Digital Transformation Strategies for Restaurants That Just Make Sense

Published: | By Mick Essex

If you own a restaurant or plan on starting one, you’re likely interested in the market's profitability. In 2024, revenue in the food market reached USD 10.07 trillion and is expected to grow by 6.53 percent every year. 

However, the food industry is highly competitive. So, what should you do to ensure that your restaurant grabs more attention and gains more customers?


Focusing on building your online presence and investing in the right apps and software for restaurants can be a great place to start. 

These digital transformation initiatives can enhance your visibility, streamline operations, and contribute to business growth. 

Building Your Restaurant Presence Online (7 steps)

  1. Identify your target market
  2. Create a website
  3. Make content for your customers
  4. Keep track of analytics
  5. Optimize your Google My Business
  6. Be active on social media
  7. Invest in paid advertising

Your restaurant's growth and success lie in its ability to be visible and relevant in the digital world. 

Knowing the critical factors to elevating your marketing can lead to excellent results, especially if you’re a small business. 

Fortunately, there are many ways to increase brand awareness online

1. Identify your target market

It is best to define your target audience before marketing yourself digitally. What kind of people are they? 

What are their needs that your restaurant can meet? You must answer these questions to strategize accordingly.


Image by Drazen Zigic on Freepik

2. Create a website

If your goal is to establish your presence online, you must make a website for your restaurant. A domain in your restaurant's name will allow potential customers to find you online easily.

You have complete control over how your business is presented on your website. You can customize this corner of the internet according to your branding. 

Whether your restaurant is formal and fancy or quaint and quirky, you can showcase what makes it appealing through your website.

3. Make content for your customers

Customers love having options, so you can easily guess that they’re also considering your competitors’ offers while they look at yours. 

Since customers have needs to address, you should anticipate them and lessen the friction.


Image by on Freepik

You can brainstorm your customers' possible questions and create content that answers them. For example, you can create an FAQ page on your website about your menu, service area, and more.

Better yet, you can add a digital menu to your website using POWR. It doesn’t require you to know how to code; you don’t need a web developer to add it.

4. Keep track of analytics

Adopt a mindset of continuous improvement. If your target market has received your website positively, you should track what worked and identify which areas could improve. 

Using Google Analytics to check your website's performance can be helpful.


Image by Myriam Jessier on Unsplash

Optimizing your landing pages can also help generate leads. Using a keyword tracker, monitor the keywords you have used on your website and optimize when you see them drop in rank. 

If a specific page has a high bounce rate, you can reconstruct it to make it more appealing to customers.

5. Optimize your Google My Business

You must work on your Google My Business (GMB) profile if you have a brick-and-mortar business. This strategy will help you maximize your online visibility. 

An optimized GMB account will lessen the friction whenever your customers search for your details, such as opening hours, contact number, and address.

Updating your GMB profile has many benefits for your restaurant and customers. It provides insights about your business and offers a visual glimpse of your establishment. 

You can earn a reputation for being responsive to feedback and appear on top search results in your local area. It’s a win-win situation.

6. Be active on social media

Social media is essential for your restaurant's digital transformation. Its power is astounding, especially for businesses. 

You can increase your brand's visibility and gain loyal customers by being active and engaging on social media platforms.


Image by Freepik

Select which social media site best showcases your restaurant. Prepare and post valuable content that promotes engagement with online users. 

Explore influencers in the restaurant space to potentially partner with.

Consider polls or replying to comments. Once you have identified your customers’ needs and personas, you can align your social media posts accordingly.

7. Invest in paid advertising

Sponsored ads are a tried-and-tested way to increase brand awareness. With today’s technological advancements, you can target specific demographics with your restaurant ads. 

This option might cost you, but it’s still a worthwhile investment.

Remember to routinely check the ROI of your paid advertising. It will help you determine whether you should continue your ad campaigns.

