In the restaurant industry, taking inventory is vital for keeping food and beverage costs down. After all, food and labor combined account for 50-75 percent of total restaurant expenses. In order to turn a profit, owners and managers can utilize restaurant technology that easily tracks the ingredients needed to create each item on the menu.
Inventory management experts believe that correctly controlling the flow of inventory can boost a restaurant’s profits by 50%, with no other changes necessary.
Ultimately, tracking accurate inventory with a POS and inventory management system can improve order accuracy, overall savings, employee morale, and customer satisfaction.
Let’s take a look at a few ways a restaurant POS can help the inventory process:
More Accurate Ordering
With POS system insights, restaurant management has a clear view into which menu items sell the most. Ideally, the ingredients to make these dishes should always be available – when taking inventory, managers should pay close attention to stock levels of these items.
An automated inventory system can also be integrated into a restaurant POS to eliminate the human error of ordering supplies for the restaurant. This problem is solved with a transparent inventory solution that has employees log into a centralized system before taking inventory. This way, business owners can easily to track any miscalculations and ensure ordering is done correctly.
The ultimate goal of more accurate ordering is to reduce general food costs and those associated with a surplus of supplies. Food spoilage can have a significant effect on a restaurant’s gross profit. Owners are literally wasting money by throwing away food that has gone bad, and they must subtract this cost directly from their profits. In fact, almost 10% of food in fast food establishments goes to waste because of poor inventory management. Full service restaurants fare slightly better, but can still expect to lose 3% of inventory.
Another way to save money and improve ordering accuracy is to track busy and slow times of the year. Ordering more or less of certain ingredients during seasonal shifts can help cut food costs and even increase profitability.
Restaurants can calculate their current food cost percentage by dividing actual food cost by total food sales. This number is the percentage of sales set aside for food cost alone. Ordering just the right amount of ingredients to ensure menu items don’t run out and surplus food isn’t wasted can reduce this cost percentage.
By simply automating a process like taking inventory versus doing it manually, restaurants can also save on labor costs and improve efficiency of its staff.
Improve Employee Morale
Another benefit of integrating restaurant software is improved employee morale. Automating a laborious, manual process makes your employees’ jobs easier, keeping them happier at work.
On the front end of a restaurant, it can be frustrating to explain to customers that their favorite dish or drink is not available. With more accurate inventory and ordering, servers and bartenders can stop worrying about upsetting customers who are unable to order what they want. From the customer’s perspective, a well-stocked kitchen and bar can keep satisfaction levels up and even boost loyalty.
Any type of restaurant can save time and money by automating inventory management, whether it is a bar, quick service or full service establishment. Gains in productivity with a software solution can help restaurant managers and staff operate more efficiently, and ultimately improve quality of service.