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The numbers are in, and they are impressive: an estimated 108 million shoppers showed their support for small businesses across the country on November 25, otherwise known as Small Business Saturday. This year, spending on Small Business Saturday topped $12.9 billion at independently owned businesses nationwide. Of those small businesses, 41% were restaurants, bars and pubs--by far the highest segment--with clothing and accessory stores, food stores and coffee shops rounding out the list at 24%, 23% and 22%, respectively. Businesses that depend on inventory. So how did these small business owners and operators, particularly in the restaurant space, prepare for this sales spike? Their critical first step was to ensure that their shelves were fully stocked to accommodate the rush of customers. Those who didn’t were caught unprepared, low on supplies and inventory needed to ensure a top-notch guest experience, and to upsell to create additional revenue opportunities. MarketMan’s cloud-based restaurant inventory management and purchasing software helps to streamline the relationship between restaurant operators and suppliers, making it easier for operators to monitor the amount of stock needed for these high-traffic types of days. This allows operators to plan and budget menu items, ingredients and prep while tracking inventory quantity and value in real time. MarketMan’s simple app based system saves time and reduces errors by automatically ordering from a restaurant’s current suppliers. By better connecting operators with their vendors, MarketMan allows restaurant operators to reduce both food costs and waste costs and to streamline inventory management all through an easy-to-use cloud-based platform. Preparing for a rush of customers on Small Business Saturday by ordering in advance ensured that operators using our system didn’t drop the ball once hungry diners began coming through the door. MarketMan also covers nearly 50% of the U.S. inventory and supplier market by directly integrating with the three largest food service providers in North America: US Foods, Cisco and Gordon Food Service (GFS). Building these relationships has helped MarketMan to streamline the inventory management process at small restaurants nationwide, further reducing the chance of miscommunication errors between suppliers and operators. Since our founding just four years ago, MarketMan has enabled our restaurant clients to save an average of 2-5% in food costs within just the first year. That’s a huge asset to smaller restaurant operators looking to grow to their second or third location. We also use advanced analytics to ensure operators don’t over-order to compensate during the busier season by using comparison data from previous years. MarketMan also helps to streamline efficiency by saving time on orders thanks to our integrated accounting platform, which allows day to day operations to migrate seamlessly between multiple vendors and suppliers with no disruption. By ensuring that back of house operations are optimized, MarketMan works to improve the chances of repeat business, making this year’s successful Small Business Saturday momentum live on through the rest of the holiday season and beyond.