What is Restaurant Inventory Management?
Inventory management is the process of placing orders for products and maintaining, using, or selling those products. It deals with ways of storing, processing, and handling raw materials as well as finished goods.
Managing inventory is one of the most tedious, yet important jobs at a restaurant or a bar. It isn't enough to simply employ the best chefs and bartenders in town; if your house isn't in order your business will flounder.
And for your house to be in order you need to have a clear understanding of how much of which item has been utilized, which items have depleted and must be reordered, which items are most in demand, and which items have no takers. In a bar specifically, inventory management involves monitoring beverage sales and measuring liquor stock levels as well as garnishes and other ingredients that go into preparing drinks.
Restaurant and bar inventory management also links with supply chain management that monitors the movement of goods from primary producers to storehouses, and then to retail and wholesale outlets and foodservice establishments. It entails maintaining precise stock counts as products enter and exit warehouses and points of sale.
A robust bar and restaurant inventory management system ensures that over-purchase and oversupply are avoided. These can tie up capital, produce dead stock, engage storage space unnecessarily, and cause wastage. An inventory management system also sees to it that the right products are available at the right time and there are no stock-outs. This will help build the business's brand image.
How Does Inventory Software Improve Efficiency and Profits?
Going from shelf to shelf jotting down inventory counts of food and beverages on paper is a highly inefficient process prone to error. Errors can enter spreadsheets too. Moreover, spreadsheets don't support real time data tracking and don't offer transaction history.
Old-school spreadsheet software loaded on a single computer don't allow multiple members of an organization to access data simultaneously.
A cloud based inventory system, on the other hand, offers the most efficient way to manage inventory. It allows bar and restaurant owners, supply chain managers, accountants, and other stakeholders and policy-makers to access inventory data in real time and simultaneously even if they are spread across locations. All they need to do is pick up their smartphones or tablets, open the app and check stock levels and sales. This helps decision-making and makes bar and restaurant management an integrated and holistic process.
With the help of automated inventory management systems, bars and restaurants can sidestep error, conserve time and effort, and cut costs. Values are entered and calculations are done by the software itself. Business owners can also rest assured that data entered is accurate and up-to-date. It gives them a clear idea of how much is being spent, if purchase orders are managed inefficiently, or if unauthorized free food and drinks are being dished out.
Automated software dispenses with the need to employ several people for stock counts. These employees are free to focus on customer service instead.
Inventory management software help optimize purchases and prevent resource wastage. A look at sales data allows businesses to identify their best-selling menu items so that they can take decisions on which items to promote and which ones to strike off the list. It also reveals customer preferences and helps forecast demand. By cutting down on food waste, food costs can be kept in check, and restaurant profitability enhanced. Similarly, optimal usage of ingredients allows bars to control beverage costs.
The quality of customer service improves further when inventory management software is linked to a restaurant POS system. When stock levels go down the POS can prompt the inventory software to place purchase orders automatically. This ensures that you never run out of menu items.
An inventory and order management system that comes with batch-tracking tools enhances product traceability as well. This helps with vendor management, allowing bars and restaurants to choose vendors that provide the best deals. This function also proves crucial when businesses need to recall food items.
Tracking Weekly Inventory Turnover: Organizations monitoring weekly inventory turnover are able to raise their bottomline by 2-10%, a study by F&B management platform Apicbase says. Inventory turnover refers to the rate of selling, using, or replacing inventory stock.
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Top Bar/Restaurant Inventory Management Software- No. 1 Zip Inventory
This software solution from Hubworks is one of the best inventory software programs on the market today. It supports shelf-to-sheet inventory counts, which means a restaurant operator need only use their mobile app to track inventory and can view stock levels right on their screen. What's more, the voice search feature allows users to take inventory by simply saying the name of a product.
Inventory information syncs automatically with the cloud, letting operators monitor the functioning of their businesses even when they are not present on the premises. This cloud-based system also allows them to view inventory changes in real time using any handheld device.
