For most restaurant owners, inventory management is one of their least-favorite duties. However, they also know that efficient inventory tracking is one of the most important aspects of ensuring satisfied customers and maximizing the restaurant’s profitability. The need for fresh, quality ingredients makes inventory management a task that must be done throughout the workday.
Restaurant POS system software automates many of the manual steps necessary to keep close tabs on the establishment’s inventory, which helps control the restaurant’s food costs. For example, there will always be a difference between the products ordered and the products sold because of incorrect preparation, food waste, errors in orders, and spoilage. Features in a modern POS solution should help restaurants calculate discrepancies between their theoretical and actual inventory.mage
These are the five key inventory management features to look for when shopping for restaurant POS system software.
Ingredient Level Tracking
One of the most effective time and money-saving features of a restaurant POS system is its self-ordering capabilities. When a product’s inventory level drops to a preset point, the POS system automatically places a reorder. This feature can be applied to food and beverage items as well as to carry-out containers and other non-food supplies.
In terms of preventing waste, automatic orders work best when the POS software supports ingredient level tracking, which calculates the amount of each ingredient included for all of the restaurant’s menu items. Restaurants can upload dry and liquid inventory using a variety of measurements. The feature helps you determine whether kitchen staff are following ingredient measurement guidelines within a reasonable margin of error.
Menu Level Costing
A complementary feature to ingredient level tracking in restaurant POS system software is menu level costing, which helps you determine the cost to the restaurant of preparing each item on the menu. With this information, you’re able to improve the accuracy of the profit margins you calculate for each menu option and adjust the price of dishes if necessary.
In addition to knowing how much profit each menu item generates, this feature lets you plan promotions and food specials that your wait staff can promote to maximize your restaurant’s profit potential. For example, by adding or removing a single side dish that accompanies an entree, you can increase the profitability of the meal and also promote it more effectively to your customers.
Minimizing Food Waste
The four main sources of a restaurant’s food waste are poor proportioning, spillage, inaccurate orders, and spoilage. Your POS system lets you compare the volume and number of products you receive with your sales totals. This lets you find the difference between the expected and actual cost of the products you’re selling.
Another tool for reducing the amount of food your restaurant wastes is part of a product mix analysis; this is designed to give you an idea of how well your restaurant’s menu items are performing.
For example, you can reduce the amount of food you throw away by measuring the difference between actual prep usage each day and theoretical prep usage. So if you sold 12 burgers today and each uses one-third pound of ground beef, your ground beef inventory should theoretically be down only 4 pounds.
Managing Vendor Orders
The self-ordering capability of your restaurant POS system software should alert you to when inventory levels reach preset minimums and give you access to real-time inventory totals at any time and from any location. The system should also help you track your interactions with suppliers, many of whom may require long lead times.
Lastly, your POS solution needs to link with your accounts payable and purchase orders; you should also be able to access the shipping terms for each supplier and related information from multiple locations.
The invoicing tools built into modern POS systems let you ensure that your food bills will be paid promptly. A mobile-friendly invoicing solution provides more flexibility in when and how the invoices you receive are managed and monitored. You also have an accurate, up-to-the-minute account of all transactions related to purchase orders and product receipts.
Reorganizing Your Stock Room
Tracking inventory manually is tedious and time-consuming. Your restaurant’s POS system automates much of the work entailed in keeping an accurate record of your stock on hand. Three POS features, in particular, will save your business a great deal of time and effort in maintaining up-to-date counts of your restaurant’s important inventory items:
- Barcode scanners that link to the POS software via wireless or wired links.
- Automatic data analysis, such as seeing the average cost of last week’s purchases with a single click.
- Cloud storage of inventory data to make the information accessible at any time via any internet-connected device.
Are You Ready to Upgrade Your Restaurant POS System Software?
Other helpful features of restaurant POS system software for inventory management are support for restaurants with multiple locations, reports on how inventory levels are affecting your restaurant’s cash flow, and sales analysis to spot trends in customer purchase patterns that will affect your product orders and stock levels.
The goal of restaurant inventory management is to reduce the cost of goods sold which directly correlates with profit potential. Your restaurant’s POS system can improve your business by helping you find the ideal balance of inventory levels for each item you stock, improve the accuracy of orders and food preparation, and anticipate the impact of changing markets and customer preferences.
When you partner with talech for your restaurant POS system software needs, we devote our time to identify your business challenges. We use this information to work with you to apply an innovative POS solution that levels the playing field. Reach out to us today to sign up for a demo and to learn more about how talech can be your valued POS partner.
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