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The right HR software can help your restaurant business to hire, run payroll, keep up with changing shift schedules, and generally help you automate managing employees.

This article is for people in the restaurant industry who want to understand what the best HR tools are for your business.  You may own and operate one location, many locations, a franchise, or you may be a dedicated human resource professional.

We focused this list on labor management tools that can help you streamline your human resources from hiring to onboarding, scheduling, time clocking, payroll and more.

We spend hundreds of hours researching the best HR and recruiting software so you don’t have to.  We never take money from vendors during our research phase and rely heavily on practitioners and experts to help us recommend the right software.  However we may earn a fee if you click on vendor links on this page. Learn more

Top 6 HR Tools for Restaurants - 2022

Phil Strazzulla, HR Tech Expert, Harvard MBA, Finance and Software Nerd Jan 24, 2022

The right HR software can help your restaurant business to hire, run payroll, keep up with changing shift schedules, and generally help you automate managing employees.

This article is for people in the restaurant industry who want to understand what the best HR tools are for your business.  You may own and operate one location, many locations, a franchise, or you may be a dedicated human resource professional.

We focused this list on labor management tools that can help you streamline your human resources from hiring to onboarding, scheduling, time clocking, payroll and more.

We spend hundreds of hours researching the best HR and recruiting software so you don’t have to.  We never take money from vendors during our research phase and rely heavily on practitioners and experts to help us recommend the right software.  However we may earn a fee if you click on vendor links on this page.

Learn more

A Quick Breakdown: Top Restaurant Software

Toast is one of the top names in restaurant point of sale and management systems. Their product helps improve operations, increase sales, and create a better experience for staff & guests alike.
Toast is one of the top names in restaurant point of sale and management systems. Their product helps improve operations, increase sales, and create a better experience for staff & guests alike.
With 7Shift, you can manage your team's schedules, timesheets, tasks, communications, and much more, within a mobile-friendly platform.
With 7Shift, you can manage your team's schedules, timesheets, tasks, communications, and much more, within a mobile-friendly platform.
Fountain is a high-volume hiring platform, great to scale recruiting, and with a specific tool for restaurant sourcing, screening, onboarding, and hiring.
Fountain is a high-volume hiring platform, great to scale recruiting, and with a specific tool for restaurant sourcing, screening, onboarding, and hiring.
TalentReef is a platform specifically aimed at recruiting and retaining the best possible hourly talent for your business. It's specially made for location-based high volume hiring.
TalentReef is a platform specifically aimed at recruiting and retaining the best possible hourly talent for your business. It's specially made for location-based high volume hiring.
CareerPlug is an ATS targeted towards making hiring easier at businesses with franchises. It's trusted by over 14,000 growing businesses.
CareerPlug is an ATS targeted towards making hiring easier at businesses with franchises. It's trusted by over 14,000 growing businesses.
Workstream is a text-based employee hiring and onboarding platform specifically designed for retailers and restaurants.
Workstream is a great choice for companies recruiting for high volume roles, especially for retailers and restaurants. Their tech includes cool features like text-to-apply posters, apply via SMS, and interesting analytics.

We put in the effort to make this guide awesome

10
Hours Researched
1
Experts Consulted
11
Vendors Reviewed

Our criteria: How we chose the best vendors

We take our research seriously and want to make sure we are presenting our readers with the very best solutions in a given software category.  Here's how we select vendors to be in our buyer guides:

  • Product: We want to have a deep understanding of a vendor's product before recommending it.  This usually means getting a demo by a senior executive (their CEO, head of product, etc), and/or using the product ourselves to make sure it has a solid UI, intuitive workflows, and the features to make it a best in class offering.
  • User feedback: We do our best to understand what users say when they experience this product.  User input allows us to accomplish a more thorough due diligence of products, put new vendors on our radar, and generally make sure we are presenting the right products to our readers.
  • Financial metrics: We are very much finance nerds and so use a product's retention rates, growth, profitability, and scale to understand whether or not it is truly best in class.
  • Best for a use case: Sometimes the best solution is the cheapest, the best tool for international companies, or the best for startups. We try to include a diversity of solutions so that our readers can find the tool that is best for what they need.

Here's more detail if you want to read further on how we research vendors.

In this guide you'll find

Featured in

Top Restaurant Software

We track thousands of HR Tech solutions. Here are the best restaurant tools as of 2022.

CareerPlug

Review:

CareerPlug is an applicant tracking system that serves retailers with multiple locations like restaurants, in addition to gyms, salons, stores, etc.  In fact, their big market is franchisees.

It’s important to note that their system is focused on hiring, and they do a great job of helping you automate job distribution, careers site setup, text recruiting, and candidate screening.

However, this system will not handle things like payroll, scheduling, and general talent management tasks.

CareerPlug

Stats:

CareerPlug

Pricing:

Best For

Worth Checking Out:

7shifts

Review:

7Shifts was built specifically to be a human resources software for the restaurant industry.  So, it’s probably no surprise that they have a wide range of functionality across: employee scheduling, time clocking, labor compliance, and team communication.

7shifts

Stats:

7shifts

Pricing:

They have a free tier for <10 employee restaurants, and their pricing goes up to $70/mo/location (billed annually).

Best For

Worth Checking Out:

Toast

Review:

Most people in the restaurant industry are now familiar with Toast, a leading point of sale solution that has grown tremendously in the past few years.

Toast bought a labor management platform a few years ago called StratEx and has integrated it into their POS platform.

Toast

Stats:

Toast

Pricing:

In addition to being a great people operations platform, buying both their HR and POS systems together can be a large cost savings for many restaurants.

Their pricing starts off with a free version and increases depending on what modules you want (they have 5 person coffee shops all the way up to chains with thousands of locations as customers).

Best For

Worth Checking Out:

Fountain

Review:

Fountain is a very powerful hiring solution for organizations that quickly need to scale up (and sometimes scale down) their workforce.

This tool is really built for hiring hundreds and thousands (and sometimes hundreds of thousands) of workers quickly.  

They help automate this with an ATS, recruiting chatbot, mobile-first candidate experience, job board distribution, assessments, and more.

If you’re hiring hundreds of people or more per month, check them out. But, they are really only designed for the largest of hiring plans.

Fountain

Stats:

Fountain

Pricing:

Best For

Worth Checking Out:

Workstream

Review:


Workstream can help distribute jobs to platforms like Indeed, ZipRecruiter, Snagajob, and then allow job seekers to apply via text which cuts down on friction and allows you to decrease the time it takes to fill open roles. You can also let employees apply in real time through text-to-apply posters in store.

Wordstream will also automate employee onboarding including the collection of important HR documents, running background checks, and even send training materials to new employees.

Lastly, there are some interesting analytics that give owners, especially those with larger businesses, insights into what is working within their hiring and onboarding process.

Workstream

Stats:

Workstream

Pricing:

Best For

Worth Checking Out:

TalentReef

Review:

TalentReef is a human resources software platform for hourly workers, and of course many restaurants use them to manage their labor.

TalentReef

Stats:

TalentReef

Pricing:

Best For

Worth Checking Out:

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Some final thoughts on picking HR software for your restaurant business

Obviously some of the solutions above are great for smaller organizations as they have an all in one suite, and some are more specialized with a focus on hiring and onboarding employees.

I recommend you make a list of your top 3-5 must-have features (why you started the research in the first place), and then a few nice to haves.

Get demos with 2-3 of the above vendors that seem the best fit for what you want, keep good notes, and then get back to running your business!

Buying software can be stressful, time consuming, and of course costly.  Just remember, the benefits of having the right automation in your employee management will more than make up for these negatives.  Good luck!

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