Restaurants, the place with tasty food and beverage, needs assistance to manage their inventory in the best possible way.

The inventory management software for a restaurant is a little complex but still getting more requirements every year. There is a number of technologies that simplify and solve challenges that a restaurant faces.

Some of the research suggests that restaurant owners want the technology that would simplify their operations. Very often, effective use of such technologies requires complex integrations.

Especially in this business where you have products that don’t walk and talk.

Imagine yourself going to a restaurant to spend some quality and peaceful time but got stuck by a screen or a form. No one wants to be struggling with technology instead of serving guests and flipping tables.

While considering individual technologies for the entire restaurant, you have not only wasted money over those technologies’ stack to be expensive but also your precious time to make it function with the parts altogether.

The restaurant inventory management system is a collective term for software that helps smooth-running of food business operations. Namely, restaurants, bars, bakeries, cafes, cloud kitchens, food trucks or delivery businesses.

The restaurant inventory management system combines all the good things of the traditional POS (Point of Sale) systems, with new tools that modernize inventory management, bill handling, provide actionable analytics.

It also works smoothly with your existing restaurant technology systems that are your accounting and employee management software and uses open APIs that let you integrate with the third-party tool.

We will give you a tour to further define this software stack that helps restaurants grow.

This helps restaurants by:

  • Reduction in order processing time.
  • Convert unnecessary work.
  • Delivering impressive customer experience.
  • Determining Profits & Costs

The fundamental thing is your creativity, your food, and your customer experience.

What is Restaurant Inventory Management System?

restaurant inventory consists of all the items or raw materials required to prepare dishes, and the restaurant inventory management system helps you track each ingredient used in the dish.

The restaurant inventory management system consolidates the restaurant point-of-sale (POS), that allows you to control and organize every aspect of the stock.

It further helps you to maintain a smooth flow of supply and moreover, boost your overall profit.

As the volume of your business grows in a restaurant, inventory management becomes a crucial part of restaurant operations.

To make it worthwhile you must ensure that you don’t make any Inventory Management Mistakes in your restaurant.

Also Read: Top 7 Advantages of Inventory Management System Software

Features that a Restaurant Inventory Management System should have:

1. Cloud-Based System

The Cloud-based restaurant inventory management systems should offer flexibility that a traditional system does not offer and cannot match.

2. Instant Billing

The quicker your orders will be placed, the quicker the KOTs will release. This can impact the rate of business you could generate in a given period of time.

If your Kitchen Order Ticket (KOTs) fly out in 12 seconds, then it will take 4 seconds with an order management integrated inventory management system.

3. Stock Management

The feature of inventory management allows you to stock up the important ingredients by alerting you before the time they get consumed.

For example, the situation turns where you run out of the main ingredient during the busy dinner service? And the answer to this could be serious hold back in sales.

Therefore, with the right inventory management, you can always measure the number of ingredients available as you consume them.

In case of extra ingredients, you can either run an offer to clear the stock or ship the ingredients to another outlet; you will always be ready with the solution, but only when you have prior notices and alerts.

You must always organize your existing stock before purchasing the fresh stock.

For your easy-going, the inventory management software will provide you with the information regarding available stock count both the times i.e. at the beginning of the day and at the end of the day.

Its work is to automatically calculate the balance stock and tally it with the available physical stock.

Stock Management in Hotel Industry

The variance between 2-5% is acceptable as a certain amount of ingredient is enclosed to get wasted during preparation. Anything over the limit is a matter of concern as it points at pilferage and theft.

4. Raw Material Management

Managing the restaurant inventory avoids the wastage of products and ingredients. Following are the points to make sure that your stock is efficiently used:

  • You should try and adopt a minimal stock approach for your restaurant inventory (especially in the case of biodegradable stuff).
  • You must stick to the use of seasonal products in major; using them as season’s special. It’s a beautiful way, to attract customers with something new, and avoid wastage of perishables.
  • The system allows you to reorder when you run out of supplies; by setting a reorder level for each of your items. As soon as the ingredient will reach that level, a reminder email will be sent to you to re-order that ingredient in advance.
  • The items should be used on a First in First out (FIFO) basis. That means the older stock should be used first. When the earlier stock will get clear or used up, only after that the fresh stock items should be used to prevent unwanted wastage.

