The need to stay on top of everything in your restaurant and bar business can feel overwhelming. But, it doesn't have to be. Did you know that today's technology can enhance your restaurant and bar's operation and customer satisfaction through proper inventory planning?
Inventory optimization tools can reduce costs, boost revenue, and help you manage food safety. Read on and learn why inventory management tools are vital for your restaurant or bar!
What Is Inventory Management?
With a top-notch inventory management system and precise inventory planning, your restaurant and bar can keep track of its stock. It aids your kitchen staff in tracking what stock you have and where it is being used or wasted.
With inventory management, you can track every part of your stock in real-time. This is because inventory management systems are often connected to your bar or restaurant’s point-of-sale.
Due to better inventory control, your restaurant can now see exactly where it is losing money. It can also show you what you can do to stop it from happening in the future, increasing revenues.
The Importance of Restaurant Inventory Management
Your supply stock is one of your most significant assets. How you handle your restaurant inventory is one of the elements that will enable your business to thrive. The supplies used by your kitchen staff to make the menu items are all included in the restaurant inventory.
Your total operating budget usually includes 25 to 35 percent for meals. The idea is to use as much fresh stock as possible with little to no waste.
Every completed order delivered to a happy customer represents a profit on your original investment. Any food that does not reach a customer reduces your potential profits.
What Benefits Will You Gain From Successful Inventory Management?
Regaining control over your restaurant inventory will have positive benefits for your business. An inventory management system can help you increase profitability. Also, restaurant software will help to streamline your inventory processes in the following ways:
Significant Cost Savings by Using Inventory Optimization Tools
One of the main reasons bars and restaurants lose money is due to poor inventory control. The annoying thing is that most owners of bars and restaurants are aware of their high inventory costs. Yet, they are not clear where they are operating at a loss.
An inventory management system sends your restaurant data in real-time, showing where and why food or drink is getting lost. Due to the significant financial savings, your bar or restaurant's bottom line will improve.
Improved Insight Into Expenditure and Menu Pricing
It is easy for your bar or restaurant to get caught up in the trap of not changing the prices on the menu. Unfortunately, by failing to update your menu prices to meet rising inventory costs, many restaurateurs are losing a ton of money.
You can approach your menu using data if you have an effective inventory management plan. When you have a thorough understanding of inventory costs, it will enable you to estimate menu item profit margins. You can use this info to decide whether to remove low-profit items or adjust prices.
Make Better Ordering Decisions
Your team will make better ordering decisions for your bar or restaurant when you have more oversight of your inventory. You won't need to buy goods from suppliers anymore "in case" you run out. Creating a plan that guarantees you always have the proper amount of stock allows you to maximize your orders for inventory.
Complete Automation of Processes
Waste and shrinkage in your restaurant are made worse when you use manual inventory management methods. Taking inventory by hand leaves the potential for human errors. However, these challenging back-end procedures get simplified through automated inventory management systems.
How to Incorporate the Benefits of Inventory Optimization Tools
You can have all the tools, but if you are not consistent or follow through on your end, what good will they do? Here are a few tips to keep you on track:
Be Consistent with Managing Inventory
You must adhere to a routine if you want to measure your inventory with consistency and accuracy. Many of your calculations will call for particular time frames, like by the week or month. Your data will wind up disorganized if your scheduling is incorrect.
For different types of ingredients, you can set various timetables, though. You might want to examine often used products and perishables every day because of their high turnover rates.
You can check on your non-perishables and bulk items once a week because they keep longer. You and your team will recognize the patterns if you maintain consistency with the dates and timings and can then make any necessary adjustments.
Set Restaurant Inventory Goals
Start setting goals after you are aware of how fast your stock moves through the kitchen and what your restaurant's typical inventory measurements are. Targeted priorities will help your staff aim for progress in particular areas. This is whether you measure success by days in inventory, sales percentages, or turnover rates.
You can also select the time frame for seeing progress, which might range from weekly adjustments to as long as a year. But, setting the goals won't make them come true. You and your team must keep an eye on performance and develop plans to overcome potential obstacles.
Train Your Staff on New Best Practices
Having a small team to assist you with the operations of inventory management is essential. But, the rest of your staff needs involvement, as well. Managers can concentrate on more difficult tasks, like keeping track of inventory data and spotting possible problems.
But, you and your management must involve the rest of the team on a day-to-day basis. Your waitstaff and kitchen staff should receive inventory awareness training. Explain to them the importance of doing things like rotating stock and keeping a look out for deviations.
Have your line cooks and kitchen team be in charge of keeping track of any pre-consumer waste. They are the ones that interact with the supplies most often. Instruct them to record every mistake they make and every time they have to throw away rotting food.
Maintain a Record for Food Waste and Inventory Errors
Your inventory records might suffer from food waste and mistakes. They are unavoidable, but you should seek to steer clear of them as much as you can. Only approximately 47% of restaurants keep track of their waste.
This figure needs to increase. You can keep up with errors by keeping a record account for these mistakes. It is crucial to know how much food waste your kitchen generates over a certain period.
Having this information will help you set targets for stock and money savings. In the future, you might need to order fewer supplies or use them quicker if your kitchen staff often discards spoiled food or expired goods.
Your servers might need a more effective means of taking down orders if patrons returned things because they weren't correct. A good practice is to note the time and date, the item, the amount of weight, the reason, and the reporting employee's names on your food waste sheet to keep accurate records.
Forecast Food Inventory Demand
Food waste in the bar and restaurant sector contributes much to revenue declines and improper inventory management. This figure totals around 11.4 million tons of waste annually. A significant percentage of this waste results from overstocking, which causes extra food to spoil before chefs can use it.
Forecasting should be a part of your inventory management procedures to prevent making this error or to reduce your margin of error. To forecast, you must determine how many ingredients you will use over a specific period and predict how much you will need to order next. With the appropriate information, you may decrease the amount of food waste you generate and spend less on your subsequent stock.
Always Consider Food Safety
In addition to keeping an eye out for waste, you should also be considering measures to ensure food safety. If ingredients in one refrigerator regularly expire despite proper ordering data, it may be because the refrigerator cannot keep the temperature at a safe level.
Given that foodborne infections are thought to be the cause of 48 million illnesses each year, according to the CDC, these situations are probable and demand consideration. Using restaurant optimization tools, you can be more relaxed knowing that you are offering the freshest and safest food to your customers.
Don’t Use Pen and Paper to Track Inventory
Inventory monitoring with pens and paper is outdated. Trying to maintain an accurate list by hand will slow you down and provide more space for human mistakes. Using restaurant software applications will aid in your efforts because of how much math and analysis goes into inventory management.
Utilizing inventory tracking software simplifies recordkeeping and offers insights that a spreadsheet cannot. It can compute figures for you and spot trends.
Create a Culture of Food Safety and Smooth Operations With Inventory Planning
We believe that restaurant operations and digital food safety must be simple, ensuring that essential tasks get done. Food safety is our goal. We wanted to make food safety easier because we know how difficult it is.
We created our inventory optimization tools for our use and to aid other restaurant and bar owners like you. Are you lacking in your prep lists, food temperature logs, or other vital tools? We can help! Check out our About Us page or Blog section for helpful information.