance reports – wait and kitchen attendance available as needed and available for management as well as payroll reporting.

Customer loyalty – ERP should include customer loyalty such as frequency of visits and meals ordered during those visits.

Productivity – staff productivity analyses such as the number of tables or persons served over time with quality of service noted.

Theft prevention – ERP can track inventory usage and management can receive alerts when discrepancies arise.

Feedback – restaurant ERP should include CRM (customer relationship management) and track feedback and other measures.

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Tom Miller

About the author…

Tom completed implementations of Epicor, SAP, QAD, and Micro MRP. He works as a logistics and supply chain manager and he always looks for processes to improve. He lives near San Francisco Bay in California and can be found on the water in his kayak or on the road riding his motorcycle. Contact Tom at

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Tom Miller

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