Top Free Restaurant Management Software

Check out our list of free Restaurant Management Software. Products featured on this list are the ones that offer a free trial version. As with most free versions, there are limitations, typically time or features.

If you'd like to see more products and to evaluate additional feature options, compare all Restaurant Management Software to ensure you get the right product.

(1)4.5 out of 5
Entry Level Price:£11.50 per site per month

Trail is the new way to run restaurants, cafes, bars and pubs. An incredibly simple app guides teams through their day, step-by-step, from opening checks and food safety to cashing up. Checklists and forms replace paper logbooks, for a safe digital record. Reports & alerts give the business complete visibility and control over efficient operations. And when integrated with ePOS, rotas and other systems, Trail becomes the central operational hub for the entire organisation.

Trail app gives managers visibility on how sites at different locations being run and updates the team with their daily jobs. Trail is the easiest... Read review
0 ratings

An all-in-one online restaurant management software on cloud that smartly manages all restaurant operations e.g. building menus, creating table floor plans, placing orders,settling the bills,implementing CRM, managing the inventory, booking table reservations and managing employees. Manage your restaurant any time, anywhere on any device, at your convenience.

0 ratings
Entry Level Price:£65 1 user, monthly

mylivevison helps daily F&B expenditure entered into the purchase module not only updates the stock module automatically, but company stock levels also.

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Restaurant Magic was founded over 30 years ago with a single vision of providing restaurant operators better access to their operational data. With this access, operators can make faster decisions, optimize schedules, implement predictive ordering, and create a positive impact on their bottom line. Restaurant Magic's software provides insight to some of the largest multi-unit franchises in the world.

Top 4 Free Restaurant Management Software in 2021

  • Trail
  • Mehmaan Nawazi
  • mylivevision
  • Restaurant Magic

Learn More About Restaurant Management Software

What is Restaurant Management Software?

Restaurant management software is designed to be an end-to-end software solution to help users run their restaurant. Ideally, if one purchases restaurant management software, they will not need to purchase other software to help run their restaurant. While every business is slightly different and has different needs, the intention behind a restaurant management system is to act as a POS solution, table management solution, inventory management solution, kitchen management solution, reservations solution, accounting solution, and more, all in one software package.

While this may sound overwhelming, the intention is good. Restaurants operate on notoriously slim margins, and purchasing one software solution is often more cost-effective than buying many. Providing a more streamlined experience benefits both the business and each customer that walks through the door. By making it easy to seat a customer, take their order, send that order to the kitchen, and deliver the check, restaurant management software saves time for both the customer and the server. Some solutions are even available as a mobile app, eliminating the need for server stations entirely.

Freeing up servers, saving time, and lowering costs all enable restaurants to run more efficiently between the back of house and front of house. It’s much easier to use one solution for everything rather than hope a variety of solutions will seamlessly integrate. Cloud-based software especially is easy to implement with touchscreen stations, so the learning curve is lower for both servers and the restaurant manager.

Restaurant management software can also help owners and managers with the high-level aspects of running a restaurant outside of daily service. Accounting, billing, menu creation, inventory management, employee scheduling, and more are common features of restaurant management software.

Why Use Restaurant Management Software?

Restaurant management software is built to help users manage their restaurant or restaurants. By using a single unified system, users can streamline both the food prep and sales aspect of the business, as well as the high-level behind-the-scenes aspects. These solutions are designed to improve the daily experience of restaurant employees so they can in turn focus on improving the guest experience.

Restaurant management systems are intended to manage all aspects of a restaurant from start to finish, from purchasing food all the way to billing and accounting. While many restaurant POS solutions are becoming robust enough to rival restaurant management software, their goal is not to be a comprehensive solution. Restaurant management systems, given that they are so robust, can help reduce costs, increase employee productivity, and even improve compliance with food safety regulations.

Anyone looking for a comprehensive system to run a restaurant with a large variety of features can benefit from restaurant management software. They are designed specifically for the needs of a restaurant business and therefore cater their offerings specifically for restaurant needs.

Who Uses Restaurant Management Software?

Restaurant management software can be used by everyone who works in a restaurant. Hosts and hostesses can use the platform to accept reservations, manually input a reservation, assign tables, and create a waitlist. Servers can use it to place guest orders, make sales, create or split checks, run credit cards, and generally process payments like a POS system. The kitchen can use the platform to create a menu, mark when menu items are no longer available, receive tickets, and manage inventory. Restaurant owners and managers can receive high-level insights into the business with reports and analytics, manage accounting, handle billing and purchasing, and basically oversee all restaurant operations.

