Managing your restaurant’s food inventory is absolutely crucial. If you haven’t found this out yet, you certainly will.

Say you’re making grilled cheese sandwiches, and your cook is putting an extra slice of cheese on each sandwich. At some point, you’re going to unexpectedly run out of cheese; hopefully it’s after your run on cheese sandwiches and not before or during. Each time someone buys a sandwich, you’re subtracting a different amount of cheese from your inventory stock list than your cook is taking out of the refrigerator. 

You are also going to need to know how much to re-order and when to do so, so that supplies are ready when you need them, and not before or after. You’ll need to know how quickly you use certain supplies so you can account for busy nights before you find yourself running out of key items.

How can you reconcile these problems?

No doubt this is not a new problem to you, if you have worked in the industry for any length of time. As you know, keeping track of how often restocks are necessary is a must in any business with physical products. The real question is “what’s the best way to do it?”

We recommend some kind of inventory management software. You could use a spreadsheet, or, worse, just kind of make a tally at the end of each day and note it on a paper, but at some point (sooner rather than later), you’re going to have problems. These solutions are only usable for small businesses with low turnover; it’s very easy to make a mistake that could have much larger consequences, and the longer you use them, the more likely you are to make such a mistake. It’s also not very easy to have your team get on board with this strategy, as if someone is in a hurry or can’t find the sheet, it may be forgotten.

Software can really help ease the food inventory burden. Databases can efficiently keep track of what you have available, integrations with point-of-sale systems can handle the flow out of supplies, while algorithms can calculate when you’ll need to bring in more inventory.

Many restaurateurs have brought in technology solutions and been pleasantly surprised by how much better – and easier – such a solution can make the entire operation. It can definitely seem like an expensive investment, especially if you don’t know whether you’ll like the interface or not. In addition to inventory management, you may also want to consider payroll, bookkeeping, shift scheduling & labor management software and more. These technologies were created specifically to help in these areas, and they do. Don’t be a holdout for no reason!

Reachify doesn’t handle inventory management, but we do take care of phone automation, which is another way you can automate things in your restaurant and make everything just a little easier. When you take away a task that has been stressful and daunting, you free yourself – and your whole business – up to have room to grow and succeed. Reachify can allow you more time and freedom to cook and serve in-person guests. Find out more here.