Manual inventory used to be the dullest job in a restaurant. Kitchen and floor managers wasted hours hovering over clipboards in dark walk-ins instead of spending quality time on their customers and cuisine.
Thanks to automated inventory tracking software, taking stock of your restaurant inventory has become more convenient, can happen in real time, and be hands-free.
Time is money
Most restaurateurs understand the breakdown of prime costs for determining operational efficiency and profitable outcomes. Despite the potential to save thousands on labor and food costs, some business owners are still slow to embrace automated technology.
If one of the hurdles to automated technology has been cost, restaurateurs can rest assured that cloud-based software and wireless devices have made intimidating and costly restaurant technologies a thing of the past. Today’s options are far more affordable and easier to use.
Cooperative inventory management solutions
Choosing software that operates in tandem with other restaurant management software is key. Many companies now offer hybrid cloud software that functions as one centralized system to connect your accounting, scheduling, billing, and inventory management tools all in one place.
With integrative inventory software scaled for your business, you can use predictive analytics to prepare for seasonal trends. You can also price your projected earnings against your real results to more accurately calculate prime costs. Some software even offers digital blueprints of your kitchen’s actual layout.
Connective capabilities allow you to maximize your inventory and reduce costs by utilizing features such as ingredient expiration and itemized value reports that can work in conjunction with your chef’s weekly specials menu. This way you won’t lose potential profit to spoilage or over-order in the future.
Interconnected software options
Shared POS and COGS systems
Smart invoicing and price intelligence
Cost-monitoring trend reports
Off-premise updates to your smart device
Automated purchase orders
The power of intelligent inventory
Imagine saving money every time one of your employees rings up a menu item. Cutting-edge restaurant inventory tracking software does that. Intelligent POS and collaborative management systems allow you to quantify the value of a recipe by calculating the cost and return of each ingredient needed to make it.
Every menu item or special can be programmed into your software, recording sales against purchase orders in real time. That data can then be measured against your current inventory, sent to your cloud, and processed for automated ordering, so you can forecast trends, expenses, and seasonal availability.
All this new technology allows you to deliver your customer favorites so consistently it might put your “86 board” out of business.
Experimental menu forecasting
In many cases the longer you feed your restaurant’s online database, the smarter your AI-enabled analytics and computing power become. You can begin to run menu experiments swapping, adding, or eliminating dishes to forecast for profitability based on automated scenarios.
Imagine a farm-to-table restaurant that only utilizes local or seasonally sourced ingredients. Experimental software can quickly identify other items with similar pricing, availability, and popularity.
“Inventory management experts believe that correctly controlling inventory can boost a restaurant’s profits by 50 percent.”
Restaurants with multiple locations could really stand to benefit from cloud-based inventory tracking. Intelligent software programs can calculate costs and compare profit and loss trends across all your locations at one time; insight from one establishment can then be used to inform better business and purchasing decisions at another.
Conversely, many software companies design affordable inventory solutions fitted for quick service and small business budgets.
Restaurant management software is clearly beneficial when it comes to the cost of doing business, but it can’t replace human insight. It’s still important to make sure your employees are trained to provide oversight on the software. For example, the software might flag high expenditures for a given month. Trained workers will understand that the chef meant to buy expensive truffles for a new dish despite the option to buy cheaper, lower-quality ingredients—something computer software won’t account for.
Regardless of the scenario, you will need educated staff to monitor your software for glitches and functionality.
Rewards Network® does not provide tax, legal, or accounting advice. This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for tax, legal, or accounting advice. You should consult your own tax, legal, and accounting advisors before engaging in any transaction.