Top 6 HR Tools for Restaurants - 2022

Phil Strazzulla
HR Tech Expert, Harvard MBA, Software Enthusiast
October 7, 2022

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Our Expert Picks: The Top Restaurant Software

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Unlike most recruitment platforms in this category, TalentReef provides performance-based evaluation tools to foster employee development within their roles. The software also uses a conversational AI chatbot that automates replies.
Unlike other tools in this category, CareerPlug uses job description templates to help build postings. Other aspects of their hiring process are also template-based.
Workstream’s text-based system makes it easier and faster for managers to recruit qualified candidates. You can also extend its capabilities as it connects to over 25,000 job boards.
7Shifts combines an array of functionalities such as their innovative AI-powered auto-scheduler, in-app messaging, applicant tracking, and time tracking all in one restaurant tech platform. This is not the case with the majority of systems in this category.
Brandished by companies like Tim Hortons, Dunkin Donuts, and IHOP, HigherMe is a collection of recruitment tools for the restaurant and service industry. Their platform includes an ATS, a job board, and noteworthy features like text-to-apply and paperless onboarding.
Fountain uses advanced data tracking and analytics to launch targeted hiring campaigns. Their geolocation radius feature also restricts job postings to a specified area.
Toast is one of the few vendors in the HR tools for restaurants category that provide customer loyalty programs for restaurateurs to use to their advantage.

Top 6 HR Tools for Restaurants - 2022

Phil Strazzulla, HR Tech Expert, Harvard MBA, Software Enthusiast Oct 07, 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.

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Hours Researched
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Experts Consulted
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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

An Intro On HR Tools for Restaurants

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.

Featured in

Top Restaurant Software

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

Workstream

Review:

Workstream is a hiring software that comes, out of the box, with features you would typically see in a restaurant-tech recruiting software. Features like text to apply, QR code generation, branded career pages, and so on, all make an appearance in this hiring tool.

For a company that started out just five years ago, they have managed to secure some big American brands as customers including McDonalds, Chick-fil-A, and Taco Bell. This rapid, wide-spread acceptance goes to show the effectiveness of the tool in sourcing, hiring, and onboarding workers in an industry that struggles with high turn-over rates.

Workstream

Stats:

  • Workstream has helped a Crumbl Cookie Idaho outlet reduce hiring time by pre-screening resumes and presenting a trimmed pool of qualified candidates.
  • 10,000 businesses use Workstream

Workstream

Pricing:

Workstream offers two flexible plans with the option to pay for additional features. The actual cost of the plans are not listed, you will have to contact their sales team to see what works for you. The two plans are:

  • Workstream Basic: This plan includes basic recruiting features such as text to apply, QR code generator, branded careers page, and so on. 
  • Workstream Plus: This plan offers everything in the Basic plan plus additional onboarding features such as  W-4, I-9 and Form 8850 collection, onboarding training and quizzes, eSignature, and new hire offer letter template.

Best For:

Workstream is best for businesses that have high volume recruiting needs for roles such in retail and restaurants.

Toast

Review:

Toast is one of the top names in the restaurant SaaS category because it is a one-stop platform that combines point of sale, operations, digital ordering and delivery, marketing and loyalty, and team management — basically everything a restaurant needs to run their business. In a recent acquisition, they added employee scheduling, communication, and management solutions to the mix, making the system even more well-rounded.

Toast

Stats:

  • Toast was the 2018 winner of the prestigious Stevie awards for customer service department of the year.
  • Toast was named on the Forbes cloud 100 list in 2021 — the definitive list of the world's top 100 private cloud companies.

Toast

Pricing:

Buying Toast’s HR and POS systems together can save many restaurants quite a bit of money. Their pricing starts off with a free version and increases depending on what modules you want. There are also several add-ons you can include to make your package more comprehensive. You will have to speak to their sales representative to get a quote for these additional features. 

Besides their free plan, they have two other paid plans, a custom plan, and a special offer for new restaurants. They are priced at: 

  • Point of sale: $69 per month
  • Essentials: $165 per month
  • Custom: Custom pricing
  • New restaurant basics: $110 per month. It features the lite version of scheduling and team management.

There are tons of add-ons to customize your plan to your specific business needs, and it can be overwhelming and a bit tricky if you do not have a full understanding of how these configurations work. Besides complementary add-ons, you can as well customize features within each basic plan. Each plan, for example, comes with Toast hardware, and you have the option to choose which hardware you want installed as part of your plan. This is why we recommend you get a demo and reach out to their sales team before you commit to the software.

Best For:

Toast is a great option for restaurants of all types, especially those offering delivery services — you stand to benefit from their delivery management module and third-party delivery service integration.

7shifts

Review:

7Shifts was built specifically to be a human resources software for the restaurant industry, offering a wide range of functionality including employee scheduling, time clocking, labor compliance, and team communication.

Although this software has a lot of moving parts, they all synchronize to streamline restaurant operations. Additionally, the software offers innovative tools like an AI-powered auto-scheduler and templates, to help managers keep up with the fast-paced nature of restaurant HR management.

