If you’re new to the restaurant business — and even if you aren’t — you may question whether restaurant inventory management software can help you successfully meet your business goals. The answer is a resounding “yes!” Here are five reasons why restaurant inventory management software is essential to the success of every restaurant, no matter its type.
1. Restaurant inventory management software saves time and increases ordering and record-keeping efficiencies. Between manual counting and tracking of SKUs in stock and generating reorders, restaurant inventory management methods that are paper-based are extremely time-consuming. With restaurant inventory management software, you can automatically complete inventory counts. Electronic order placement is simple, requiring just a few minutes from start to finish. What’s more, the potential for error is minimized when restaurant inventory management software eliminates the need to calculate inventory requirements based on handwritten inventory counts.
2. Restaurant inventory management software ensures that you have the right ingredients on hand, at the right time, and in the right quantities. Many restaurant inventory management software solutions are configured to automatically generate reorders when ingredient SKUs reach predefined levels. This prevents shortages, in turn ensuring that customers aren’t disappointed because you lack ingredients needed to prepare the items they want. This can help increase customer satisfaction and the likelihood of cultivating repeat business. It also guards against over-ordering, which frequently leads to ingredient waste and unnecessary inventory expenditures.
3. Restaurant inventory management software yields valuable insight into food costs. A comprehensive restaurant inventory management software solution permits you to track and control the cost of inventory by identifying ingredient usage patterns and pinpointing problem areas. Issues such as deviations from portioning instructions, employee theft, and the purchase of costly commodities rather than less expensive ones or bulk purchases can be identified in real time. Instead of being delayed by manually identifying areas where costs are out of line, you can immediately make the necessary adjustments. For example, you might revise purchase quantities so that the restaurant inventory management software generates orders for just enough perishable ingredients to last for a short duration or switch to larger bulk quantities of such ingredients as flour. The end-result of access to real-time information about food costs is, once again, reduced waste and significant cost savings all around.
4. Restaurant inventory management software helps to cut down on unauthorized ingredient purchases. Employee theft can pose big problems for restaurant owners, especially those whose establishments use premium ingredients and serve top-shelf alcoholic beverages. By allowing you to set purchasing levels which employees can’t deviate without authorization, your restaurant inventory management software prevents staff members from ordering “extras” for themselves.
Another level of cost control is also provided here because employees cannot order a higher quantity of an ingredient simply because they think it is a good idea or purchase items from unauthorized suppliers with which you haven’t set pricing arrangements.
5. Restaurant inventory management software makes it easier to spot billing errors and inconsistencies. Automating the inventory ordering process with restaurant inventory management software facilitates quick comparisons between what was ordered from suppliers and what has been received — a process that can take hours when handled manually and can be rife with errors. The more rapidly these inconsistencies and errors are found, the faster they can be rectified, keeping added expenditures to a minimum and once again increasing the likelihood of having ingredients on hand when you need them.
While it’s possible to operate a restaurant without restaurant inventory management software, it can result in many problems from reliance on manual methods. An investment in restaurant inventory technology can save time, prevent errors, help you better control your inventory, and guard against loss. You will find it can be a key to growth and long-term success.