This is an excerpt from foreUP’s eBook Food & Beverage 101. To read more, download the free eBook here.
As you near the end of your journey to opening a food & beverage operation at your golf course or club, you should feel confident in the decisions you’ve made about the type of restaurant you’ll be implementing, and you should have a detailed checklist outlining everything that needs to be done before opening day.
You can breathe a sigh of relief now — you’re in the final stages of preparation! Thankfully, the final pieces of this puzzle are going to make your life easier, since that’s exactly what they’re designed to do. It’s time to get your hands on food & beverage software to help you get things up and running smoothly.
What to Look For
First-time software shoppers may feel a bit overwhelmed by the idea of choosing the best software option, while operators already working with golf management software may be underwhelmed by the food & beverage tools on offer by their current provider. Either way, there are great options available to you and your business.
Cloud-based VS on-site servers
When investing in software, the only option in the past was to have a bulky server installed onsite at your business that hosts your important digital tools and data. For food & beverage tools, the module was often only installed on one computer and would only function on that machine — it couldn’t communicate with any other devices. Thankfully, this is no longer the case.
While some software providers still rely on on-site servers, the more common (and much simpler) solution now is to use the cloud. Cloud-based software still functions perfectly when you use the software at your own location, but the information is stored on a server somewhere else, using the power of the internet to send data quickly back and forth between machines.
Cloud-based software sounds a bit complicated on paper, but all it really means is that you get all the software tools you need without any of the bulky machinery taking up space at your business. You’re also not responsible for that server, meaning you don’t pay costs for maintenance or repairs. Cloud-based software also allows for fast, automatic updates to your software without someone coming to manually update your tools.
All-in-all, cloud-based software is the better, cheaper, faster option when it comes to digital tools in the 21st century. If a software provider wants to install a bulky, complicated server on-site at your golf business, it’s a good indicator that they are not staying up to date on the best technology available to them and your software will soon be outdated.
Built-in food & beverage tools
This new food & beverage operation is becoming an additional part of your existing business, so the software used to run the restaurant should also be integrated with the rest of the business for maximum efficiency and ease. The simplest way to achieve this is to go with a golf management software provider that has built-in food & beverage tools.
Having your food & beverage run through the same software as the rest of your business will simplify several things:
- You’ll only need to learn and use one Point of Sale software.
- Customer information can be tracked across the tee sheet, pro shop, and restaurant.
- Sales data can be analyzed with food & beverage revenue included.
- You’re only paying one software provider for your tools.
While some businesses get by with several different software providers, the all-in-one solution is always going to be easier. Software that handles everything at your business means fewer logins to remember, easier training for staff, and less time spent jumping in and out of various interfaces.
Additionally, you’ll want to look for software tools that allow you to customize your digital interfaces to best serve your team. The team at Northern Bay Resort works with foreUP for their food & beverage software and has been able to customize the digital setup to their needs.
“My main goal in setting up was to make things easier for everyone. I made things color-coordinated and made things easier for the staff to speed things up, and to ensure different is being charged correctly. Adding buttons for things like extra shots of alcohol has helped our staff be aware of what they’re doing,” said Taylor A. Chase, Northern Bay’s Food & Beverage Manager.
Powerful partner integrations
Depending on your unique setup, you may have a difficult time finding one software provider that offers every single discrete service that you are looking for. That’s why powerful partner integration tools are so important — good add-ons can completely change the way your operation functions for the better.
Partner integrations offer capabilities like allowing golfers to order food and drinks from wherever they are on the course. Some golf clubs like Timpanogos can deliver a customer’s order to them while they golf, or the golfer can order ahead and pick up their meal when they return to the clubhouse. “Instead of having our bev cart drive around all day, we let the golfers order what they want and then send a cart out to deliver,” said Brett Watson.
Software that makes things easier
There are a lot of things to consider when you’re ready to commit to a software provider but ultimately, it’s crucial to find software that makes running your course and food & beverage operation easier, not harder. Be wary of quick fixes or options without strong support teams — these providers are likely to cause more headaches in the long run than their worth.
If you’re looking for the industry’s leading cloud-based software tools, foreUP may be the solution for you. With an all-in-one suite of tools that includes a powerful Food & Beverage module, as well as in-house support that’s always available, foreUP clients continue to recommend the company. foreUP’s reputation as the best software in the golf industry is backed by the numbers with a 95% client retention rate and new courses joining the foreUP family every day.
Still, doing the right research will set the tone and the trajectory for your new food & beverage operation’s future. Whatever software provider you choose, be sure to invest in tools that will last and support your restaurant through its entire lifecycle, and ensure that your provider (or providers) is just as invested as you are in the success of your entire business.