Today’s restaurant industry witnesses cut-throat competition. And do you know what is the major difference between successful restaurants and mediocre or failed ones?
It is how they do inventory management and optimally utilize it to increase their profits.
If you do not pay the necessary attention to your restaurant’s inventory management, you run a risk of pushing your business to failure. It can end up costing you a lot of money and also you might never be able to scale your business sustainably.
As a restaurant owner, you must often be clouded by questions like-
- How much raw material should I order?
- Where is my inventory getting utilised?
- Why do I often run out of stock during peak business hours?
- Why does so much of my inventory goes to waste?
- Which are my best and worst selling food items?
- How to track my purchase orders from suppliers?
Well, all these questions can be easily and effectively answered by using a smart restaurant inventory management software.
Gone are the days when you had to use pen & paper or maintain long boring spreadsheets to keep a tab on your inventory data. A good inventory management software can easily solve your troubles and automate the complete process for you. It can further provide you with insightful data and analysis that can help you optimise your inventory ordering process and enables you to grow your business profitably.
Top Features To Have In Your Restaurant Inventory Management Software
1. Raw material management
The most basic task of any inventory management software is to have an efficient raw material management system. This core functionality helps you tally all your ingredients brought and consumed in your restaurant. The software can provide you with the stock inward list, existing stock list, and a list of internal transfers to other outlets/franchises. You can also get the individual raw material stock update and consumption information from your inventory management software.
2. Low-stock & Expiry alerts
Sorry Sir, we’ve run out of cheese, so we can’t take the order of your pizza!!
Nobody, whether it be a customer or the restaurant owner, would like the sound of the above statement. Any denied customer request can easily take off points from your customer service and their ratings for you. And you wouldn’t want this to occur especially in your peak business hours.
Hence, it becomes essential that you use the feature of low-stock alerts to stay aware of any diminishing stock, and can easily re-stock it as required. Low-stock alerts can prove to be a huge game-changer for your restaurant business, as it also allows you to operate your online order menu more efficiently.
Furthermore, if you are in the business of bakery or confectionary items, a lot of raw materials are easily perishable. You wouldn’t want to serve your customers foul food or bad-tasting dishes?
The modern inventory management software allows you to enter the expiry dates of your ingredients and then sets the expiry alerts, which helps you stay cautious and plan your inventory consumption accordingly.
3. Recipe management
A good restaurant inventory management software would allow you to configure recipes into the software, and automatically deduct the correct amount of raw materials upon billing for an item. The system should also be flexible enough to incorporate multi-stage recipes. Semi-prepared food items or recipes can also be easily tabulated to give you an idea of what your inventory looks like. The auto-consumption feature, when enabled, can deduct the proportions of ingredients as fixated by you upon order of any food item that utilises that particular ingredient. This way, the whole process of inventory consumption and reporting gets automated, right from the KOT generation and can be reflected back in billing and end-day reports.
4. Central Kitchen Module
A lot of multi-outlet or franchise brands maintain centralized control of their ingredients and raw material supplies to ensure high-quality products and taste uniformity.
An advanced inventory management system offers the important Central Kitchen Module which fulfils this requirement. Using this module, you can manage stock and raw material distribution right from your central hub. You have complete data and control of all the inventory that is being stored and consumed at all the affiliated outlets.
Using the Central Kitchen management system, any of your outlets or franchise stores can raise stock requests to the central kitchen and then you can initiate the process of re-stocking their requirement. Additionally, a competent Central Kitchen management system, allows you to monitor the delivery routes of all your deliveries, ensuring that no inventory thefts or wrongful deliveries occur, impacting your whole supply chain.
5. Inventory Forecasting
Inventory forecasting is a recent trend that is gaining popularity among restaurateurs. Although the forecasting may not always produce accurate results, it gives the restaurant owners a ballpark of their inventory consumption trends and variances.
Examining historical data also becomes vital in inventory forecasting. Insights from your past consumption trends and inventory stocking data can govern whether you should upscale, downscale or maintain your inventory purchase behaviour. It can also give you significant details on factors like food dishes being ordered, inventory expenses over the years, and labour cost fluctuations.
By using this historical data and ongoing seasonal trends, you can achieve a highly accurate inventory forecasting model which can help you manage your kitchen operations sustainably.
6. Food Wastage Management
Food wastage and the pilferage of unutilised raw materials is the biggest headache of any restaurant owner. Not only does it burn a hole in your pocket but also seeing food supplies being wasted is a sore sight for all.
Nowadays, inventory management software gives you the complete picture of how much raw material is being purchased, how much of it is getting used in preparing dishes, and how much of it perish beyond its usage value. These statistics can help you track the amount of food being wasted and can govern you to take necessary corrective measures to reduce this wastage.
Further, you can also re-evaluate your portion sizes based on this data. And even if after doing all this there is some wastage at your restaurant, you can always take up practices of donating food or setting up community food fridges.
7. Purchase Order Management
A good restaurant inventory management software lets you raise purchase orders to suppliers or your central kitchen directly from the application dashboard. You can manage and view all your inventory orders from various restaurant suppliers, all in one place. The software also automatically populates your frequently ordered items from each supplier, thus, reducing your manual hassles. As soon as the stock gets dispatched from the central kitchen or from the supplier, you can also track that purchase order and complete details of its in-route information.
8. Inventory Reports
Lastly, we come to the most essential part of inventory management – data and reporting.
An inventory management system will be of very limited use if it does not provide you with necessary data and reports that can help you make important decisions related to your inventory management.
Item-wise consumption reports, recipe summary, raw material price trends and internal stock audit are some of the important reports that you should study to better manage your restaurant inventory.
Also, you can get the live cost of any food items that you sell from your inventory management software, based on the FIFO inventory model for raw materials that are consumed in the process. You can then adjust your menu prices to account for any fluctuations in raw material prices.
By maximizing your efforts and energy in inventory management as a restaurant owner, you are set to save both time and money. This not only guarantees fresh food being served to customers but also makes your restaurant and kitchen operations smooth.
No more worrying about “out of stock” alarms, or excessive food wastage, or lost inventory supplies.
Put an end to your search for a good restaurant inventory management software, and try out Petpooja POS, your one-stop solution for simplifying your restaurant management.