March 14

A Guide To Building a Restaurant Tech Stack in 2024


Restaurant Tech is Here To Stay—Here’s Our Breakdown Of The Most Essential Tools for Restaurants

Deciding which tech tools are best for your business can be overwhelming as our industry transitions into more digitally-led operations. That’s why we wrote a guide to help you navigate the murky waters of restaurant technology.

In this guide, you’ll find:

  • What a tech stack is.
  • How to understand your restaurant needs.
  • The core components of every restaurant tech stack.
  • Bonus tools to help your restaurant thrive.

Let’s dive in.

What Is A Restaurant Tech Stack?

Think of a tech stack as the digital backbone of your restaurant, comprising all the software and technological tools that power your business.

From taking orders to managing inventory, engaging with customers, and analyzing sales data, each piece of technology plays a critical role in your restaurant’s seamless functioning.

The importance of a robust tech stack extends beyond mere operational efficiency. It’s about creating a cohesive ecosystem that touches every aspect of your restaurant’s operations, impacting customer satisfaction and business growth.

Assessing Your Restaurant’s Needs

Hundreds of digital restaurant solutions exist. Your first step is to discover which tools your restaurant needs.

  1. Pinpoint areas needing improvement: Look for bottlenecks in your operations, areas where errors frequently occur, or processes that consume excessive time or resources.

    This might include manual tasks that could be automated, inefficient use of staff during peak hours, or gaps in your customer service that technology could fill.
  2. Identify your restaurant’s goals: Now that you know your problem areas, write down your long-term and short-term goals for each issue.

    Maybe you want to steer customers towards making reservations instead of walking in, or you need to streamline your ordering process to reduce wait times.

    Whatever it is, get a clear idea of what your restaurant is trying to achieve.

Understanding your restaurant’s weak points and setting goals for improving them can help narrow down which tools will actually be useful.

Core Components of a Restaurant Tech Stack

The following tools are the foundation of your tech stack.

Operating without these tools is like building a house with just a hammer—sure, you can do it, but the job would be a hell of a lot faster and easier if you just bought a nail gun.

Point of Sale (POS) System

Every restaurant needs a POS system because it’s the heart of operations.

I’d be shocked if someone reading this didn’t know that, so I don’t want to belabor the point, but if you want an efficient tech stack, start with a robust POS.

Every tool we discuss in this article will need to integrate with your POS system—so when researching tools, check with brand reps to see if their software integrates with your existing POS.

If you start shopping around and realize most tools don’t integrate with your POS, it might be time for an upgrade. If that’s the case, go here to learn how to upgrade your POS, or check out our list of the best POS of 2024.

Online Ordering and Delivery Platforms

Online ordering and delivery exploded during COVID-19—if a restaurant wanted to survive, they needed to reach customers online.

This forced integration was a blessing in disguise for many restaurants because online ordering and delivery became a valuable piece of their digital toolbox.

Here are several reasons why you should include online ordering and delivery in your tech stack:

  • Expanded market reach.
  • Increased revenue stream.
  • Customers love the convenience.
  • Marketing opportunities.
  • It helps you stay competitive.

When selecting an online ordering platform, prioritize commission-free delivery options. Delivery fees charged by some platforms (DoorDash, GrubHub, etc.) can climb to 30%, significantly impacting your profits.

Opt for companies that not only provide a comprehensive online ordering system but also ensure delivery is without additional commission costs, like:

Each of these companies should build you a branded website that’s easy to manage and usually has other benefits, like marketing, customer loyalty programs, and analytics.

Employee Scheduling Software

Using employee scheduling software will save you time, money, and headaches.

Integrating employee management tools alleviates traditional scheduling burdens, such as coordinating days off, labor management, and shift swaps.

Most scheduling software comes with an arsenal of features, like:

  • AI-assisted scheduling.
  • Easy shift swapping.
  • Track hours (stop time-theft).
  • Easy payroll.
  • Team communication.
  • Timesheets.
  • Text message alerts.
  • Clock in/out portal.

Ditch the paper schedules taped to the wall and save yourself hours every week by integrating with staffing software, like:

Of course, before investing in a scheduling platform, you need employees! If you’re looking to build up that staff, a hospitality-focused employment platform like Poached is essential for quickly connecting with skilled professionals. Additionally, with Poached Shifts, you can fill any gaps in your schedule by booking with freelance hospitality professionals.

Reservation System

Manually tracking reservations is a nightmare, and it’s usually managed by hosts, which is typically an entry-level position for restaurants.

Why would you put such an essential customer-facing task with your newest employees? The chances of something going wrong are high, even when monitored closely.

Using reservation software gives you:

  • Increased efficiency and accuracy.
  • Greater customer experience.
  • Reduced no-shows (SMS confirmation and reminders).
  • Analytics.
  • Guest feedback and reviews.
  • Saved money on labor.

These are great reservation companies:

Inventory Management

Inventory is typically done at the end of the week or month, takes a ton of time, is prone to errors, and is inefficient.

Integrating with inventory management software automates many tasks associated with counting stocks and levels, helping you to:

  • Reduce waste and spoilage.
  • Boost cost control.
  • Streamline the ordering process.
  • Support data-driven decisions.
  • Helps menu management.

Instead of waiting for the numbers, operators can see data in real time and know the exact inventory levels at any moment.

Popular inventory companies include:

Tools To Checkout

Here is a short list of tools to take your operations to the next level.

Manage Online Listings With Marqii

Marqii helps operators manage digital assets like online listings, reviews, hours, location, and menu updates.

Managing each of these digital customer touchpoints from one dashboard saves time and creates better customer relationships.

Let Customers Pick Their Table With Tablz

Tablz connects with your existing reservation system, allowing guests to take a 3D virtual tour of your dining room before selecting the table they like.

Operators can choose to charge for tables during busy hours, creating a new source of revenue with no cost of goods or labor.

Get Honest Customer Feedback With Ovation

Ovation sends guests a 2-question SMS survey after their visit. Depending on their answers, operators can encourage them to return or jump on a phone call to fix their issue.

Operators report more 5-star reviews, happier customers, and boosted revenue. Ovation also analyzes guest reviews and compiles data to share what’s working and what’s not.

Answer Every Phone Call With Slang

Slang is AI-assisted phone concierge software that answers 100% of calls so you never miss another reservation or customer question.

People can speak naturally to the chatbot and get questions answered 24/7 without interrupting staff—saving you time, money, and customer relationships.

How To Find More Tools

If you want to explore more tools for your tech stack, check out Brizo Food Metric’s FoodTech Landscape Map.

Every year, Brizo scours the internet, finding hundreds of digital tools to assist restaurant operators.

Dig in and see what you can find to build the perfect restaurant tech stack for your business.

About the author

Wade Nelson

Wade Nelson is a Portland, OR native who currently resides in sunny Los Angeles. As a 25-year veteran of the service industry, Wade has worked nearly every position in the house. When Wade isn’t writing content for your favorite blogs and websites, he’s either slinging drinks at Grand Central Market in DTLA or hanging with his fiance and beagle.


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