This edition of MRM’s “Ask the Expert” features advice from Buyers Edge Platform. Please send questions to Barbara Castiglia, editor-in-chief of Modern Restaurant Management (MRM) magazine, at [email protected]
Inventory is one of the most tedious processes in restoration operations. Chefs spend countless hours counting inventory, purchasing new ingredients, and researching more cost-effective substitutions for canceled or out-of-stock products.
With a labor shortage threatening the restaurant industry, operators don’t have time to focus on their inventory. Instead, they’re busy fixing manpower issues and trying to find a way to keep their doors open, sometimes leaving the kitchen behind.
When inventory management is done properly, operators can cut costs, reduce waste, and reduce the number of hours spent managing this important business variable. This is where technology can help, because the most effective inventory management tool is the one that allows you to streamline the entire process.
Using technology to manage inventory can alleviate the stress of the job and make it an easier process for operators and / or their employees.
Here are some ways technology can streamline your inventory management:
Real time results
Using inventory management tools can help you automatically track your internal inventory levels. Operators can use technology to track inventory every time they order and receive product, instead of having to do large inventory counts at the end of each month or quarter. Technology allows you to maintain a continuous inventory, enabling more accurate forecasting, more relevant orders, and real-time price correction when you’re on the verge of going over budget.
Cost of the recipe
When you don’t know the true cost of each of your menu items, there’s no way to accurately order the right amount of ingredients. Inventory management technology allows chefs to create recipes directly in the software and calculate precise costs for each plate. As ingredient costs naturally fluctuate over time, recipe costs automatically adjust, allowing for more accurate pricing, forecasting and menu development. If you are seeing a higher food cost than usual, the right tech tool can help you adjust your selling price or find the same or similar ingredient for less.
The worst thing you want to do is tell your customers that you have run out of ingredients to make their favorite dishes. Using technology can not only ensure that your inventory is stocked with your profitable plates and crowd favorite ingredients, but it can also improve staff morale. They’re the ones who pay the price for angry customers when they have to let them down with the old adage, “Sorry, we don’t have this item tonight.
When you don’t take an accurate and timely inventory, you can end up ordering too much of something. This leaves room for unused ingredients to be wasted. Which means lost money for you. By using inventory technology, you can maintain optimal inventory levels and, in turn, minimize the amount of waste you generate from unused or spoiled products.
In today’s environment, there are technological solutions to better streamline processes in nearly every area of your operation – and inventory is one of the easiest business practices to shift from manual to manual. automating. Rising food prices, over-ordering, and wasted product can all lead to higher food costs. With digital transformation, you can let technology work for you.