What Is Restaurant CRM Software & Which One Suits A Small Business?

restaurant crm

Are you a restaurant owner? Have you been struggling to grow your restaurant business?

You’ve come to the right place.

There are many restaurant CRM software available, and some of them can really help you grow your revenue.

In this blog post, we’ll tell you about why you need restaurant CRM software, and how restaurant owners are already using CRMs.

In a survey, 95% of restaurateurs agree that technology improves their bottom line. That’s not surprising to us.

With a powerful CRM software, you can easily personalize your marketing and the overall customer experience, and roll out customer loyalty programs to keep guests coming back. CRMs can also help you improve employee and inventory management, and finally your bottom line. 

Let’s learn more about restaurant CRM software and the top five options in the software market today.

What Is CRM for Restaurants?

A restaurant CRM software, or customer relationship management software, helps restaurant owners connect with customers and create a delightful experience. 

It helps you maintain a centralized database of guest information, both for those who’ve dropped in and those who’ve ordered online. 

Using this data, you can provide a personalized experience and build a long-term rapport with your customers — the most essential asset for any restaurant!

Whether you are in the quick-service restaurant (QSR) space or fine dining, the best restaurant CRM solutions can change how you engage with your customers. 

EngageBay’s free CRM gives you complete visibility into every detail of a customer in a single location. 

Do Restaurants Need CRM Software?

Restaurateurs need to build a base of engaged and loyal customers who can’t wait to return.

In other words, managing your growing business goes above the capabilities of Excel spreadsheets. 

If you are wondering — “Why do I need restaurant CRMs anyway?”, the answer is simple: to streamline your day-to-day operations, gain full control over inventory management, ace your customer relationships, easily monitor your employee performance, and much more.

In fact, CRM software is a top must-have business solution for restaurants.

With a powerful CRM system at hand to sync all guest data, marketing campaigns, inventory information, and employee performance ratings, your restaurant will become far more competitive and beat the competition with little effort. 

Related Blog: Law Firm CRM: Why Every Lawyer Needs One? The Complete Guide

What Are the Benefits of Using Restaurant CRM Software?

Information is a powerful tool, and solutions like CRM can be easily plugged into your point-of-sale (POS) system

This way, it takes just a click in your restaurant CRM system to access your guest information, allowing you to deliver a personalized and intuitive customer experience

Let’s look at some of the key benefits of using restaurant CRM software.

Track Customer Behavior

An integrated restaurant CRM provides you a massive amount of guest data that can be accessed at any time. 

It captures information on customer behavior, such as previous visits, most preferred dishes, etc., that can be analyzed to uncover hidden patterns, trends, and customer preferences. 

Knowing customer preferences enables you to run targeted campaigns with personalized offers based on their buying behavior. 

These data analyses can be available at your fingertips with a CRM integrated into your POS system. 

Boost Customer Retention 

Good and bad restaurant experiences help make up your customers’ minds about whether or not they are going to come back. 

A CRM for restaurants stores all the important information necessary to provide end-to-end offerings to your customer. 

With customer behavior analysis, you can find out your existing customer’s preferences, including their favorite dish, likes and dislikes, number of visit days, and more. 

As a restaurant owner, you can use this information to show your guests some love in their inbox, keeping them engaged with your business and curious about personal, limited-time offers. 

Besides, retaining your existing customers is five times less expensive than acquiring new ones

Get Real-Time Customer Feedback

The competition in the restaurant business is extremely high. Thus, retaining customers becomes extremely important. 

Customer engagement is an essential aspect of creating a superior customer experience. 

The best way to know what’s working for your customer — if they liked the dishes and the service — is by taking their feedback regularly.

Asking your customers their feedback makes them feel valued and gives you first-hand insights into your restaurant’s strengths and weaknesses. 

If you use a 360-degree restaurant CRM, it comes equipped with a customer feedback management tool.

This will enable you to collect feedback through online feedback forms, which can be embedded into your website or sent via SMS and emails. 

Run Loyalty Programs Easily

Loyalty programs are a great way to give your customers a reason to keep coming back.

An advanced restaurant CRM solution comes equipped with features that enable you to run tailored loyalty programs.

Even the basic CRM for restaurants can provide the information needed to reward the most frequent and loyal visitors. 

Using this tool, restaurants can easily craft their own birthday discounts, signup bonuses, and establish points redeem policy that entices the guests to come back time and time again. 

Automate Your Marketing Emails

Even with a host of other options, the power of email marketing campaigns can’t be ignored. 

Email campaigns allow you to engage with your regulars and potential guests alike. 

With the right CRM software, you can easily run drip email campaigns and automate them so that you have time to focus on other business tasks.