Importance of Having the Right Apps and Software


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When running a business, you may have many things to do quickly. That’s why having the right software and apps is essential to your growth. 

They can increase efficiency, boost productivity, improve customer service, and help you make data-driven decisions. 

In a US Chamber of Commerce survey, 85 percent of businesses report that technology platforms helped their business succeed, and 94 percent report that it helped them run their business more efficiently. 

Besides streamlining your restaurant’s operations, tech tools help set the foundation for your business’s long-term success. 

Things to Consider When Choosing Restaurant Apps and Software


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Figuring out which apps and software are most suitable for your business might be intimidating, but don’t fret. 

All you need is a guide to help you narrow down the right ones. Some questions you can ask yourself include:

  • Where is there room for improvement?

To identify what app or software you need, you must figure out which areas of your business need fixing or boosting. You can also gain valuable insights by asking your staff for their insights.

  • What do you want the app to do?

After identifying which areas need improvement, you can determine what features your chosen app should have. It should solve existing problems in your business operations. 

  • Where can you find the right website apps?

Research is crucial when looking for apps to boost your business's overall performance. Scour the internet for suggestions. POWR has many to choose from, and that you can use for free. Then, you can curate a list for your selection.

  • Which one is suitable for your business goals?

Now that you have a list of apps or software that addresses your needs, you can conduct in-depth research on each one. Gather all the pertinent information, including price, functionality, and reviews. 

Once you have collected your data, you can start comparing the benefits. See which apps are fit for your business needs and goals.

  • Can I test it out?

Before jumping in and buying the software or a subscription to the app or software, ensure you test it out first. Most companies offer free trials that you can use to your advantage. 

See how the app or software works for you and your team. Does it meet your needs? You can purchase it if you and your employees are happy with its performance.

7 Apps and Software for Restaurants

  1. Accounting
  2. Point-of-sale (POS) systems
  3. Online ordering
  4. Third-part delivery
  5. Payroll
  6. Scheduling
  7. Training


Image by Drazen Zigic on Freepik 

Adapting to a digital environment can be pivotal for your restaurant.

According to a food tech survey conducted by Panasonic in 2020, 71 percent of businesses in the food industry consider “digital transformation as very important to business agility.”

Managing your establishment and staff can be simplified with the right app and software. Restaurants primarily equip themselves with the following:

1. Accounting software

Keeping your finances in order is crucial to running a successful business. A reliable accounting software system eliminates possible errors.

There are many reasons why it’s beneficial to get accounting software. The accuracy, automation, and accessibility offered by this system allow you to streamline your work, making it essential to your restaurant.

Here are some options: 

  • QuickBooks Online: This software works well for various businesses, including restaurants. It has a simple interface and recently incorporated cloud technology.
  • Zoho Books: It is known for allowing users to manage a business’s finances from any device. It enables different departments to work closely together and lets users manage projects efficiently.
  • Freshbooks: It is an accounting program suitable for small to medium-sized businesses. Users can easily manage projects from any connected device. It also automates tasks and lessens the workload of employees.

2. Point-of-sale (POS) systems

Penn State University states, “A point-of-sale (POS) system is the set of hardware and software components that allow businesses to facilitate sales.”

A POS system is how you record transactions in your establishment. Over time, it has evolved and allowed integrations with other software, making it an invaluable tool for any restaurant. 


Image by on Freepik

Research shows that 69 percent of restaurant owners report a POS system’s integration with other systems as its most important feature. 

When finding the best POS system for a restaurant, consider factors like integration capabilities, user-friendly interface, scalability, and security features. 

Popular options include: 

  • SpotOn: It seamlessly integrates with website applications like online ordering, reservations, and loyalty rewards to help streamline operations. It offers comprehensive solutions for website optimization and can be an essential part of your digital transformation.
  • Square: It is a go-to for quick-service restaurants. It features a multitude of integrations to make up for features it may need to improve. It's an ideal POS system for restaurants that offer delivery or takeout.
  • Toast: Showcases Android-based software compatible with any Android device or hardware. It has a user-friendly interface and is suitable for small—to medium-sized restaurants.

