The Best CRM Systems for Restaurants in 2020

Waiter providing excellent customer service in a restaurant

By Rob Binns | Senior Writer | 8 September, 2020

What’s on the menu? We’ve ranked the top 6 CRM systems for UK restaurants. Find your perfect platform today, and compare tailored quotes from top suppliers


ProX ConBest forPrice
PunchhSlick mobile appDubious customer supportRewarding customer loyaltyOn request
CopperMenu and event planningGets expensiveMenu and event planningFrom £14 per user, per month
TouchBistro24/7 customer supportOnly available as part of a POS systemPersonalised customer serviceFrom £49 per user, per month
ToastAffordableLoyalty scheme only comes with its priciest planTargeted marketing campaignsFrom £52 per month
FreshsalesBeautiful reportsNot tailored specifically to restaurantsCustomer acquisitionFrom £12 per month
EatGood email marketing capabilitiesInflexible pricing structureEase of use£98 per month

Running a restaurant isn’t easy. Even away from the heat of the kitchen and the hustle and bustle of the restaurant floor, the work doesn’t stop. You have to reward your most loyal diners, engage new customers, and ensure your current ones always come back for seconds. 

Fortunately, a customer relationship management (CRM) system offers a single solution for doing all of the above. The best CRM software for restaurants allows you to build up a database of diner info, enabling more effective, targeted marketing campaigns to draw in old customers with new, tasty discounts.

But which CRM software is the right pick for your eatery?

We’ve assembled a six-course offering of the top CRM software for UK restaurants. Read on to find out how CRM can supercharge your business’ relationships – and which software solution is right for you.


Top 6 CRM software for restaurants in 2020

Our top restaurant CRM software pick is Punchh, owing to its simply excellent customer rewards scheme. Making up the rest of our top 6 best CRM systems for restaurants are Copper, TouchBistro, Toast, Freshsales, and Eat.

Scroll on to explore why these providers made the cut, or jump straight to your favourite via the list below.

The best CRM systems for restaurants in 2020, ranked:

A lot of time, effort, and thorough research goes into our reviews, which are designed to help you make the best choice for your restaurant. But we understand that in your industry, time is a precious commodity.

So if you’re a little stretched right now, why not skip straight to the main course, and start comparing quotes from leading restaurant CRM providers?

Simply provide us with a bit of information about your restaurant’s current setup – how many users your CRM system will need to be for, and which features are a priority. Then, we’ll match you with one or more CRM suppliers that meet your needs, who’ll be in touch with quotes tailored to your restaurant. 

It takes just 30 seconds, and it’s free.


Punchh

Best for rewarding customer loyalty

With Pizza Hut, Burger King, and Dunkin’ Donuts among its illustrious clientele, this CRM packs a serious, ah… punch! Punchh is the industry’s first mobile CRM platform, too, so it’s fair to say it’s well versed in how to turn one-time diners into consistent customers.

And, unsurprisingly, it’s how Punchh enables you to engage with your most loyal patrons that sees it take first spot on our list.

Punchh lets people order online and engage with your restaurant through surveys and reviews. You can also tailor its already smart loyalty system to individual customers, rewarding them with gift cards, discounts, and other goodies.

Punchh CRM interface

Punchh pricing

Currently, Punchh’s pricing is only available on enquiry.

Pros:

  • The user experience (UX) of Punchh’s app is brilliant
  • There’s no better system out there for rewarding customer loyalty
  • Also offers solutions for convenience stores and retail businesses

X Cons:

  • Inconsistent customer service
  • No pricing information available
Did You Know?

Punchh’s customers benefit from offer redemption rates of 85%, plus loyalty participation rates of 84%.


Copper

Best for menu and event planning

When you’re Google’s own top CRM selection, you know you’re doing something right. And Copper – with over 12,000 customers, a menu of big clients, and superb G Suite integration – clearly is.

Copper provides clever, customisable client pipelines that are tailored to hospitality businesses. So, whether you’re catering to a big corporate event or just the evening’s dinner service, Copper’s sharp CRM will, quite literally, guide you through each step of the process.

Copper CRM interface

Copper also boasts intelligent sales tracking tools to help improve your menu. 

Is your signature burger not cutting the mustard? Caesar salad not quite conquering the palates of your diners? Copper’s sales analytics tell you what’s working, and what you should scrap. Its tidy-looking reports also take the guesswork out of menu planning, and instead let the tastes of your guests guide your restaurant’s future.