CRM for restaurants also enable you to keep track of all the email campaign results — open rates, click-through rates, and other metrics that help you gauge the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns.

You can improve your strategies based on those insights and earn more revenue. 

Once you write a few different ‘Miss You’ emails to re-engage your guests, you can let the CRM software do the rest. The CRM can even add and remove guests from the email lists based on their responses and personal attributes. 

EngageBay’s email marketing tool comes integrated with a free CRM system to run targeted, personalized campaigns. You can choose from dozens of customizable email templates, or create your own. 

Related Blog: Automotive CRM For Your Dealership: A Quick Guide (+ 5 Best Software)

5 Top CRM Software for Restaurants

With hundreds of restaurant CRM software available in the market, it can be challenging to pick the right one. 

That’s why we have made a list of five top CRM software for restaurants. But before that, let’s understand what type of CRM buyer you are. 

Here are the three types: 

Food Truck or Independent Restaurant

If you are running a single outlet and looking to gain a competitive edge with customer retention, you might benefit from a centralized customer information database. 

Choose a CRM that has a well-organized contact database and enables you to run localized targeted marketing campaigns.

Maintaining constant communication with your customer will increase brand awareness

Multi-branch Restaurant

Instead of having a separate CRM for every branch, an integrated system with a centralized platform can work well for multi-branch restaurants. 

You can then run integrated marketing campaigns and attract more footfalls.

Franchised Chain

Franchised restaurants try to create a global or national level presence by marketing online and establishing an excellent social media presence.

It allows them to interact with their customers directly and gain their trust. 

Restaurant CRM software have social media and online marketing features that can help.

Now, let’s look at some great restaurant CRM software.

1. EngageBay

EngageBay offers a free CRM for restaurants to help restaurant owners grow meaningful relationships with their customers. 

Trusted by over 30,000 customers worldwide, EngageBay is a popular and much-awarded CRM software that is recommended by top marketing influencers like Neil Patel and Shane Barker.

What Does EngageBay’s CRM Include?

EngageBay free CRM offers a comprehensive suite of functionalities that allow you to run targeted, personalized campaigns for your guests. 

From collecting data about your diners to segmenting them based on various factors and providing complete visibility into your sales pipeline, EngageBay can do it all and more.

This integrated, all-in-one free CRM software can streamline and automate your business tasks so that you and your employees can focus more on strategy and a personal connect with customers rather than mundane or repetitive processes. 

Using EngageBay restaurant CRM, you can:

Generate Restaurant Leads Automatically: We use advanced lead generation techniques to generate restaurant leads for your business. Our system automatically finds highly qualified leads based on your restaurant’s customer demographics and behaviors. You don’t need to spend any time or money on manual lead generation.

Create Engaging Content for Your Restaurant: Do you want to grow your restaurant’s social media following? We have the solution for you! You can create restaurant digital marketing campaigns on social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Our restaurant CRM software allows you to easily post restaurant updates from one place!

Increase Lead Conversion Rates: You can automate sending ‘Welcome’ or ‘Miss You’ emails or SMS to your leads based on the details they submit via contact forms or landing pages. It’s never been easier to reach restaurant customers through email. And we don’t stop there. EngageBay can automatically follow-up with all restaurant leads, substantially increasing the conversion rates.

Expand Your Business Avenues: Do you want restaurant guests to order your food online? Create a restaurant eCommerce store on our platform and start selling food online today! You can add multiple payment methods such as credit card, PayPal, or cash on delivery so that your restaurant customers can pay as per their convenience.

Track and Manage Restaurant Leads: Our restaurant CRM assists restaurant owners in managing restaurant leads! The platform simplifies restaurant lead management by keeping restaurant owners informed about all customer interactions in real-time. With detailed information on customers’ demographics, purchasing behavior, interests, and online engagement, restaurant business owners can effectively engage guests and keep them coming back for personalized, timely offers.

Track and Understand Your Sales: Our restaurant CRM allows restaurant owners to monitor business performance by providing comprehensive restaurant sales data. You can see restaurant sales details for the last 30 days, last 3 months, or any time period — all in one place!

You can compare restaurant sales with restaurant revenue, restaurant P&L, restaurant expenses, and restaurant customer count. This will give you a clear view of your restaurant business trends.

Have you been struggling to keep track of restaurant inventory? With our restaurant CRM, you don’t have to worry about restaurant inventory management anymore! Our system gives you detailed and visual reports for all restaurant inventory data, including spending, sales, and turnover.

Summary

EngageBay’s free CRM is a great software to grow your business. It can easily integrate with your POS system and offers reliable customer support.

If you are using other popular business apps and don’t wish to stop, you can integrate EngageBay with them as well. 

