Our top 10 chef-must-have apps

Want your business to have the edge? Looking for more time to prep food? Logistics do your head in? Chefs have numerous business responsibilities from operational efficiency to staff satisfaction, whilst always ensuring they serve delicious food. Thanks to technology a world of technology is now available at a chef’s fingertips, freeing up time for that essential ingredient…hands-on interaction with food.

By adding more restaurant tech to your business you’ll be able to reduce admin time and shift your focus to serve what you love best: an outstanding food experience.

Here are our favourite ten platforms:

COMMUNICATIONS

1. Messaging app

More than 2 billion people across 180 countries use WhatsApp to stay in touch with friends, family and colleagues. Chefs from across the world use regional and national WhatsApp groups to share job opportunities, events, and recipes innovations. Chef Laura Skvor told LOTP that her workplace has a WhatsApp group that delivers all their rotas, any changes to numbers of diners, lost knives, and everything in-between. ‘It makes it simple if you don’t have someone’s number, you can contact them in group chat’.

📱🖥 on iOS, android, mac, windows and cloud chat archiving

2. Marketing app

Mailchimp is an all-in-one tool where chefs can manage your mailing lists, create custom email templates and all their marketing campaigns. Restaurants can bring their food under the spotlight with a Mailchimp-hosted website, digital ads to customers on Google, Facebook, and Instagram; integrated delivery apps; and surveys to customers.

📱🖥 on iOS, android, mac, windows and cloud based

3. Information and news filtering app

Feedly is the chefs answer for staying up to date with industry trends, news about their restaurant and industry, whilst filtering unrelenting 24/7 news alerts. Feedly is one of the world’s leading RSS readers (Really Simple Syndication, which are programs that scan headlines and read articles from a variety of sources).

📱🖥 on iOS, android, mac, windows and cloud based

REVIEWS

4. Food review (and hats) app

Every year AGFG reviewers independently appraise thousands of restaurants, accommodation, wineries, bars, and providores throughout Australia. The AGFG app was designed with the customer in mind – to read reviews, prices, recommended specialties and access exclusive offers – however restaurateurs use the app to keep track of their ratings and those of their competitors and peers. The app includes online booking widgets; ordering and Table TOP (Tap Order Pay) technology.

📱🖥 mobile-only on Android and iOS

BOOKINGS

5. Vacant seats app

Designed by chef Marco Pierre White and Foodora Melbourne CEO Pan Koutlakis, Matt Cantelo and Ben Tyler, EatClub was created to help restaurateurs fight back against the large, home-delivery services, which take a cut from the restaurant’s revenue. This smartphone app is the restaurant world’s equivalent to Lastminute.com. The platform helps restaurateurs advertise last-minute meal deals during off peak times, and connects customers to nearby restaurants that have spare tables and last-minute meal discount deals.

📱🖥 mobile only on Android and iOS

6. Table ordering app

Founder Stevan Premutico – who created online restaurant booking platform Dimmi – believes Me&u will disrupt the way customers exchange with a venue while providing a streamlined, costumer focussed experience.

The advantage for customers in this COVID era is contactless exchange: not having to touch cash or a menu. And restaurants can access additional features such mailing lists; promotions; customer experience ratings; hourly updates on performance and daily takings.

Social distancing and contactless demands have seen many more table-ordering apps appear including HungryHungry, Lightspeed Ordering, Skip and TableTime.

📱🖥 NFC (near field communications) beacon on table; cloud-based POS system; app for customers, on android and iOS.

7. Table reservation app

TheFork (formerly Dimmi) is Australia’s largest online reservation service, making up about 40 per cent of Australia’s restaurant market. Others include OpenTable, Yelp, Quandoo, and Obee, and the market is growing due to government mandated COVID-19 guest registration.

Recent reports have shown that over 50 per cent of people prefer pre-booking their tables. Using an online restaurant booking system gives them the freedom to make a booking whenever and wherever, and restaurants the opportunity to increase restaurant revenue and optimise management. Other advantages include preparing table layouts; balancing reservations and walk-ins; building a strong guest database; and including a no-show blacklist.

📱🖥 digital program; app only available for customers, on android and iOS)

WASTAGE

8. Food wastage app

RMIT researchers say that up to 40 per cent of food at some restaurants can go to waste. Furthermore, Australia wastes 7.3 million tons of food each year with one third of it from the food industry, retail, and hospitality. To help reduce food waste and feed people in need, the OzHarvest Food App digital solution rescues food from businesses that have surplus and connects it with charities in the local community.

📱 mobile-only on Android and iOS

STAFFING

9. Workplace safety app

Safe Food Pro is a powerful, easy to use food safety app, which includes QR codes and COVID-19 forms, The online system streamlines audits, and provides a food safety program; staff management and training system; permits and certificates; and performance measurements. It has been designed to meet the Australian Food Safety Standards (FSANZ) and developed specifically for Australian food businesses.

📱🖥 on iOS, android, mac, windows and cloud based

10. Staffing app

Sidekicker is a technology platform that lets businesses hire temporary staff, or Sidekicks: which include includes bar staff, wait staff, chefs, kitchen hands, baristas. Businesses can view detailed profiles and work history, and select who is suitable and available for work. The platform includes digital time sheeting; real-time reporting payroll compliance; WHS compliance; 2-way rating system; bookings; and rostering.

Contractors can select browse jobs, hours, rates and manages the application process.

📱🖥 online program for business; app only available for contractors, on android and iOS.