Zip Inventory creates cost of goods sold (COGS) and variance reports that allow business owners to monitor changes in food costs and identify loss-causing factors. The software keeps bars and restaurants alert to over-portioning, food waste, and pilferage that can push up food costs.
The software functions by taking into account empirical information on sales, on-hand stock levels, ingredient usage, and vendor delivery schedules, thereby ensuring that users don't have to depend on guesswork when placing purchase orders. Suggested ordering is another feature that helps prevent over-purchasing and wastage.
Software like Zip Inventory ensures that stock-counting time is halved, and managers no longer have to deal with illegible orders and lost inventory sheets.
This software also provides a complete, item-wise breakdown of recipes, giving operators a clear picture of bestselling menu items and the quantity and cost of their ingredients.
And finally, its waste-tracking feature lets business owners leave comments, attach images, and fix employee accountability to control resource wastage, thereby bringing food costs down.
Bar/Restaurant Inventory Management Software- No. 2 AccuBar
AccuBar is a top-quality bar liquor inventory software that makes use of barcode scanners and handheld devices like tablets and smartphones to count inventory and empties (empty reusable liquor bottles).
With a product barcode scanner or a smartphone, stock-taking is made more efficient and labor costs are reduced. Inventory information collected and fed into the restaurant database helps create reports that advise operators and managers on how the business can be improved. (AccuBar can integrate with the restaurant POS system and other back-end solutions easily.) These reports point out variance, pour cost percentage, and other crucial metrics that help businesses plug losses and fix employee accountability.
The software's modular design can be calibrated to specific business needs. It can manage cocktail recipes, internal requisition, large wine operations, and food inventory counts too. The software even creates barcodes for items that lack them.
Bar/Restaurant Inventory Management Software- No. 3 BarDog
This software solution helps business owners keep track of liquor stocks and bar supplies on a single platform, tracking details like order size, bottle size, and costs. When items from the same category are grouped together on a shelf, the app can take inventory counts in minutes by matching items on the shelf with the app. It is possible for several users to take inventory counts simultaneously, leaving the calculations to the software.
Businesses can also track vendor expenses by entering invoices and credits into the BarDog system. Purchases and stock levels are matched automatically and gross margins computed. Data can then be exported to others as PDF and CSV files.
The software allows vendor orders to be placed directly through email or SMS. The improved vendor management function supported by this software involves maintaining a record of key vendors, including their names, contact information, and terms of payment.
What also makes this software stand out are its reports on item counts, par levels, and inventory values that are precise and on-point.
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Bar/Restaurant Inventory Management Software- No. 4 Partender
Partender promises to complete bar inventory counts in 15 minutes flat. All one needs to do is tap the virtual bottle on the app screen at the alcohol level displayed in each bottle.
Partender supports multiple users and devices, creates inventory reports, and also works as an ordering app. (Inventory records can be split across multiple iOS and Android devices.) All one has to do is generate reports, download orders, and send them to the distributors, ensuring that the entire process of stock-taking and ordering is done in 15 minutes.
The software checks the amount of liquor actually poured out with nearly 100% accuracy and helps business owners conduct spot checks for variance.
Bar/Restaurant Inventory Management Software- No. 5 WISK
WISK helps you manage your COGS, invoices, product purchases, stock levels, recipes, and reports for bars and restaurants much faster than old-fashioned methods spreadsheets.
WISK is easy to install and use, and makes inventory quick and seamless. Barcodes can be scanned with a smartphone camera in seconds, and costs calculated almost instantly. The software also alerts you when ingredient costs cross preset limits. With WISK, you don't need to spend hours extracting costs from invoices, updating recipes, and sharing bills with accounting software. All these activities can be done in a flash.
WISK generates business intelligence analyses on the basis of POS and sales data, and lets you base your business decisions firmly on facts, not opinions. It offers six distinct types of reports, including reports on overstocking, variance, and inventory.
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