How to Optimize Cafe Inventory Management
The wrong tool can make or break a cafe business.
There are all sorts of reasons for this. The obvious one is running out of ingredients. Fail to keep track of your satisfaction. , and you risk a serious lapse in
But that isn't the thing that makes an tool so critical.
The right cafe inventory management tool also helps you track shrinkage (which can wipe out around 25% of your bottom line) as well as monitor which suppliers are raising prices and by how much, keeping your in check. It allows you to automate replenishment, save on staff time, monitor , and even track levels of waste.
Which is why, more and more cafe businesses are opting to use a solution like MarketMan to optimize cafe .
There are all sorts of benefits to integrating into a cafe business. They include:
- Simplified input system
- Higher levels of accuracy
- Avoidance of stock-outs and excess stock
- Real-time visibility of , wherever you are
- Opportunities to monitor supplier costs (and seek alternatives) to control
- Real-time sales and through your integration and on-the-go updates
- Saving staff time, compared to a manual system
Already, plenty of cafe businesses are experiencing the advantages of an integrated tool.
Here are three of them.
How helped save Cafe Crepe thousands
Cafe Crepe is a busy full-service headquartered in a central commissary kitchen. This central kitchen receives orders from suppliers, prepares recipes and then 'sells' this to each . It's a fast-paced business model, with lots of movement in and out of different locations.
But for years, their cafe consisted of nothing other than pen and paper. would record on a print-out sheet and send it onto their accountant who would match up the pricing.
Even for a small cafe business this method of would have been a seriously outdated way of doing things. But with plans to scale up and add more franchises, the process was costing Cafe Crepe both money and time.
When printouts didn't match the actuals, it was a time-consuming job to find out where a discrepancy had occurred. In fact, accounting could take up to two hours for a location that carried as little as $12,000 of product, plus several hours more troubleshooting.
And so, after a brief spell trying to manage via their existing system, the business decided to switch to MarketMan, with a TouchBistro integration.
Not only does the system have an intuitive interface that was perfect for its young staff, it gave the senior management team a bird's eye view of the business at all times, without needing to travel to its different locations. Best of all, troubleshooting accounts now takes as little as five minutes because everything - from ingredients to to prep time and waste - is all seamlessly integrated and available to bring up at the touch of a button.
The new cafe inventory management tool even had benefits the business couldn't have predicted, particularly on the labor side of the business. So easy was it to train up new staff on the TouchBistro system that staff turnover actually dropped within the first 30 days of integration. With high turnover a major drain on restaurants in hospitality this was a big coup for the cafe business, which estimated it costs up to $2,000 in resources for each new staff member it had to recruit.
Managing 'explosive growth' at Lucky 13 Sandwich with MarketMan
Fast-casual Lucky 13 Sandwich specializes in serving up delicious breakfast, lunch and dinner at affordable prices. With both express and full-service locations already up and running in both Phuket and Bangkok, Thailand, the cafe chain has big plans to expand to other cities, both domestically and abroad. To support this kind of explosive growth though, they knew they needed to upgrade their existing digital platform. The business opted for MarketMan .
The team worked with experts at Twice Baked Consulting to expedite the integration of MarketMan in all its locations, with employees at each location given a training session on how to use the to its fullest advantage. The management team loved that the allowed them to manage the business, wherever in t he world they found themselves. For example, even though two of the owners are based in Denmark, they can easily access financial reports and other important information and communicate back to the team through the system remotely. Even better, MarketMan integrated seamlessly with their existing point-of- .
Benefits of the MarketMan tool to provide live prices on items distributed via this central location. All items are sold at price to branches and fluctuate depending on the of raw ingredients. With MarketMan's live system these prices are updated automatically, without the headache of doing so manually. didn't end there, though. With stored at a central kitchen, the business also uses the
Then there's the intuitive ordering platform that helps control . This easy-to-use platform allows the business to easily identify those suppliers that offer the cheapest prices on ingredients. The Min-on-Hand feature notifies a manager via text when a particular passes below a pre-set amount, while the Par Level (a term used to describe acceptable to meet demand) allows the user to update their on the ordering page instantly with one click of a button.
Managers can even upload every and receipt to keep track of incoming .
All of these tools and functions have helped Lucky 13 Sandwich scale up more quickly, while saving time and money and reducing waste. The ability to easily bring up reports at the touch of a button and scrutinize has helped the business save significant amounts of money and set it up for a successful expansion overseas, a process it's looking to kick off at the end of 2021.
Optimizing a hospitality portfolio at LoveKind
An incubator for small businesses in the hospitality industry, LoveKind is a specialist in helping brands across its portfolio scale, grow and thrive. Currently, the company manages four restaurants in Toronto, Canada: Calii Love, BFF, ELXR and the newly opened Nava Social. The problem? Each business has its own separate supply chain, and business model.
This created all sorts of different challenges for the operational team, with each a huge time sink for each . It was highly inefficient and full of complications. Accounting was slow and labor-intensive. In short, with no standard process when it came to , the system was a bit of a mess. managing different suppliers and workflows. One would order from 26 different vendors, making
And so, to help these businesses scale, LoveKind knew it wanted an overarching system, bringing each of the four businesses under one roof. It chose MarketMan.
By integrating MarketMan's tools, LoveKind was able to immediately rein in and simplify ordering processes across the four brands. For individual store managers, this simple switch instantly saved around one to two hours per week on what would have been spent manually counting , investigating discrepancies or measuring waste.
Plus, there were immediate benefits when it came to MarketMan's reporting functions. The tool enabled all the different teams to work together from the same source of information. That meant development, accounting and operations all working from the same dataset, enabling collaborative, efficient and -effective decisions. The team in charge of development, for instance, can come up with a new item and then easily liaise with the supply chain team using the same platform on what ingredients may be too expensive, or which suppliers may be the best for sourcing.
MarketMan's integration with LoveKind's accounting team helped streamline both ordering and invoicing, too. The team estimated it saved them about five hours per week in labor. They were also able to easily deliver an insight into the profitability of each and draw clear comparisons, with all information consolidated in one place.
Combining all of this information across one platform ultimately allowed LoveKind to better control its costs, reduce levels of waste, and save valuable resources. When COVID-19 struck, sending some costs spiraling and putting demand in serious flux, this kind of oversight only became more business critical.
Is right for your business?
The right should be a top priority for any cafe business.
Here a few things for a is a worthwhile investment: to consider when deciding whether
How much time do you and your staff currently spend on ?
How regularly are finance teams flagging discrepancies between reported and actuals?
How regularly are you monitoring and prices from suppliers?
Do you know how much is wasted across your business?
Are you looking to scale the business?
Investing in cafe does add some upfront costs. It can also require some upfront work in transitioning over from an old or training up staff on functionality. But if you're looking to streamline , better monitor costs, track waste and ultimately drive growth across a cafe business, then chances are it could be a more than worthwhile investment.
To learn more about how MarketMan can help you streamline your 's operations, request a demo today. Click here to arrange a free 30-minute consultation with our expert team.