Copper pricing

BasicProfessionalBusiness
$19 (£14) per user, per month$49 (£37) per user, per month$119 (£90) per user, per month

Copper’s ‘Basic’ plan offers surprisingly adept functionality – it comes with sales forecasting and rudimentary reporting features, as well as 2GB of storage space. 

However, we’d most recommend upgrading to at least Copper’s ‘Professional’ plan. As well as unlocking integrations with Xero and Quickbooks (for all your accounting CRM needs), as well as Zendesk (for customer service teams), it also introduces task and workflow automation. 

Copper’s ‘Business’ plan scores you even more advanced features – including lead and sales insights and goal tracking – but is likely to be too much of a budget-buster for most bistros.

Pros:

  • Excellent Google integration. If you use Google every day, this one’s for you
  • Fully GDPR-compliant
  • Copper's basic plan is very affordable...

X Cons:

  • ...its upper tiers, not so much!

TouchBistro

Best for personalised service

TouchBistro’s CRM tool comes as a built-in feature of its acclaimed touchscreen point of sale (POS) system. It’s built solely for the unique demands of the hospitality industry, and its CRM software for restaurants lets you create accounts for customers with notes about their diets and dislikes. So, whether it’s Amy’s aubergine allergy or Fred’s fondness for fondue, you can always be sure that your best customers are getting the best service.

With TouchBistro’s loyalty scheme, your customers will also be able to top up their account and pay for their food in advance. The result? Quicker, easier service on the night, and happy, loyal patrons who’ll keep coming back for more.

TouchBistro CRM interface

TouchBistro pricing

TouchBistro’s pricing starts at £49 per month, for a single user. From there, additional licences will cost anywhere from £40 to £45 per user, per month (excluding VAT). If you’re going to be the only user of the system, TouchBistro is a little steep. But for a larger team (say, more than ten people), it offers excellent value.

There is one thing to bear in mind with TouchBistro, though. Because its CRM features come as part of a wider POS system, it’s a little more expensive than most of its restaurant CRM rivals. After all, you’re paying for a complete till system, with hardware and software rolled into a single, handy package.

That said, if you’re happy with your current restaurant POS system – and want restaurant CRM only – we’d recommend looking elsewhere.

Pros:

  • COVID-19 recovery discounts available – get in quick!
  • Free trial for new users
  • 24/7 customer support included

X Cons:

  • It’s only available as part of a POS system – if you don’t also need this, it’s not worth your money

You’re halfway through our list of the top 6 best CRM systems for restaurants – tasty! But is it time to start comparing tailored quotes?

Simply hit one of the buttons below to start our quick questionnaire. It takes just 30 seconds to do, and by telling us more about your restaurant’s specific requirements, we can help ensure that you receive the best, most personalised CRM software rates.

Compare Quotes from Leading CRM Software Providers and Save
It takes just 30 seconds...
1. Does your restaurant already use CRM software? YES NO

Toast

Best for launching targeted marketing campaigns

Looking for CRM software that’s part of a POS system for restaurants? You’ll need to consider what Toast can bring to the table. Like TouchBistro, it’s a CRM that’s built into a restaurant-specific POS. But what does it do best?

Well, Toast is great for in-depth customer reporting. You’ll quickly get to know how often your customers are coming, what they’re ordering, and exactly how much they’re spending. With these key data-driven ingredients, Toast’s CRM can become your restaurant’s savviest marketing tool.

Toast CRM POS interface

Toast pricing

Starting at just £52 per month, Toast’s ‘Starter’ plan offers excellent value – particularly when you consider it’s an all-in-one POS system, rather than a CRM only.

That package is surprisingly feature-rich, too, with payment processing and excellent customer care included. However, for an extra £22 per month, we’d suggest opting for the ‘Essentials’ plan. It adds online ordering and delivery into the mix, as well as the diner-facing ‘Toast Takeout App’. 

StarterEssentialsGrowth
$69 (£52) per month$99 (£75) per month$189 (£144) per month

At £144 per month, the ‘Growth’ plan will hit your wallet the hardest – but we reckon it’s more than worth the money.

