15 apps for restaurants that can make work and life easier

When it comes to tech tools for restaurants, some places only want a basic restaurant waitlist app. Others need an all-in-one platform designed to help with every area of the hospitality business. But today, pretty much all restaurateurs rely on at least some form of restaurant technology. And it usually takes the form of apps on their iPhones or Android devices.

In fact, restaurants use an average of three technology tools to manage their back offices alone. There’s a lot that emerging restaurant technology can do for you these days. It can take a lot of mistakes, miscommunications, data entry, and drudgery out of running a small business.

With that in mind, here are the top 15 apps for restaurants that’ll make your life easier.

If you’ve ever found yourself wandering the bar shouting, “Smith, party of 4” you already know you need a restaurant waitlist app. Waitlist.me is a simple app that gives restaurants an easy way to organise incoming guests and text them when their table is ready. If you’re on OpenTable, you have a robust online waitlist built in.

Woman using her smartphone

Accounting, operations and human resources need just as much attention as the food. With Restaurant365, you can keep track of the other side of the business. It integrates with POS systems, banks, and outside vendors, aiming to be a tech solution to some of the most common back-office headaches restaurant owners face.

Restaurant owners tend to be people on-the-go. If you need a note taking app that can capture your every thought, idea, inspiration and reminder, give Evernote a try. You can quickly save text, images, audio, scans, PDFs, and documents. Reliable search functionality means you’ll also be able to find any of your fleeting thoughts later, when you need them.

Deliveroo is one of the most popular food delivery apps in the UK. It offers a platform for restaurants to connect with more diners, manage menus easily, and increase sales. The user-friendly interface and real-time tracking enhance efficiency, making Deliveroo a valuable asset for restaurants aiming to grow in the dining market. UberEats and JustEats are two other well-known options.

This scheduling software is user-friendly, mobile, and cloud based. It’s a great scheduling app that makes shift planning simpler and faster. Employees like it because it can take a lot of the legwork out of finding people to swap shifts or letting their manager know they’re going to be out sick.

Posist’s cloud-based stock and inventory management software helps restaurants control their inventory and prevent pilferage. You can monitor everything through its real-time tracking system so you know what stock is available and what needs restocking.

opentable app on mobile device

Kudos is an employee engagement system that helps you acknowledge team members. Just as importantly, Kudos lets them recognise each other’s excellent work, too. You decide what kind of awards or points to attach to the program. Employees can earn gift cards or you can customise the rewards.

You know social media is an important marketing tool for restaurants. If you are trying to manage feeds across multiple platforms (Instagram, Facebook, Tiktok, and more), you might want this tool to handle all incoming messages and comments in one place. Agorapulse allows you to batch write posts when you have time and schedule them for later. This is just one of the many great apps in this category. Try Buffer or Hootsuite as well.

If you’re trying to stay on top of industry news, the latest in technology, or food trends, you likely have a slew of websites and blogs you read on the regular. Feedly pulls it all together for you to read in one place so you never miss a thing. You can even tell it what topics you want to follow to get all the important insights flagged for you from all over the internet.

This food safety app helps restaurants create a smart food safety system in 15 minutes flat. FoodDocs flags critical control points and runs a hazard analysis for you. A well designed mobile app lets managers get a quick food safety overview on demand and it sends notifications to your phone to alert you of food safety tasks when you need to handle them.

ipad in view when diners arrive in restaurant

Everyone has too many passwords to remember, and restaurant owners have more than most. Keep passwords at your fingers and secure at the same time with a password manager. Onepassword is free, secure, shareable by multiple users and able to generate strong random passwords.

Epidemic Sound
A restaurant’s soundtrack is an important part of its atmosphere. But it’s not legal to pipe your personal Spotify playlists through the speakers. You need a service like Epidemic Sound, which lets you play a wide variety of great tunes without breaking the law.

The last thing a busy restaurant owner needs is a junked up inbox. Cleanfox helps restaurants manage their email inboxes by removing and blocking unwanted newsletters with one click.. The best part is that it aids in decluttering email communications so restaurants can focus on essential messages. Additionally, Cleanfox’s eco-friendly approach helps reduce the carbon footprint, aligning with environmentally conscious business practices.

Your job is stressful. You’ve probably heard you should meditate, but you don’t have an hour a day. When it comes to mediation, you can get the benefits a few minutes at a time. InsightTimer is a free app that lets you pick a mediation based on the time you have (as little as one minute). It’s an easy way to squeeze a little stress reduction into your hectic day.

OpenTable is like getting a whole tech toolkit custom made for restaurants in one place. It’s a complete platform that helps you manage reservations, tables, waitlists, guests, marketing, experiences, online reviews and slew of other things, too.

There’s an app for that

Whether you add one of these apps to your workflow or all of them, it’s clear that restaurant tech is here to stay. It’s good to know what’s out there so you can find the tools that actually help you focus on the low-tech work you love–hospitality.