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Apps for Restaurant Owners

The restaurant industry is a tough place for new businesses to thrive. Statistically, most new restaurants fold in only a year or two. Fortunately, in this day and age there are far more tools available to help the small stay afloat and thrive. Apps continue to revitalize and increase efficiency for all business types, and we’ve compiled some of the best for the food service industry.

Ambur is an app aimed at increasing food server efficiency by providing a mobile POS on iPhones and iPads. Orders taken can be routed to a remote printer and servers can process credit card transactions from their mobile device. Managers can also review sales trends, tip averages, and the busiest hours, then export the traffic data into spreadsheets. Additional management functions, such as scheduling and inventory, are also included in Ambur. The app is available for a one-time fee of $999.99.

Money provides those in the commercial food service industry with financial tools. It is capable of linking separate accounts from hundreds of financial institutions, as well as tracking bank accounts, cash assets, credit card transactions, investment portfolios and loans. Budgeting tools include being able to set monthly revenue and expense goals, as well as analyses of actual results. The app is also capable of printing checks based on the financial data entered; handy for all the miscellaneous transactions small business require. It is currently available for $38.99.

For marketing trends, an app like Hootsuite provides insight by gathering data from all of the major social networking sites. The app will analyze site traffic, track brand mentions, and reference Google Analytics. The trends can be organized quickly and efficiently, so that restaurant owners can see who is enjoying their food the most and helping them decide what the next dish-of-the-month should be. It is free to sign up and download.

A challenge for all in the commercial food service industry is the need for collective attention to small details. Trello is a whiteboard that contains lists of cards that expand into checklists, images, and text files when clicked upon. Each card can be shared across accounts and can be organized by tags and individuals. Users can also leave comments, allowing employees to report in their completed tasks and supervisors to better keep tabs of current events. Reminders and history logging are an extra plus for busy managers. It is currently available for no fee.

Evernote is a tool for restaurant owners in need of extra personal organization. The app allows for the creation of checklists, images, and audio and video notes. All notes are saved to an offsite server that can be synched to multiple devices and shared to other users. The app also includes text-in-image searches; a perk that allows for quick text searches based snapshots of food labels. At the low price of free, it’s a must download.

There are millions of apps available and every restaurant is different so take some time to search Apple’s App Store, do research and see what works best for your business.