• Praxistipps
  • 26.09.2023

Apps for restaurants and foodservice: 7 tips

They are available for staff planning and time recording, shopping lists and digital menus, streaming background music and recording orders: apps for foodservice. They have become an essential tool for many bar, café and restaurant operators. We will share 7 useful tools that you can use to make your processes simpler, faster, safer and more cost-effective. And: save time and work better together as a team.

Tip 1: Slack

▶ For communication within a team. You may have found that emails are not a very useful tool for team communication. Things can quickly get lost in the chaos. WhatsApp and similar apps don't always offer the clarity needed. Instant message services such as Slack may be a good alternative: You can set up different channels here, such as "Kitchen" or "Evening shift”, which are only accessible to certain team members. Direct messages can also be sent to individuals – these are just two of the many functions that enable more targeted collaboration. Costs: The basic version is free. However, if you want to access messages older than 90 days and use additional functions, you will need a paid account (from EUR 6.25 per month, as of August 2023). Alternative:Microsoft Teams.

Source: slack.com | YouTube

Source: trello.com | YouTube

Tip 2: Trello

▶ For tasks and processes. What Slack is to communication, Trello is to project management and creating and assigning tasks. The tasks are grouped in a digital table both chronologically (e.g., by weekdays or calendar weeks) and by priority or another criterion. Each task can be assigned to specific people and each person can be assigned specific tasks. You can also enter deadlines for when things need to be done. Checklists and recurring tasks can also be created. This means that Trello is a useful tool for a wide range of tasks: from regular to-dos to project work, developing new business models and creating a schedule for catering to developing a new food and drinks menu. The tool can also be used very effectively for onboarding new employees. Costs: There is a free version and various premium models with additional functions starting at USD 5 per user per month (as of August 2023). Alternative: Stackfield.

Tip 3: Evernote

▶ For notes and documents. We've all been there: you stumble across an interesting-sounding specialist article online, but don't have time to read it. Or you're sitting in a café, browsing through a magazine and discover a great offer. This is where Evernote comes in handy: the app, which is also available for desktop computers, allows you to quickly and easily save things for later. A post is "clipped" or a picture is captured, named and saved in a folder – done! This works for business cards just as well as for a good idea that you discover on a restaurant menu. You could also clip your own notes, minutes of meetings or the draft of a document. Tags can be used to assign and group all the saved content to specific topics – for example "food trends" or "service". One practical feature is the web-based storage, which means that content can be accessed from anywhere. Costs: As well as a free account, there are also three fee-based tariffs from €8.33 per month (as of August 2023). Alternative: Dropbox Paper.

Source: evernote.com | YouTube

Source: flowtify.de | YouTube

Tip 4: Flowtify

▶ For quality and hygiene management. HACCP documentation is key for every foodservice business and is required by law. However, it is still often carried out with pen and paper – which runs the risk of errors being made, not being documented carefully enough or data even being manipulated. And that's not counting the time it takes to collect, archive and process. Fortunately, digital solutions such as Flowtifyhave been developed for documenting cleaning schedules and other internal hygiene processes: responsibilities can be defined and checklists can be created and signed in the app. Tasks are automatically resubmitted if they haven't yet been completed or if they are due again. Flowtify also offers solutions for internal and external audits for quality and hygiene management. Costs: There is a free trial version and a subscription with various price plans starting at $29.99 per month (as of August 2023). Alternatives: Firstaudit and Die-HACCP-App.

Often underestimated: the benefits of an app for your warewasher!

Example CONNECTED WASH: Warewashing specialist Winterhalter was a pioneer in the networking of warewashers and was quick to capitalise on the possibilities of the networked machine. CONNECTED WASH is much more than just a web app: The machine controls itself by analysing and evaluating all important operating data and "thinks for the user and operator". The digital services include everything from ensuring hygiene to tips on optimising operation and reducing operating costs to immediate remote support. The services are free for all customers.

The advantages of CONNECTED WASH
  • Increased operational and hygiene safety thanks to warning messages in the event of critical faults
  • Reduction in operating costs through specific recommendations for optimising the washing process
  • Reduction in on-site service visits with remote access to the machine and quick error analysis plus immediate support from Winterhalter experts
  • Documentation of hygiene-relevant machine data in a warewashers-log as the basis for creating an operating log in accordance with the recommendation of DIN EN 17735
  • Automatic updates ensure that the machine software is up to date
  • Easy and convenient reordering of chemicals
  • Location and time-independent access to all important data through a web app

Tip 5: gastromatic

▶ For shift planning and time recording. Different shifts, frequently changing staff, many part-time employees: planning and coordinating staff can quickly become a real challenge in foodservice. Digital HR management tools such as gastromatic offer clear advantages over pen and paper: shift plans can be easily created and changed with just a few clicks, employees can access them at any time using the app and are notified of changes in real time. You can view not only working times, but also absences and remaining holidays, and you can enter preferred working times and events such as birthdays and meetings. Etc., etc., etc. Costs: There are different price packages starting at 59 euros per month (as of August 2023). Alternative: Personio.

Source: gastromatic.com | YouTube

Source: miro.com | YouTube

Tip 6: Miro

For brainstorming and collaborative work. How can we make our menu more attractive? What new topics would be suitable for our social media channels? Which market trends could we capitalise on? Finding answers to questions like these often begins with a workshop or brainstorming session. There are two important things here: space for creativity and a system for collecting creative ideas, questions and pending issues so that they can be followed up at the next meeting. This is exactly why Miro exists. It is a large digital sheet of paper onto which virtual notes can be "stuck" and on which tasks, checklists, process sequences and mind maps can be created. The best way to use Miro for a brainstorming session is in the desktop or desktop app version. The smartphone app is ideal for adding entries on the go. Costs: As well as the free account, there are other price plans that start at eight dollars per member per month (as of August 2023). Alternative: Conceptboard.

Tip 7: FoodNotify

For F&B management. Different operational processes bundled in one single app – from ordering and goods receipt to recipes, menu creation and digital stocktaking: that's the concept behind FoodNotify. The software for foodservice, hotels, mass catering and catering is cloud-based and helps to reduce food waste and cut costs. The digital dashboard can be used to check stock levels and adjust them quickly and easily if required – using a direct ordering option from the stored suppliers. You can extend the app's range of functions with various modules. Take catering, for example. There are detailed schedules plus menu creation using existing goods or goods to be ordered. Or controlling: this allows key figures such as order costs or cost of sales to be called up and sales forecasts to be created for the coming days and weeks. Costs: from 99 euros per month (as of August 2023).

Written by
Joachim FunkContent Marketing Manager