How Fast Casual Bakery Lorraine Oversees Four Locations and Commissary with MarketMan
Bakery Lorraine creates artisanal handmade pastries and delicious cafe bites at four fast-casual and sun-drenched locations between San Antonio and Austin. They’ve experienced expansive growth since their founding, moving locations and shifting operations to a commissary kitchen and warehouse to support new business. They turned to MarketMan to manage their inventories across each location, facilitating efficient ordering between wholesale customers and suppliers.
Tracking inventory across four locations and a commissary
Bakery Lorraine opened its first location in 2011, expanding to three new locations across San Antonio, as well as a location in Austin. Additionally, they operate a 4,000 square foot, 24/7 commissary kitchen to support their operations and offer service to wholesale customers. Before they implemented MarketMan, the Bakery Lorraine team used an unintuitive and underdeveloped platform that lacked the features they needed to oversee their operations. As they expanded, the need for a more comprehensive solution became abundantly clear.
“We needed a more comprehensive solution that would incorporate inventory management into our solution. We opened new locations and wholesale accounts, so we needed a software that facilitated ordering between the locations and the commissary, as well as wholesale customers and the commissary,” said Anne Ng, Owner and Pastry Chef at Bakery Lorraine.
By implementing MarketMan, Bakery Lorraine was able to take a holistic view of their inventory operations across each location, consolidating disparate workflows for ordering and management into one platform.
Making inventory counts count for more
As Bakery Lorraine found success and scaled their business, they recognized the importance of implementing sustainable and scalable processes around their inventory. “We didn’t have an efficient way to manage inventory across all locations. We never had the time to sit and consolidate everything, since we very much operate like a small business,” said Anne. Before MarketMan, each location managed inventory on their own, but because Bakery Lorraine lacked an official HQ, it wasn’t easy to view everything all at once.
Each location had a different cadence and process for inventory counts, and differing standards around what was counted.
This made it especially difficult to see what inventory remained and where, as well as what finished goods were in the warehouse at the commissary. This led to over and under ordering of inventory, and presumably to waste as well. Their systems for inventory counting were “inefficient and reckless,” according to Anne.
“Consolidating all of our inventories has enabled us to see in real-time what we actually have in the warehouse – what we’re ordering in raw materials, what finished products are being made and which are being sent out, all in one platform,” said Anne. Keeping track of the movement of goods from the warehouse, to each location, and to every customer has helped Bakery Lorraine improve the efficiency of their operations, as they set their sights on continued success.
Integrating isolated restaurant systems into one dashboard
MarketMan doesn’t just help Bakery Lorraine track their inventory throughout their restaurant ecosystem, it helps them keep a keen eye trained on their costs through each day of business. Due to their fast-casual business model, certain items like paper bags, utensils, and the like are extremely difficult to track (since customers can take as little or as many as they want). However, through integrations with Square POS, Anne can keep tabs on the costs and inventories of a variety of different items as they’re being sold.
“Being able to see the real-time inventory helps us keep track of our cost of goods sold. We evaluate it now on a monthly basis, and have brought it down from around 30% before we started using MarketMan,” said Anne.
Additionally, they use MarketMan to track, understand, and eliminate inventory waste, as well as menu costing over time. Overall, Bakery Lorraine leverages the platform and its integrations to “move us towards the greater goal of getting all our systems integrated.”
To learn more about how MarketMan can help your restaurant navigate fast casual business, several locations, or any other inventory challenges, request a demo of the platform today.