If you run a restaurant group, the challenges of inventory and accounting are exacerbated. Different inventory practices, multiple vendors, and lack of stakeholder visibility into important processes are just a few of the obstacles restaurant groups face.
But what if there was a way to lower costs without having to raise prices? With a tech solution such as MarketMan, you can bring all of your restaurants onto one platform, giving your team access to the information they need to implement consistent best practices.
1. Oversee Separate Supply Chains on One Platform
First and foremost, MarketMan allows restaurant groups to pull inventory and accounting for all of their restaurants into one tool. Managers can get a bird's-eye view into every restaurant’s inventory, sales, expenses, and overhead. View scanned invoices or review vendors for each restaurant from one dashboard.
As restaurant groups grow, MarketMan grows with them, allowing them to scale with streamlined processes already in place.
2. Manage Multiple Vendors Across Restaurants
Westville Restaurant Group in New York City, which owns six restaurants and a bakery, was, at one time, ordering from 55 different vendors. Meanwhile LoveKind, a small-business incubator for the hospitality industry in Toronto, Canada, discovered just a single restaurant was ordering from 26 different vendors.
They both turned to MarketMan to reign in their supply chain. Westville has whittled down their vendor list to 40. LoveKind, meanwhile, implemented more consistent ordering practices across their restaurants, saving managers one to two hours per week in manual labor.
MarketMan has also helped them control vendor costs. One of the most valuable tools, says Shawn Peled, Director of Logistics at Westville, is the alerts he gets when a vendor raises prices unexpectedly.
3. Simplify Ordering
“Today we have about 1,200 different inventory items in soon-to-be eight restaurants, and it’s kind of a nightmare if you don’t use a tool that will consolidate it all for us in one platform,” says Peled.
MarketMan helps both Westville and LoveKind not only keep track of orders through scanned invoices and updates. With realtime updates on inventory amounts, they know just when to order and what amount, reducing overordering and waste.
“Being able to manage the supply chains for four restaurants in one place is super valuable,” said Dan Cooper, Director of Supply Chain Management at LoveKind.
4. Automate Inventory Tracking
When inventory tracking lives in the cloud, it’s easy for inventory managers to take and update inventory on a regular basis.
It also makes it easy for other stakeholders to get insights that help them make informed decisions. Integrating an inventory management tool with restaurants’ POS can help stakeholders price menu items accurately, control portioning, identify waste or theft, or simply determine which menu items are not popular enough to keep.
Restaurant groups can do that for each of their restaurants from a single tool, cutting down on team resources and time spent analyzing metrics.
5. Adjust to Food Cost Fluctuations
When the cost of ingredients goes up or down, MarketMan sends an alert. Managers can then make adjustments to portions, menu items, and pricing.
For example, if the price of bananas increases, a restaurant group that specializes in dessert cafes can assess their menu items to look for places to cut bananas out. If they check their inventory and POS data and find their banana muffins are not selling well in two of their locations, they can simply remove them from the menu at those locations to save money.
Knowing the price of ingredients in real time, along with sales and inventory data, allows restaurant groups to maintain accurate menu prices across the board.
6. Streamline Workflows
When everyone has access to the same information, collaborative projects that once took time to move through departments become more streamlined.
When the Menu Development, Supply Chain, and Accounting teams at LoveKind all had visibility into inventory and revenue, they could make data-driven decisions together about new and old menu items.
“The Menu Development team can use the tool to come up with new items and ideas, and then the Supply Chain team can log into the same platform and discuss what parts are too expensive and what we need to source for it,” explains Cooper.
7. Consolidate Accounting Processes
Reconciling accounts is a lot easier if every restaurants’ numbers are in one place. Combined inventory reports help accounting teams create their profit-and-loss statements for each month, quarter, or fiscal year.
Teams can compare costs at each restaurant to look for areas to save money.
8. Respond to Customer Tastes Quickly
Customer tastes and food trends can vary by region, city, and even neighborhood. If you’re running multiple restaurant locations, even if they’re in the same city, it can be a challenge to keep your finger on the pulse of customer demand.
By pulling in sales and inventory numbers for every restaurant into one place, and combining that with a little research into food trends, stakeholders can keep their menus competitive.
9. Streamline Delivery
Since the rise of third-party delivery apps, boosted by the COVID pandemic, delivery has become yet another factor in the success of restaurants. Delivery management apps can provide busy restaurant groups with a streamlined process for offering delivery. Pair that with an inventory management tool to keep track of stocktake, particularly if you have menu items exclusively for delivery customers. You can also account for food waste caused by late deliveries, spills, or wrong orders.
Restaurant groups have a lot of balls in the air. But the right inventory management tool can help them keep track of every ingredient and every dollar that goes through their restaurants. They can make data-driven decisions on menu, pricing, delivery, and internal processes that help them stay competitive.