2. ActiveCampaign

ActiveCampaign is one of the top restaurant CRMs that offers dedicated solutions for different industries — eCommerce, B2B companies, and digital businesses. 

It offers a combination of three automation tools — email marketing, marketing automation, and CRM. 

What Does ActiveCampaign’s CRM Include?

ActiveCampaign enables its users to add sales and marketing automation to its CRM software. 

The primary goal is to help its users focus on selling while it takes care of lead generation, scheduling calls, and other mundane tasks. 

It helps with lead scoring to help prioritize your leads so that you can nurture the most engaged ones. 

Its most popular plan is Professional Plan that starts at $129 per month for up to 500 contacts. 

From offering predictive content to split automation and attribution reporting, ActiveCampaign has created a niche for itself. 

At $129, you get one-on-one onboarding support along with CXA strategy consultation. 

What sets it apart is that you can connect ActiveCampaign to your Gmail account and manage all your sales communications directly from there. 

Summary

With more than 850+ integrations, it surely can be a great choice for your restaurant CRM

But unlike EngageBay, it can be on the pricey side if you have a small restaurant to run with budget constraints. 

3. Pipedrive

Pipedrive is a robust sales management tool that has been reported as the easiest-to-use CRM

It has also gained popularity for the easy migration of business data between your favorite apps and Pipedrive. 

It is used by over 95,000 companies in 179 countries, with 1M tasks automated each week.  

What Does Pipedrive’s CRM Include?

When you sign up for Pipedrive’s CRM, its basic plan is for $12.50, and it offers customizable pipelines along with contact management. 

Pipedrive claims to offer 24*7 customer support via email and chat. 

It assures its users that the system is GDPR-compliant to protect the privacy of your customers’ information. 

When you upgrade to its higher-paid plans, you get extra features like group emailing, eSignatures, and others. 

The only drawback is that it doesn’t allow Google Drive and OneDrive integration for its basic Essential plan. 

You can add the LeadBooster add-on to your existing plan for $32.50 per company per month. 

Summary

As a sales management tool, Pipeline is reasonably priced. However, it doesn’t offer telephone support even for its most expensive paid plans. EngageBay comes with a built-in telephony that you don’t have to pay a penny more for.

4. Keap

Keap, formerly known as Infusionsoft, houses all your guest activity and communication in a single platform. 

Keap has helped many entrepreneurs manage their businesses efficiently. 

What Does Keap’s CRM Include?

Being one of the top CRM for restaurants, Keap is particularly famous for its customer support. 

Aside from chat support, it also offers call support and has well-organized guides on its platform for easy training of new users. 

Keap’s plan starts at $56 per month, and this is specifically designed for solopreneurs and new businesses. 

Keap understands the importance of email marketing for restaurants, and thus, it offers email tools to automate follow-up and close more deals.  

Furthermore, Keap offers a wide range of integrations with third-party apps to help expand its functionalities. 

Summary

While the Keap CRM Lite plan has nice basic tools, you’ll need its Max plan to access some essential advanced tools like lead scoring and A/B email testing

This can be a drawback for small restaurants with a tight budget.

5. Freshworks

Freshworks is one of the top CRM for restaurants that align your marketing and sales efforts. 

Its smart, comprehensive solution aims to help restaurants discover the best leads and boost customer engagement. 

What Does Freshworks’ CRM Include?

Powered by AI, Freshworks CRM is an intelligent marketing tool that analyzes every deal and helps you with the next best actions. 

It helps create an accurate forecast useful in strategizing your campaigns. 

However, its forecast insights are only available with its Enterprise plan that starts at $69 per user per month, if paid annually. 

Summary

Freshworks can be a great option for restaurants that are just starting out, as it offers a free plan with 24*5 customer support. 

But then, the free plan does not offer what the CRM does best: AI-based insights. 

Wrap Up 

Until recently, restaurant owners used spreadsheets for record-keeping. These were not enough as they only helped to track financials and basic inventory data.

Further, restaurant owners also use a bunch of restaurant management software. For managing multiple restaurant operations, a restaurant business owner or manager may be shuttling between half a dozen software.

Restaurant CRM software has made things easier by helping restaurant owners deal with several demands at the same time. In this blog post, we have listed the best ones in the software marketplace today.

Of all these, EngageBay is the most comprehensive package, and it comes free. It can help you improve your restaurant revenues and customer service.

From employee management to tracking restaurant and guest data, social media marketing, website chat, designing landing pages and popup forms — you can do everything from one simple cloud-based CRM solution.

>Try EngageBay’s Free Plan for up to 15 users here

Sharjeel

Sharjeel is Content Manager at EngageBay. He sleeps more than he reads, reads more than he writes, and writes more than he watches Netflix, VSauce, and Curiosity Stream. Please help him.

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