Also Read: What are the Benefits of Ticketing Management System?

5. Recipe Management and Costing

Working in the Food and Beverage industry you must be familiar with the Standardization of Recipe, which is a standard recipe in which the quantity of each ingredient should be used is specified quantity.

This method of standardization of recipe is important for inventory management as it will help a lot in checking and controlling the food costs.

Therefore, this is how the inventory management system can easily judge the number of days the stock will last.

Recipe Management and Costing

Recipe management helps to lower stealing in the restaurant premises. The same will prove to be good, authentic and worthy in case of bigger chains, as it will help to guarantee and maintain the same taste of the dishes across all the outlets, as the recipes will be the same.

6. Menu updates

The inventory management system makes it easy for you to make any kind of changes to your menu whether it is on an online ordering portal or on order management so that point-of-sale (POS) should be easy.

Updating the order menu will make you update pricing as well, to be one of the most often recurring needs.

7. Central Kitchen Management

In the case of the more well-known established long chain and quick service restaurants, majorly have a central kitchen where the food is prepared and then sent to the other outlets. The restaurant inventory management system allows you to manage the overall distribution of food depending on the outlet requirements.

The multi-store management module will assist you in managing the stock supplies across all the stores.

You can self-command your franchise outlets just by receiving their requirements automatically.

Central Kitchen Management

For example, when an outlet runs out of an item, they can raise indent and purchase order at their store point-of-sale (POS). The request will be received at the central kitchen, and the stock will be sent to the desired outlet accordingly.

On receiving the stock, it is important to check and measure the stock level for any damage or loss. The outlet which receives the stock can generate a Goods Received Note (GRN), that the stock has been received. In the case of loss or damaged stock, the same can be mentioned in the Goods Received Note (GRN).

8. Roles and Permissions

Thefts in the restaurant is an uncontrollable factor that never seems to be controlled despite all preventive measures.

The variance feature helps to detect a variation in the stock to prevent your staff from pocketing the raw materials.

With the inventory management system, you can track all activities that are logged, and different users can be assigned on different modules to maintain a regular check on the inventory.

9. Analytics & Reporting

Visibility is one of the most appreciated features of any business. That shows your popularity and impact.

Similarly, it is one of the most rewarding aspects of restaurant management as well. It is the best feature that your software gives you simplified reports via email.

It’s always important to know the key points, the data points which to look at in your meetings than spending valuable time figuring out the points from the whole report. Analysis of your restaurant’s data can give you many insights.

Reporting and analytics are important features of restaurant inventory management that help in restaurant functions.

The sales reports and raw material usage helps in creating future plans. Profit and loss reports are generated depending on the stock, sale, and consumption. This feature further assists in –

  • Analyze inventory trends- You can analyze the inventory trends to make informed decisions such as deciding the menu. Detailed reports are required on the basis of consumption of each stock which will give insights that which ingredient is the most popular and is needed to be utilized more in the recipes. 
  • Keep track of stock and maintain accuracy- An accurate list of the available shock helps you in keeping track of the daily and weekly usages, that will assist in maintaining accuracy in the restaurant business.

Also Read: Why businesses need a cloud-based Inventory Management System?

10. Shelf Life Management

Shelf-life management is an integral part of inventory management for restaurants as each item in the inventory has its specific shelf life.

And no one has the right to play with someone’s health or its related issues.

For example, rice can last for years, but alongside there are vegetables that have a limited life before they spoil.

Therefore, managing the shelf life of biodegradable is important. For each of the items in the inventory, you need to assure and specify for how long the item can be preserved and used, before getting spoiled.

