Foodservice software has come a long way since its origins as industry-agnostic ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) systems. Now, there are hundreds of software providers — from accounting, HR, and payroll, to recipe and inventory management, payment systems, and ordering tech — all vying for your business.
Whether you run a traditional restaurant, a ghost kitchen, a food truck, or a prepared meals business, you probably already use some technology. It’s tough to decide whether to overhaul everything, add tools that integrate with your current system, or simply stick with what you have.
We looked through the foodservice software providers on the culinary side of operations to find the best tech for boosting efficiency and profitability.
In this guide, we cover:
The benefits of foodservice-specific software
The best foodservice software providers to choose from in 2023
What type of foodservice business each software is best suited to
By the end, you’ll feel less overwhelmed and be ready to start implementing a more efficient and cost-effective solution to run your foodservice business.
What’s the Benefit of Industry-Specific Software?
Foodservice software is a broad category that includes everything used to run a foodservice business, from accounting tools to ordering and payment systems, to health and safety compliance tools.
Whatever kind of foodservice business you operate, the most fundamental elements to keep track of are your ingredients, recipes, preparation methods, and inventory management. This culinary data is the very core of your business, impacting everything else.
And this is the problem with tools that were not built for food, like traditional ERPs. They're great for accounting or manufacturing, but when you try to account for things like spoilage, trim yield, or ever-changing vendor pricing, the systems fall apart. This leaves food organizations without clear cost projections, accurate inventory, or fast ways to order food.
The modern practice of implementing culinary operating systems made specifically for foodservice addresses this. A culinary operating system is the food and operations data platform on which the rest of your technology relies. It stores, processes, and shares all of the real-time food data that your business relies upon and integrates with your other tools to create an efficient, accurate, time-saving food service software stack. These tools are better suited for food planning, recipe R&D, kitchen operations, costing — just about everything, really — for foodservice organizations.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at the best options currently available.
Our Top Foodservice Software Providers in 2023
Galley is a recipe, inventory, purchasing, and production planning system, made specifically for the foodservice setting (unlike traditional ERPs, which are more like re-skinned accounting tools). The system is designed to house recipe data, which Galley considers the foundation of a restaurant’s operations. All other restaurant systems can then use that data to create a complete management system without data silos.
That’s why Galley is known as a culinary operating system. Much like a customer data platform stores comprehensive customer data for use by front-of-house systems, Galley is the data warehouse for your restaurant’s back end.
Galley is trusted by large contract food service brands like Aramark and Meriwether Godsey, as well as countless ghost kitchens, independent caterers, and other culinary operators in the U.S. and around the world.
MarketMan is a cloud-based inventory management system with built-in purchasing, recipe management, and food costing features. The software integrates with major POS and other restaurant management systems to provide a comprehensive set of features and functionalities.
MarketMan is used by a large stable of fast-casual brands, like Taco Del Mar, Mr Chicken, and Chinese hot pot chain The Dolar Shop, as well as well-known chains such as Hard Rock Cafe.
Craftable is a platform designed to make restaurants leaner and more cost-efficient. Its Foodager and Bevager menu engineering, recipe, and inventory management software systems are uniquely positioned for restaurants and bars to cut costs and improve supply chains and the management of everyday operations.
Craftable has some big-name clients like Hyatt Hotels and Hakkasan on its books, but also serves fast-casual chains including Umami Burger and Tacolicious.
European restaurant management platform Apicbase uses recipe management, inventory, and purchasing tools as the foundation to achieve operational excellence for restaurants and food service businesses.
Big brands all over Europe rely on Apicbase to run their back-of-house operations and store food data. Apicbase clients include Restaurant Company Europe, which owns popular hospitality brands Loetje, Happy Italy, Stan, and Beer & Barrels. Hotel chains citizenM and Penta Hotels use Apicbase to manage their extensive on-site culinary operations.
Nutrislice is a unified food data platform for food service businesses, such as higher education institutions, retirement communities, and corporate headquarters. Although many of the tools are centered around the customer experience, including digital signage, labeling, and mobile ordering features, Nutrislice is built upon a food data platform that provides accurate and timely information to all of its tools across multiple locations in real time.
Nutrislice is designed for use in educational sites and universities. It digitizes dining across the University of Colorado – Boulder, while also providing digital signage at Vanderbilt University (Nashville, Tennessee) and helping Ohio’s Rocky River City School District produce and deliver farm-fresh meals to its students.
Nutritics provides food and recipe data management software to large food service brands, such as Compass Group, PepsiCo, and Emirates. Using detailed ingredient data as the source of truth, the system offers recipe and menu management, food ordering, labeling, and supplier management. It also offers specialized tools for patient ordering, sports nutrition, and dietary information.
Build Your Success on a Recipe Data Hub
In our era of breakneck efficiency, embracing food service-specific software tailored to culinary data is not a choice but a necessity. By grounding your technology in the heart of your business — its recipes, ingredients, and inventory — you lay a strong foundation for efficiency, accuracy, and growth.
Embrace the power of these cutting-edge solutions, and you'll be equipped to thrive in the competitive world of food service, whatever it throws your way. Build your recipe data hub on a solid platform to set your food service business on a trajectory of success and growth.
Galley Solutions, with its recipe-centric approach and seamless integration, empowers food service businesses to break free from data silos and optimize their operations.
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