Inventory management in restaurants and cafeterias goes beyond cost savings: what is sought is business profitability. We tell you how to achieve it with technology as a support point.
Most of the products a restaurant works with are perishable. That is why it is necessary to control how and when orders are placed, the way they are stored and the design of the menus.
In this post, we give you the keys to make a restaurant or cafeteria run with maximum profitability through inventory management.
The hospitality industry is one of the most demanding sectors in the business landscape. Consequently, the management of restaurants and cafeterias is one of the most complicated tasks an entrepreneur faces. Shrinkage management, menu configuration, waiter control, online ordering, cash counts, inventories….
Nothing can be left to chance when it comes to offering an agile and quality service to the customer without losing sight of so many variables. To achieve this, it is necessary to rely on intelligent technology capable of controlling all the processes involved in the management of restaurants and cafeterias. And, as you can see, there are many of them.
For this reason, in this article, we give you the keys to making a restaurant or cafeteria succeed through proper inventory management. However, keep in mind that all these keys will fall on deaf ears if you do not use a centralized tool capable of covering all the processes in a comprehensive manner.
The Role of Inventory Management in Restaurants and Cafeterias
Inventory management in restaurants and cafeterias should focus on the following objectives:
Minimize inventory loss and food costs.
Keep an eye on “minor” management errors, such as overstocking of perishable items, which can cost companies thousands of euros per year.
Use a comprehensive inventory management system that tracks every ingredient that enters and leaves the kitchen to oxygenate the supply flow and reduce errors.
Three keys to cut costs with inventory management
Smartly managing a restaurant’s inventory is undoubtedly a money saver. But not only that, it can also make your company an example of a sustainable business. Let’s take into account that 14% of the total amount of food wasted in the European Union is generated by restaurants. In Spain, this amount is equivalent to more than 3,000 euros of food thrown away every year.
What are the keys to inventory management in restaurants and cafeterias?
In the restaurant business, shrinkage is known as the loss generated by the products used as a result of receiving and preparing food.
The only way to reduce or eliminate shrinkage is to identify it. Only then will it be possible to take concerted action to use products efficiently. In short, if you are concerned about the cost overrun of your menus, the first thing to do is to find the source of your shrinkage, which can occur in the following cases:
Excessive purchase: It is very common to negotiate prices with suppliers based on a volume purchase criterion. That is, buying a lot at a lower cost. This strategy in the hospitality sector is not the most advisable, unless your establishment has a technological solution that shows the consumption levels of raw materials. After all, we are talking about perishable products.
Supply and maintenance of the product: Let’s not forget that food requires maintenance conditions where space and temperature are crucial. This type of product has much more demanding levels of attention and vigilance than those of other industries.
Preparation of dishes: Few restaurants have a promotion plan for dishes that gives an outlet for certain ingredients or with a design of adequate quantity per diner. At this point, the viability of raw materials is put at risk.
Raise employee awareness
Involving the team in the cost reduction process is fundamental to saving money. Do your waiters know how much you spend per month on glassware? Does your kitchen team know how much money is thrown away per month on products purchased and not used?
You have to involve and motivate your team in handling and managing the raw materials and products you purchase. And, if you thank them for their effort with incentive measures, you will have another tightrope to walk in your business.
Bottles of alcohol, pieces of meat, soft drinks… Taking inventory on a daily basis will give you a lot of information about your business. And not only about the level of product turnover. It also reveals the excess consumption of your employees, other hidden costs related to equipment purchases, or the cost of goods included in the cost of transport.
At this point, it is also essential to control the use of your inventory. With the data provided by your management software, you will need to ask yourself the following questions:
How many times at the end of the day do you throw away food because it didn’t sell?
Can you be overestimating your demand, given that you throw away 1 kilo of the same snack daily?
Do you pay for shipping without checking whether the cost of the goods included in the transport is higher or lower than that of your usual suppliers?
How does an ERP 360 help manage inventory in restaurants and cafeterias efficiently?
Technology already provides us with intuitive touch screens for the team, order terminals for waiters that enter directly in the kitchen, time clocking, POS registration…
But it is thanks to the development of integrated software applications for restaurants that all management processes can be carried out from a single solution: ERP 360. How does this tool help the profitability of the business?
An ERP 360 allows you to:
Access the program from a point-of-sale touch screen.
Register each order and send orders to the kitchen.
Control tables and their occupancy, as well as online and offline reservations.
Manage sales, equipment, purchases and product reception.
Check business data without the need to be on the premises, through a device with internet connection.
Consult best sellers.
Manage inventory and associated costs.
Perform cash and treasury closings.
As you can see, managing the inventory correctly is the key to running a hospitality business. But doing it using an ERP 360, in addition to providing your team with a fast and quality service, allows you to manage each area of the business with profitability and efficiency.