Shelf Life Management

So that, if for a reason the rate of sales gets slow or there is some other reason due to which the items were not used during their shelf-life, you will be notified, along with the reason for the incident.

11. Marketing & CRM module

The marketing and customer relationship management helps you get new customers and stay in touch with regular ones.

You should be looking for more of the time-saving features for your restaurant business such as automated customer segmentation, marketing automation and simultaneously CRM will allow you to focus on charming your customers with your messages, offers, and events.

12. Centralization

Centralization and mobility are the two most demanding features of the date.

The inventory management allows you the space to manage everything from a single interface and let you be mobile.

So, you can have a look at your most important performance statistics by the outlet to know if something requires your urgent attention or not.

13. Scalability

Whether it is a single occurrence in a single space or multiple occurrences in multiple outlets, your restaurant inventory management system needs to be built for the scale of update and upgrade.

Your system needs to get evolved because purchasing a new technology every time can be expensive and unproductive.

14. Integrations

Yes, smooth integrations definitely matter a lot in a certain way. All your software should be communicating.

The overall costs of integration get higher than the costs of software being integrated. So, it’s important for you to consider a fully-featured restaurant inventory management system.

15. Ease of use

Clean interfaces and simple workflows are the main features that make it easy for the inventory management system to complete all the actions appropriately.

The navigation of the interface should allow you to find what you are looking for.

16. Quick Support

Good support is situational i.e. you will get it when you need it the most.

For example, if you get stuck while operating the software, that is when you will need support and assistance and it should be available to you.

17. Theft control

Your restaurant is operated by many people at different places and positions where theft is unfortunate but common.

Therefore, the software should be designed to check against it means, that it has been designed with the necessary checks and balances in place.

18. Security

Beyond external threats, malware, data security & network security your restaurant inventory management system stores sensitive customer data which is personal.

A good software security architecture separates the wheat from the chaff; to protect that data and your network from any kind of attacks.

19. Mobility

The days of large hardware sitting, occupying space at your restaurant and long waiting are now over.

A mobile restaurant inventory management system allows you to take orders as they move. This will impact your order processing time and give you a head start over the competition.

20. Payment integrations

The software and your business should accept all major payment methods including credit and debit cards, online wallets and loyalty points.

Keep a lookout for the payment card industry (PCI) compliance in your payment processing software.

Another point to check on is whether your restaurant software company processes the payments themselves or outsources it to a third party because if something goes uninvites, you should just have to call your point of contact, i.e. outsource software company.

Also Read: What are the Objectives of the Inventory Management System?

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

1. What is the food industry inventory?

The inventory stock in the food industry is mainly biodegradable, which changes the method and techniques of food companies to manage their inventory. To operate a successful food company, there is a need for right inventory management tools in place to manage the supply chain, delivery of the product, and the safety of the goods for consumers.

2. What is the variance?

The difference between the ideal remaining stock according to the recipe and order placed through the POS and the actual physical stock is called variance. A negative variance implies that fewer products are being used for preparation which results in a degradation in quality. Thus, the variance is an essential factor in kitchen management.

3. How Analytics and Reporting help in Restaurant Inventory Management?

The sales reports and raw material usage helps in creating future plans. Profit and loss reports are generated depending on the stock, sale, and consumption. This feature further assists in –

  • Analyze inventory trends- You can analyze the inventory trends to make informed decisions such as deciding the menu. Detailed reports are required on the basis of consumption of each stock which will give insights that which ingredient is the most popular and is needed to be utilized more in the recipes.  
  • Keep track of stock and maintain accuracy- An accurate list of the available shock helps you in keeping track of the daily and weekly usages, that will assist in maintaining accuracy in the restaurant business.

4. What is PCI?

PCI Compliance stands for the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard, or PCI DSS and is a standard design to reduce credit card fraud. The payment card industry consists of all the organizations which store, process and transmit cardholder data, most notably for debit cards and credit cards.

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