Kinds of Restaurant Management Software

Most restaurant management software is designed to be a one-stop shop for all restaurant-running needs. However, some center on different aspects of running a restaurant than others. Some might focus more on the business side, with robust accounting features. Some might focus more on the server side, providing easy tools to streamline service. Some may focus on helping a kitchen become and stay organized by digitizing order tickets.

In general, most restaurant management systems will be very similar, but the slight shift in focus can help direct improvements in a restaurant where they are most needed. Depending on the size of the restaurant and how many locations there are, some software is built specifically for single locations and some are specifically created for large businesses handling multiple restaurants.

Restaurant Management SoftwareFeatures

Finance tracking – Tracking every transaction is extremely important in a restaurant. Not only does it help manage income versus expenditures, but it also makes it much easier if a customer ever disputes a purchase. Knowing how much money is going into purchasing food by breaking down recipes by the cost of individual ingredients and which menu items are more successful than others can help owners and managers make informed decisions moving forward. This can also help a kitchen see how much money is being lost to food waste and make adjustments. In general, it’s always a good idea to know how sales are faring and where costs can be cut.

Tax tools – Tax season can be rough on everyone, especially small businesses. Restaurant management platforms with tax tools can help prepare a restaurant for tax season with minimal work. By keeping track of all receipts and purchases, owners don’t need to worry about losing track of crucial information or doing a lot of tabulating last minute.

Menu creation – While there’s obviously a lot of work that goes into creating a menu beyond the realm of software, restaurant management software can help organize that process. Some restaurant management software can maintain ingredient lists and recipes for menu items. Once menu items are finalized, they can easily be added to the POS feature, making it much easier for servers to place orders for customers.

Order management – Order management and food sales obviously make up the bulk of a restaurant’s business. If operations don’t run smoothly, that can spell disaster for the entire business. With digital tickets or an integrated ticket printer, the kitchen can stay organized and on top of orders as they arrive. If a restaurant also runs a delivery service, staying organized is even more important in order to ensure that the food gets exactly where it needs to go. Some platforms will even alert servers when an order is running behind so they can keep customers informed.

Credit card processing – Most point-of-sale systems have built-in credit card processing, and many restaurant management systems are no different. Since most diners pay by card, built-in credit card processing can make the payment process a lot smoother for both guests and servers. This can also eliminate the need to pay extra money to a credit card processing service. By having the service bundled with the software platform, there is no need to pay more out of pocket.

Loyalty management – Obtaining and retaining customers is a huge challenge for any restaurant. Many restaurant management systems will include some kind of loyalty management features in the form of gift cards, frequent diner cards, or email newsletters. By having these all housed within the platform, redeeming cards or maintaining a record of accumulated points becomes easy. Customers don’t need to remember a paper card, and servers don’t need to spend a lot of time trying to ensure the customer gets their discount.

Inventory management – For a restaurant, inventory control is a primary concern. Without enough of the right ingredients, serving customers becomes impossible. Food is not cheap, nor does it last forever, so ordering the right amount is extremely important. With inventory management features in a restaurant management system, chefs and cooks can keep track of all available ingredients, when they will expire, and what needs to be ordered in the near future. If a set amount of something is available, such as bottles of wine, a smart system will automatically update the inventory when items are purchased. While there is also restaurant inventory software available, having the feature available in a system already being used makes it much easier for the kitchen to communicate with the back office and front of house, and vice versa.

Employee management and scheduling – Restaurants often have large workforces that work separate shifts. Employee management features can help restaurants schedule their employees’ shifts and create onboarding timelines for new employees who need training. This way, restaurants are always staffed appropriately and employees aren’t stretched thin. Some restaurant management software will even be able to report which days or nights are busier and which are slower so managers can schedule appropriately without under- or overstaffing.

Reporting and analytics – Restaurants work with extremely small margins, so knowing exactly what is happening with the business at all times is crucial. Since restaurant management systems touch almost every aspect of a restaurant, they can collect data from the various corners of the business and create analytics that provide a clear picture of its operations. With this data and analysis, restaurant owners and managers can make informed decisions based on where they are performing well and where they need to improve. While data analytics solutions will provide more robust information, the basic tools within restaurant management systems are often enough for busy restaurateurs without a background in data science.

Delivery and takeout – Customers love having the ability to order food online, so it makes sense to provide that option. A restaurant management system with functionality to create an online ordering portal helps keep everything in one place, as well as save time and money when trying to figure out how to build a website and avoid vendor fees. And with those orders coming directly through the restaurant management software, orders are less likely to be lost or pushed aside in favor of in-house diners.

Floor plans – Restaurant management software allows hosts to input the floor plan of the restaurant into the tool so they can easily seat guests and reserve tables. Servers can use the floor plan to ensure that the right order goes to the right table. Some tools may even allow orders to be placed based on table seat, so if someone has an allergy or dietary restriction, they are not accidentally served the wrong item.