As a restaurant manager or operator, you know that food cost is one of your biggest challenges. You’re under continuing pressure to keep this expense as low as possible, despite external forces — such as weather events that affect crops and can drive up prices — that are well beyond your control. The good news, however, is that there’s something you can control: choosing a solid inventory management solution to get a grip on your food costs. Learn why this technology has become indispensable for many restaurants today.
Sizing Up Your Sales
Take a good look at your sales history. This is the jumping off point to understand exactly what is happening with the inventory coming through your establishment and the menu items emerging from your kitchen. Perhaps the chicken parm sells out every time but the seared tuna, not so much.
By understanding trends and sales patterns, you can take corrective measures to right-size your inventory. This will help to reduce costs by eliminating as much food waste as possible. If you have too much of an ingredient on hand, you may have to mark down a particular dish or otherwise risk spoilage and waste. And if you have too little of an ingredient used in a popular dish, you could be missing out on sales.
Streamline Your Daily Ops
Many restaurants use an inventory management solution to simplify the daily task of taking stock of the ingredients on hand. Instead of manually reviewing the contents of your fridge, freezer and pantry, tap into your inventory management system to get a quick status of your ingredients. With these insights, you can quickly fill in any holes to avoid lost revenue for the day.
All About Automation
Automating your processes is perhaps the secret weapon for reducing food cost. This is where an inventory management solution really does the heavy lifting. When you automate your processes, you save time, maximize labor output, boost productivity and of course — start to turn food waste around.
Take advantage of an inventory management solution’s wealth of features. Reduce the burden on you and your staff by programming automatic ordering, which leverages up-to-the-minute sales and inventory data to determine when a particular ingredient needs to be replenished.
Run a Tight Ship
Another way to decrease food waste is to improve order accuracy. For example, a kitchen display system with a user-friendly screen and interface improves order communication, preventing some of the human errors that occur when illegible handwriting is involved. Wait staff equipped with tablets can take orders more quickly and effectively and send them to the kitchen while still tableside. And restaurants that choose self-service kiosks allow customers to customize their orders and translate them seamlessly to the kitchen, circumventing anything getting “lost in translation.” All of these processes reduce errors and decrease food waste. Automating these processes also provides an opportunity to integrate them with your inventory management system, enabling you to have a real-time view of inventory and place orders as stock falls below a certain amount.
If you haven’t yet deployed an inventory management solution, you’re missing out on the opportunity to reduce food waste, boost productivity and simplify your operations. What is it costing you to not have tight control over inventory and operations?