7shifts

Stats:

  • Over 1 billion hours scheduled on the platform
  • 27,000 restaurant locations use 7Shifts

7shifts

Pricing:

7Shifts offers three plans with fixed pricing and one with custom pricing. You can also purchase add-ons as needed. The plans are as follows:

  • Comp: This is their free plan and it comes with basic scheduling and ATS features. The plan supports only 30 users per location. 
  • Entree: This plan costs $34.99 per location per month, but you can save about 10% if you pay annually. It is a little upgrade from the comp plan with reporting and budgeting added to the mix. It also supports only 30 employees per location.
  • The Works: This plan costs $76.99 per location per month ($69.99 when billed annually). It offers all 7Shifts features to give you an all-in-one restaurant team management platform.
  • Gourmet: The Gourmet plan is their custom plan. What separates this plan for the previous ones is that it comes with a dedicated account manager.

7Shifts also provides some add ons including:

  • Task management: Costs $12.99 per location per month
  • Tip pooling: Costs $24.99 per location per month
  • Operations overview: Costs $6.99 per location per month
  • Manager logbook: Costs $14.99 per location per month

Best For:

7Shifts is a great choice for restaurants that want a little bit of human resource management together with the scheduling.

Fountain

Review:

Fountain is a data-driven, high-volume hiring platform that provides tools for restaurant sourcing, screening, hiring, and onboarding. It is a great software to scale your recruiting because most of its features are automated, requiring little effort from hiring managers, and providing you with the option to manage your applicant pool in bulk. 

This software also allows you to incorporate your recruiting process with your HR management with the numerous HRIS integrations it offers. And, unlike most restaurant HR tech tools, their services are available outside the US (78 countries presently).

Fountain

Stats:

  • Fountain has raised over $200 million in funding.
  • The software has handled 70 million applications and processed 9 million hires in 75 countries.

Fountain

Pricing:

Fountain’s pricing is not provided on their website. You will have to schedule a demo to know what works for you.

Best For:

Fountain is best for businesses that want to rapidly scale up and are looking to make high-volume recruiting.

TalentReef

Review:

TalentReef is an applicant tracking system and human resources software built for hourly worker recruitment. They provide innovative solutions like artificial intelligence and text-to-apply recruitment to make it much faster to fill positions on the fly.

TalentReef’s onboarding and compliance features work together to ensure seamless digital onboarding for your employees; further improving their candidate hiring experience. They also provide tools for performance based evaluations that facilitates developmental accountability and better manager-employee relationships.

TalentReef

Stats:

  • TalentReef serves 100,000+ national brand locations
  • They have raised about $4 million in funding

TalentReef

Pricing:

TalentReef does not disclose their pricing publicly. You will have to request a quote from their Sales team. One thing you should note is that you will be required to pick a list of features beforehand and they will work with you to curate the solution that best addresses your business concerns. This model ensures you pay for exactly what you need.

Best For:

TalentReef is best for businesses looking to hire hourly workforce.

CareerPlug

Review:

CareerPlug is an applicant tracking system built for non-HR personnel in blue-collar industries like hospitality, home health care, franchises, and retail. As a result, most features such as branded careers page, job post builder, candidate screening, etc., are plug-and-play or template-based.

In addition to their ATS capacities, they also help verify candidate eligibility via their background check integrations. To improve the outcomes of your interviews, they have provided structures to measure candidate performance.

CareerPlug

Stats:

  • Trusted by 14,000 growing businesses
  • 7.6 million applicants processed and over 140,000 hires made on the platform
  • Hit a revenue of $5 million in 2022.

CareerPlug

Pricing:

CareerPlug does not reveal their prices on their website. You will have to book a demo to see what works for you and get a quote.

Best For:

CareerPlug is best suited for blue collar hiring.

HigherMe

Review:

Since HigherMe is used at some locations of the most widely-known restaurant brands in North America, it comes as no surprise that over 2,000,000 applicants use their platform. Their platform is both a job board and an ATS. You can search for candidates per proximity to a location, title, or previous job experience.

That being said, the way in which they help you find candidates doesn’t stop there. Their text-to-apply feature, for example, entails them putting up a poster at your desired locations. By scanning a code on the poster, potential candidates who happen to walk by can apply for a job by sending a text message, or by filling up a form that takes them to the platform.

HigherMe

Stats:

  • HigherMe works with 1 in 12 Chick-fil-A restaurants across the US and Canada
  • Quality restaurant concepts, LLC— the parent company that owns Applebee’s— saw a 150% increase in the number of applicants at one of their locations and increased their application completion rate by 73%
  • Cut Tim Horton’s interview no-show rates by 80%.

HigherMe

Pricing:

HigherMe’s product offerings are priced per location per month, billed on a quarterly term. Multi-location and term discounts are also available. For exact quotes, however, you’d have to reach out to their team.

Best For:

HigherMe is best for restaurant businesses with 20 to 500 employees, especially franchises that have more than one location.

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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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