1. Get Trained (and Train Your Staff)Often, business software isn’t used to its full potential because users don’t get proper training on it. While you probably can intuit a lot about how the software works by poking around, you’ll get more out of it if you ask the software company for some hands-on training or demos. You might even discover features you didn’t realize that it had! Make sure that any new hire or existing employee that needs to use the inventory management tool has been properly trained on how to use it. Customize training to fit what each employee needs to know; your chef would need to know how to keep inventory and manage costs, as well as how to set menu prices using the software, but the manager might need to focus on managing food costs through inventory management.
2. Create Processes Around ItIf you’re changing how you manage inventory, you will need to establish processes for how you do it using your inventory management software. Maybe you used to keep a few kitchen employees after hours once a week to help you count inventory. Now that might not be necessary if you’re keeping ongoing inventory through the software. You might just need a quick spot check to match actual numbers against what the system has recorded. When deliveries come in, your staff can pull out the tablet with your inventory management software on it to record the units and check the order against what the system says was ordered. This cuts down on human error (for example, the vendor only provides you five orders of an ingredient when you ordered eight) and ensures you don’t overpay for items.
3. Set Inventory AlertsHere’s where inventory management software really excels: before you had the software, you might have ended up running out of an ingredient on a busy night. But now, you can set alerts when you’re running low on an ingredient so you can order it before it’s 86ed. Now you don’t have to rush to the grocery store to pay retail for bananas or have to tell guests that you’re out of their favorite dish.
4. Use it for Recipe CostingBecause the software calculates the cost per ingredient, it’s easy to use your inventory management platform to calculate recipe costs. This, in turn, helps you set menu prices. If an ingredient rises in price, you can decide whether you want to raise the menu price for that dish, charge extra for the add-on (like avocado), or find a replacement ingredient.
5. Automate OrderingAnother great feature of inventory management software is built-in purchasing and order management. You don’t have to lift a finger to order ingredients that you’re running low on. You can set an automation rule to order an ingredient when you hit your par level. That way, your suppliers get your order instantly and you can rest assured knowing that a new delivery is on its way. Not only does this save you time from having to manually place orders, but it also eliminates problems that can come from handwritten orders (is that a 7 or 70?).
6. Manage Your Vendor RelationshipsYou can also establish delivery times and days in the system so your vendors don’t try to deliver on the day your restaurant is closed. You can pay your invoices digitally, and be notified if there’s an irregularity in your billing. These days, inventory management software does so much more than simply manage inventory functions. MarketMan, for example, provides an all-in-one solution for restaurant management tasks, whether you run one restaurant or 100. Ready to take your inventory management to the next level with top-notch inventory management software? Sign up for a free demo with MarketMan.
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