Is it Time To Break Up with Your Restaurant Spreadsheet?

Restaurants use spreadsheets for at least some function of cost of goods control. Spreadsheets can be utilized in areas ranging from purchasing to inventory to recipe costing. At some point, it may be time for a more advanced solution. Here are five indicators that it might be time to move on.

Amount of Time Spent

Any manual process takes time to complete. Even a simple concept can take a few hours to calculate cost of goods on inventory day. If the time spent utilizing the spreadsheets can be better spent elsewhere, an advanced solution can free up some time.

Consistent/Accurate Data

With different departments or different locations utilizing spreadsheets, each may have their own process or interpretation of what is required. When one location counts wine by quantity of cases, but another counts wine by quantity of bottles, it can lead to inconsistent data and cost of goods issues. Advanced solutions can be configured with standards that all are required to follow.


Initial Configuration

Spreadsheets are great because they can be configured to suit a restaurant’s needs. To get there, it requires time and effort to create templates and formulas that will calculate cost of goods correctly. Advanced solutions have these templates and formulas already in place, and many times offer custom solutions to even further suit the needs of a restaurant.

Uncontrollable Cost of Goods Sold

Sure, high cost of goods are an indicator that something may need to be addressed; however, what do you do with a high food cost percentage? If you’ve exhausted all options and still can’t get your costs down to a manageable level, an advanced solution can give you better vantage into levels of data that spreadsheets just can’t provide.

Dynamic Menu

A static menu allows for minimal manipulation to spreadsheets. While there will be some new items here and there, it’s essentially set it and forget it. With a changing menu, spreadsheets require more frequent manual updating to get into alignment with those menu changes. An advanced solution can offer less time consuming ways to make those changes.

Moving to an advanced solution is not a decision to be taken lightly. Considering the above five indicators, along with what that transition means to a business, will help to determine if it’s time for something new. While something with all the bells and whistles sounds good, be sure to find something that fits the needs of the company, to provide you with the best Return on Investment.