5 Tips for Superior Restaurant Inventory Management

5 Tips for Superior Restaurant Inventory Management

From analysing customer demand to planning food costs, effective restaurant inventory management can improve your operating efficiency and profit margins.

In this article we cover:

  • What is restaurant inventory management?
  • 5 tips for restaurant inventory management
  • How to optimise with ResDiary

What is restaurant inventory management??

Inventory management systems allow restaurants to keep an accurate record of food and ingredients. This ensures the right stock levels for customer demand. An effective restaurant inventory management process can increase long-term success by:

  • Reducing food waste
  • Managing  food costs and recipe costing
  • Analysing sales data to forecast demand
  • Implementing automatic inventory supply and real-time tracking to reduce mistakes
  • Ensuring customer satisfaction
  • Promoting food sustainability in the restaurant industry
  • Overviewing food cost percentage to increase profit margins

5 tips for restaurant inventory management

Restaurant manager's duties vary, from keeping track of profit margins to planning menus. Inventory management systems can streamline many of these tasks. The process will help them make accurate decisions on stock, recipe costing and food waste.

With our 5 easy tips, any restaurant can implement effective inventory management. Spend more time on enhancing your customer experience and food quality!

1. Use restaurant inventory management software

Restaurant inventory management software is the ultimate way to increase efficiency and accuracy. It is possible to track inventory using manual systems like spreadsheets and paper records. However, it is harder to control accuracy and communication between departments and suppliers.

Software provides real-time tracking for your food inventory levels. It gives a birds eye view of all menu items per supplier. The inventory data can track the dates of long-life items versus perishable items. With date reminders, restaurant owners can minimise food waste.

Many also have an automated inventory solution. Restaurants can set the system to place orders with suppliers when inventory levels get too low for the upcoming demand. These effective inventory management processes can save time for restaurant managers and kitchen staff. 

Restaurants in Australia and New Zealand can integrate inventory management software into their POS systems, such as:

  • Fishbowl Inventory Management Solutions - A leading inventory management company with a range of expertise in software, POS systems and even inventory warehousing. 
  • Unleashed Inventory Software - Owned by the Access Group, Unleashed has the ability to manage all supplies and orders and optimise the inventory processes.
  • Zoho Inventory - Manage all your vendor payments, automatic reorders and reports in one place with Zoho.

Inventory management software is often integrated into restaurant POS systems. Accurate inventory management includes analysing sales data and forecasting to meet customer demand. ResDiary POS system integration allows restaurant owners to see insights on food and drinks sold, which can be integrated with the food inventory analysis.

2. Integrate inventory management with other systems and processes

Investing in restaurant inventory management software provides many opportunities to streamline processes. Inventory management can be integrated with:

  • POS Systems - Accurately calculate food cost percentages against sales data and cash flow. These reports allow a restaurant to see their demand for menu items and predict the stock levels needed. A POS system will also automatically update the inventory levels every time an item is sold.
  • Menu Integration - Precise inventory management will calculate how much food is needed for every menu item and inform menu prices. Connecting a food inventory management system with online menus will allow real-time tracking. It also improves customer service when you can instantly communicate menu availability.
3. Train your staff on First In, First Out (FIFO)

Restaurant inventory management (1)

The most effective inventory management system follows a FIFO method (First in, First Out). The stock should be organised to ensure the oldest item is used first and the newest goes to the back of the shelf.

Managing inventory turnover is especially important for perishable food items which could expire and end up on a food waste sheet.

4. Track food waste

It is impossible to predict every future menu order to plan the perfect stock levels. Therefore, a great restaurant inventory system should also track food waste quantity and value.

The patterns in food waste data will help restaurant management make informed decisions.  For instance, you may remove future menu items or adjust inventory levels as needed.

Tracking food waste is also essential to reduce a restaurant's food costs.

5. Conduct regular audits

Restaurant inventory management systems should be regularly audited to keep track of discrepancies and optimise stock levels.

Using software allows restaurant owners to analyse automated reports quickly. A monthly audit will compare supplier food costs versus sales and ensure any menu changes are made to match customer demand. Data can help a restaurant increase profit margins and adapt to economic and industry changes.

Optimise Your restaurant with ResDiary

Streamlined processes are incredibly important for restaurants to succeed. From inventory management to reservation systems, restaurant software can help restaurants increase profits. Some of the main benefits include minimising human mistakes and reducing unnecessary labour costs.

ResDiary bookings and table management software work seamlessly with integrated POS systems, inventory management and online menus. It provides the most accurate data management to enhance operations.

“Being able to report on numbers at a glance is very powerful - everything from what we did on Christmas Eve last year to how many glasses of champagne we sold.” 

Keiran Inglis, co-owner of The Apple Shed Kitchen & Bar at Māpua Wharf in New Zealand’s South Island

The integrated features can pull automated datasets together to save managers time and stress. The data can help a restaurant increase profit margins, personalise customer service and create marketing campaigns.

The software integration can also ensure customers can book a table through Google, social media and websites 24/7 to increase restaurant bookings.

Book a demo today and uncover all the benefits ResDiary can offer your business.

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