3. Online ordering software

You can expand your business’s reach and increase sales by integrating online ordering software into your POS system. People love convenience, and you can tap into that.

An online ordering platform gives customers more options and allows them to buy your food quickly. This convenience leads to a significant increase in customer satisfaction. And if your customers are happy, your business will thrive.

Consider these options:

  • BentoBox: If you’re searching for an online ordering app with an upscale design, BentoBox is your best choice. Aside from the aesthetic cohesiveness, restaurants can manage inventory and create promo codes.
  • ChowNow: This online ordering system is perfect for creating an online presence and expanding customer reach. It can connect your menu to high-traffic websites, increasing your restaurant’s visibility.
  • Cloudwaitress: If you’re after basic online ordering, Cloudwaitress is for you. This platform works well for restaurants with an existing customer base.

4. Third-party delivery apps

It's not uncommon for restaurants to partner with third-party delivery apps.

Although employing their services is expensive, it is often worth it. Aim for services that integrate into your POS system if you want to kill two birds with one stone. 

Check these options:

  • Doordash: It is a notable third-party delivery app. It allows customers to easily browse your menu and order food anytime and anywhere.
  • GrubHub: It is an excellent app for restaurants that want a comprehensive solution. Not only does it list your restaurant on its platform, but it also integrates its online ordering software into your website.
  • It provides a variety of delivery services, including food delivery. Its group ordering feature makes it stand out and ideal for restaurants, allowing people to split orders.

5. Payroll software

Manually managing payroll can be tedious, so using a system that speeds up the process is ideal.

It’s where the payroll software comes in. You can keep track of your employee's performance and work, allowing you to calculate and distribute payroll accurately, efficiently, and promptly.


Image by Freepik 

Here are some options worth exploring:

  • Gusto: If you’re looking for full-service payroll software, Gusto is the one for you. The software provides automatic and unlimited payroll runs and manages payroll taxes and filings.
  • QuickBooks Payroll: A full-service payroll program. This software is user-friendly and perfect for running payroll. Its pricing is also cost-efficient, making it ideal for small businesses.
  • OnPay: It is a cloud-based HR payroll program ideal for small and medium-sized businesses. It offers management tools that breeze the HR department’s work.

6. Scheduling apps

Scheduling software can help you manage your employees' schedules more efficiently.

This technology saves managers time handling employee shifts and time-offs. It also prevents errors and conflict since everyone can track availability, increasing satisfaction. 

Popular apps include:

  • ZoomShift: It has an intuitive interface that makes it easy to navigate. It is also highly responsive to feedback about app modifications.
  • 7Shifts: It is an ideal scheduling software for small restaurants. It makes shift management and attendance tracking much easier to do.
  • Homebase: If you’re looking for a centralized view of the entire restaurant staff’s schedule, Homebase is perfect for you. It offers various features suitable for small restaurants.

7. Training apps

You must remain consistent with how you train your employees. Training software will help establish consistency. 

From onboarding trainees to monitoring their performance, you can track your employees' progress from day one onward.

Here are some choices: 

  • KiwiLMS: It is an excellent program for training restaurant staff. It’s a cloud-based software that speeds up the onboarding and training process.
  • Paradiso: An established training software, Paradiso is customized to an employee’s learning needs. This feature allows staff to get proper training according to their roles.
  • TalentLMS: It works for restaurants because it offers a top-notch user experience. This platform can provide your employees with basic food and service training.

Level Up Your Business by Going Digital

Many factors contribute to a business’s success.

Elevating your online presence and investing in the right tools can be the changing point for your restaurant. Use this article to guide your online marketing initiatives and search for the right website apps.

After all, having the proper knowledge and resources can help you take your business to new heights.

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