Best CRM systems for restaurants

Best CRM systems for restaurants

By Rob Binns | Writer

Keep your customers coming back for seconds with our top CRM picks


Running a restaurant isn’t easy. In fact, a large portion of UK restaurants fail in their first two years of trading. If you want to keep your restaurant going, you can’t just rely on new customers – you’ve got to keep people coming back for more, and reward your most loyal patrons. But how do you do this?

With a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool, that’s how. The best CRM systems let you build up a database of diner info, allowing you to create effective, targeted marketing campaigns to draw in old customers with new, tasty discounts. And with a good CRM, you can use customer feedback to improve the quality of your restaurant experience.

Luckily, there’s a sumptuous buffet of CRM choices available for your restaurant. We know that, like when you’re looking at a menu, it can be hard to choose the best option. This is why we’ve assembled a five course offering of the top CRM software for UK restaurants. Read on to find out how CRM can boost your business – and which one is right for you.

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top crm software for restaurants

Cook up new business and keep your current customers coming back for more


Top 5 CRM software for restaurants

When we compared the range of CRM software on the market, the five that stood out as our favourites for the restaurant industry were Copper, Freshsales, TouchBistro, Punchh, and Toast.

CRM for restaurants: the top selections


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Copper

Best for menu and event planning

When you’re Google’s number one CRM selection, you know you’re doing something right. Copper boasts over 12,000 customers, a menu of huge clients, and superb G Suite integration. And for restaurateurs, it provides customisable pipelines tailored to hospitality. So whether you’re catering to a big corporate event or just the evening’s dinner service, Copper’s sharp CRM will guide you through each step of the process.

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 help you take the guesswork out of menu planning, and instead let the tastes of your guests guide your next decision.

Pricing: Prices on Copper’s website are in US dollars, but translate to just under £20 (per user, per month) for the basic plan. For bigger teams, the next step up is £54, with the most expensive package weighing in at £93.

Pros:

  • Free trial available
  • Scalable; grows with your restaurant
  • Flexible pricing plans

X Cons:

  • Not designed specifically for the restaurant trade

▶ Read more: Copper and the best CRM solutions for 2019


Freshsales

Best for customer acquisition

Retaining customers is key to the success of your restaurant. But you also need to be able to grab their attention in the first place. That’s where Freshsales CRM for restaurants comes in. It lets you engage in real-time with visitors to your restaurant’s website. 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, so you know you’re always selling to the right people.

Freshsales is also great if you run a chain of restaurants in multiple locations. Why? Because it provides different teams working from a range of sites with the same information. This makes sure all your staff are on the same page, and means you deliver consistent service, all the time.

Pricing: Freshsales CRM will cost you £12 per month for the most basic of its four price plans. If your restaurant is larger, you should consider the next plan up for £20. The most expensive plans cost £40 and £65 each, per month.

Struggling to untangle complicated pricing plans and choose the right CRM supplier for your restaurant? Take a minute to fill out our form and receive quotes tailored to your business.

Pros:

  • Free package available
  • Range of pricing plans

X Cons:

  • Interface has room for improvement

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 be sure your best customers are getting the best service.

VIPs can also top up their account and pay for their food in advance. The result? Quicker, easier service on the night, and happy, loyal customers who’ll keep coming back for more.

Pricing: To access TouchBistro’s CRM feature, you’ll need to purchase the entire POS system it’s part of. One license will set you back £49 a month, with additional licenses coming in slightly cheaper.

▶ Read more: Interested in a POS system designed for the demands of hospitality? Click here for our list of the best EPOS systems for hospitality

Pros:

  • Free trial available
  • Strong customer support
  • Rewards scheme incentivises your most loyal locals

X Cons:

  • Only available as part of a POS solution

Punchh

Best for customer rewards

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

Punchh CRM employs a modern, social approach that caters to a new generation of restaurant-goers. It’s a recipe that adds up to your guests not only feeling more valued, but spending more money at your restaurant.

Pricing: Punchh’s pricing is available on enquiry. Short on time and want to get stuck in comparing the prices of other top CRM software for restaurants? We’ve got you covered. Fill in our short form to get started.

▶ Read more: CRM and customer loyalty schemes

Pros:

  • Designed specifically for restaurants
  • Not the easiest system to set up or navigate

X Cons:

  • Pricing lacks transparency

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Toast

Best for targeted marketing

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. Toast CRM is great for in-depth customer reporting: get to know how often your customers are coming, what they’re ordering, and crucially, how much they’re spending. When you’ve got these key ingredients, Toast’s CRM can become your restaurant’s savviest marketing tool.

Toast CRM also helps identify which of your regulars haven’t been in for a while. You can then lure them back in with tantalising discounts on their favourite food and drink. Create promotions, tailor them to your audience, and then deliver them in style.

Pricing: Toast’s POS software starts at just over £60 per month, with an installation fee of around £390. If you’re happy with your current POS system and it’s just a CRM that you’re after, there are more affordable options on the menu.

▶ Read more: CRM and customer loyalty schemes

Pros:

  • 24/7 customer support
  • Range of API integrations to extend functionality

X Cons:

  • Hefty installation fee

Expert verdict

What’ll it be? Well, 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. And if your restaurant thrives off running events or catering to groups, Copper has you covered.

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


Benefits of CRM software for your restaurant

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.

Gather important feedback and increase retention

Just 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. And involve your diners with loyalty programmes to make them feel special. We people are suckers for a cheeky discount; something as simple as a free birthday beer can equate to a lifetime of loyal custom.


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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 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.

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 lets you strengthen your relationship with the local area and community. 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.

▶ Read more: Best CRM software for small businesses

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 of your favourite programmes.

Rob Binns 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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