Featuring Toast’s famous loyalty scheme, the option to issue gift cards, and email marketing built directly into the POS system’s interface, it has everything you need to cultivate a thriving customer base.

Up next: 7 Best CRM Software for Marketing in 2020

Pros:

  • 24/7 customer support
  • Toast’s impressive array of integrations expands the CRM’s functionality
  • Highly affordable basic plan

X Cons:

  • Customer loyalty scheme only available with Toast’s most expensive plan

Freshsales

Best for customer acquisition

Customer retention is key to the success of any restaurant. But common sense says you also need to be good at acquiring customers, too – and that means being able to grab their attention in the first place.  Fortunately, that’s where Freshsales comes into its own.

Freshsales’ sparkling interface lets you engage with visitors to your restaurant’s website in real time. Web and chat forms mean you can encourage people to book online, or to find out more about your ethos and menu. You’ll also receive info about each lead that comes in, helping you better cater to their needs and tastes.

Freshsales CRM for restaurants interface

Freshsales pricing

As well as a completely free (albeit limited) version, Freshsales also offers some of the cheapest CRM packages around. However, you’ll have to upgrade to at least Freshsales’ ‘Garden’ plan (£20 per user, per month) for the key features – namely bulk email marketing, workflow automations, and advanced reporting.

BlossomGardenEstateForest
£12 per user, per month£20 per user, per month£40 per user, per month£65 per user, per month

Pros:

  • The data visualisation – Freshsales presents your restaurant’s numbers in colourful, striking reports
  • Its range of pricing plans means the system grows with your restaurant
  • 24/7 email-based support and 24/5 phone service

X Cons:

  • Unlike all the other restaurant CRM providers here, Freshsales isn’t tailored specifically to the hospitality industry

Aside from being an excellent investment for restaurateurs, Freshsales also makes the cut on several of our other lists of the best CRM software around.

As well as being among the strongest CRM systems for sales teams, it also boasts some of the finest free CRM software the market has to offer. Read more about Freshsales, or skip straight to the gooey, quote-finding centre by hitting the button below.

Compare Quotes from Leading CRM Software Providers and Save
It takes just 30 seconds...
1. Does your restaurant already use CRM software? YES NO

Eat

Best for ease of use

Just as restaurant work is rarely 9 to 5, the same goes for managing your customer relationships. You’ll be spending a lot of time with your CRM system, so it makes sense for it to be not only easy to use, but nice to look at, too.

Eat ticks both these boxes with aplomb. You can create detailed lists of everyone that’s ever ordered a meal from your restaurant, then filter, segment, and merge these as required. Sort your clientele by how much they spent, the last time they visited, or by any tags or notes you’ve added.

You can even segment diner records by who has the next birthday coming up to offer a timely discount, or make their next evening at your restaurant extra special.

Eat CRM interface

Plus, not only is Eat’s customer segmentation tool the most powerful on the market, it’s also very easy to use. In fact, most of Eat’s features are underpinned by intuitive drag-and-drop functionality, making for a slick, user-friendly experience for your management team.

Eat pricing

Eat has just one price for its central restaurant CRM offering, and that’s $129 (£98) per month. However, and despite the hefty price tag, you’ll need to purchase separate add-ons to get the most out of Eat’s innovative system.

POS integration costs an extra $90 (£68), while you can connect a phone to your guest reservations and database for another $25 (£19).

Pros:

  • Free trial available
  • Decent email marketing capabilities
  • Allows you to share guest lists across multiple restaurants
  • 24/7 in-app live chat support

X Cons:

  • Eat’s pricing plans don’t allow for much flexibility, and are more suited to larger teams than one-person units

CRM pricing plans got your head spinning? You’re not alone. Head over to our complete guide to CRM software costs for the full rundown on what your restaurant can expect to pay for the right system.


Next steps

Come this far, and still can’t decide which restaurant CRM solution is for you? Don’t fret – the best menus are always the most difficult to choose from, and with restaurant CRM, you’re certainly spoilt for choice.

Ultimately, it comes down to what your priorities are as a restaurant. Do you need a CRM that includes a POS solution? If so, TouchBistro is the way to go – it does the same stuff as Toast, but for less cash. If it’s just a CRM you’re after, Freshsales comes with experience and reliability, while Eat brings ease of use to the table. 

If your restaurant thrives off running events or catering to groups, Copper has you covered. But, when it comes to what CRM for restaurants is all about – building and maintaining customer loyalty – it’s Punchh all the way.

So, what’s next? Tuck into our quick quote-finding form to start comparing the top CRM software for restaurants. Or, for some more food for thought, keep reading – we’re about to break down the biggest benefits of (and most commonly asked questions about) CRM for restaurants.


Benefits of CRM in a restaurant

How can a CRM system elevate your restaurant to the next level?

Build a customer database

CRM software helps you develop profiles of the type of people who frequent your restaurant. Good CRM for restaurants gathers your customers’ contact details, demographics, visit frequency and average spend. They also provide you with info about your guests’ favourite meals, dislikes, and allergies. 

Armed with this data, you can create killer, personalised marketing campaigns that’ll really hit the spot.

Gain key insights

Which items on the menu are the most popular? What days and times are the busiest? Which of my staff are selling the most, and why are the sous chef’s dinner breaks getting longer? 

By combining your CRM with your POS system, you’ll get answers to all those pressing questions – and be able to make informed decisions to grow your business.

Fuel expansion and manage multiple restaurants

If your restaurant is part of a chain spanning multiple locations, CRM isn’t just an option – it’s a must. 

The cloud-based nature of restaurant CRM software means that information is shared and updated in real-time, ensuring teams working from different sites are always on the same page. You can also set the standard for more professional, more consistent service – crucial if you’re planning to franchise, or scale your restaurant across new cities or countries. 

Gather important feedback and increase retention

Simply having a customer database isn’t enough. You need to use it! 

Send surveys and ask for feedback. Incentivise your guests to participate with dinner deals and desserts. Involve your diners with loyalty programmes to make them feel special, and watch your tables as they book up, every night.

We people are suckers for a cheeky discount; something as simple as a free birthday beer can equate to a lifetime of loyal custom.


FAQs

How does a CRM tool work with an electronic point of sale system?

CRM and EPOS go together like lamb and mint sauce. A POS system enables you to take payments and keep track of your staff and stock. It also lets you better manage reservations, and stay in control of your table plan.

A CRM system can be integrated with your existing POS for a complete restaurant and table management solution. POS systems work with the ‘hard’ data of your sales and stock figures, while your CRM focuses on the ‘softer,’ human side – your customers.

Up next: The Best EPOS Systems for Hospitality in 2020

Will a CRM or a POS system help me take payments?

A CRM’s central purpose is to help your restaurant manage its customer relationships – it’s not for processing payments.

Likewise, though some POS systems also provide credit card processing (TouchBistro and Toast do, while Eat offers the service as an add-on), these devices are typically more for logging payments, to ensure accurate sales and stock information.

To accept credit and debit card payments at your restaurant, you’ll need to be set up with a merchant account. To browse our top providers for your industry – and compare tailored quotes, of course – head to our dedicated guide to the best merchant services for hospitality, updated for 2020

My restaurant is small. Is a CRM worth it?

Absolutely! Even if you don’t need to grow your numbers of new guests, it’s still important to keep your regulars coming back. CRM enables you to strengthen your relationship with the local area and community, all from behind your computer.

Best of all? By engaging with your audience both online and at the table, you’re learning from them – which means you’re always working to improve their dining experience.

Up next: Best CRM Software for Small Businesses in 2020

Will a CRM work with the other applications I use on a daily basis?

Yep – and you don’t even have to be tech-savvy to do it. The best CRM systems offer a huge array of app integrations and plugins. Whether it’s your invoicing system, Google Sheets, or Microsoft Office, you can continue working within the comfort and convenience of your favourite programmes.

I’m new to restaurant CRM, and I need some inspiration. Help?

When you decide to adopt CRM software at your restaurant, you’ll certainly be in illustrious company. Some of hospitality’s biggest names – including McDonald’s and Coca-Cola – are well known for their innovative, all-encompassing CRM strategies.

To learn more about how the most famous names in your industry do CRM, check out our guide to big brand CRM case studies. You never know… a few years from now, your restaurant could be on that list!

Rob Binns Expert Market
Rob Binns Senior Writer

Rob writes mainly about the payments industry, but also brings industry-specific knowledge of CRM software, social media monitoring, and invoice finance. When not exasperating his editor with bad puns, he can be found relaxing in a sunny corner, with a beer and a battered copy of Dostoevsky.

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