Restaurant Inventory System Benefits and Best Practices
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How to Choose A Restaurant Inventory System

Running a successful restaurant involves harmonizing flavors, streamlining services and business operations, and using a high-functioning restaurant inventory system.

From optimizing your stock levels to unveiling best-in-class practices, let’s embark on a culinary adventure and learn how technology improves this crucial aspect of restaurant management.

Welcome to the comprehensive guide on digital inventory systems from the trusted QR code menu software.

What is a restaurant inventory system?

A restaurant inventory system is a powerful tool designed to help restaurant owners and managers take control of their inventory management processes.

It goes beyond traditional pen-and-paper methods.

This new restaurant technology offers a digital solution that brings precision and efficiency to managing stock, giving you opportunities and even tips to recession-proof your restaurant.

According to an article published by Apicbase, restaurant inventory systems reduce overstocking and inventory mistakes by 17%.

This proves that automating a restaurant task like inventory management helps you eliminate the potential industry risks and unrecoverable cost due to overstocking, food waste, and stock mismanagement.

9 core features of a restaurant inventory system

Restaurant inventory system
Various restaurant inventory systems on different devices.

Investing in or integrating inventory systems for your restaurants can provide several significant benefits for your restaurant. Here are some of its key advantages:

Real-time tracking

Having a real-time understanding of your inventory is the ultimate goal.

With this handy feature, you can avoid the nightmare of running out of essential ingredients or dealing with excess stock.

The inventory system continuously updates stock levels, especially when you’re running low on an ingredient.

If you’re running fast-casual restaurants where stocks usually run out on a whim, this is one main feature you need to look further into.

Its real-time tracker provides you with accurate information about a stock’s availability.

Plus, it’s also automated with a trigger or a notification feature that informs you if it’s time to repurchase for new stocks.

This proactive approach helps prevent stockouts that could disrupt service or overstock situations that can lead to unnecessary costs.

Ordering and purchasing integration

Here’s the problem with traditional inventory methods: You might only discover that you’re running low on this ingredient when the chef is about to start cooking.

However, with the ordering and purchasing integration, the system triggers an order to, for instance, your cheese supplier when the cheese inventory reaches a specified minimum level.

The best example of this is through a QR-coded menu ordering integration.

Despite recent claims of it being old news, experts believe that QR code menus are here to stay due to their advanced capacity.

You can integrate your menu QR code software into your inventory system so that when customers scan to order through the QR, your inventory software will record it and deduct the ingredients to be used for that menu item.

This happens automatically, without any staff member having to check inventory levels or place orders manually.

This results in a kitchen that maintains consistent ingredient supplies, preventing disruptions to your menu and ensuring customer satisfaction.

QR code menu and inventory scanning

If you have been using a QR menu in your restaurant, you might have initially thought that it merely works as a gateway to your digital menu.

Here’s the thing; when you learn how to scan a menu, you should be able to know that you can use that same tool to work on other restaurant operations. And by this, we mean using your QR codes to help you track your stocks.

Many restaurant inventory management systems offer mobile apps that allow staff to use their smartphones or tablets for QR code scanning.

This feature offers accuracy and flexibility, which are advantageous in a fast-paced restaurant environment where efficiency is a factor you cannot compromise.

QR code scanning eliminates the risk of human error associated with manual data entry.

Each QR code is unique and corresponds to specific product details, such as item name, quantity, expiration date, and supplier information.

This allows you to save time and improve the accuracy of your inventory records.

Recipe costing

This feature lets you factor in ingredient prices, labor expenses, and overhead costs.

This way, you can ensure that your menu prices reflect both the quality of your dishes and the sustainability of your menu offerings.

Recipe costing provides a comprehensive breakdown of each menu item’s ingredient, from the main protein to the tiniest pinch of seasoning. 

And by understanding the actual cost of each dish, you can identify opportunities to optimize recipes, control ingredient expenses, and ultimately craft the best menus to keep food costs down.

This costing insight lets you make smart decisions on portion sizes, ingredient substitutions, and menu adjustments to maximize profitability without compromising quality.

Alerts and notifications

Activating the notification feature of your inventory system lets you keep an eye on your stock levels and expiration dates.

When conducting a survey for food stocks, you can set a predefined threshold for each item on your inventory; the system will automatically notify you when quantities dip below that level.

For example, if you want to avoid having less than a week’s worth of spice blend, you can set an alert for when there’s only one week’s worth left in stock.

This proactive feature allows you to reorder well before running out, ensuring a seamless kitchen operation.

User permissions and security

Some inventory details are sensitive and should only be accessible to authorized individuals. 

You can customize and define each team member’s responsibilities and access levels with an excellent digital inventory manager.

This helps you guarantee that data such as supplier details, pricing negotiations, and confidential recipes will only be available to the right personnel.

Reports and analytics

The inventory system provides valuable insights like inventory turnover rate, usage patterns, seasonal trends, waste reduction analysis, supplier performance metrics, and menu profitability.

Through these reports, you can gauge how efficiently you manage your restaurant’s stocks and highlight areas where you can minimize waste.

Integration with Point-of-Sale (POS) systems

The real-time synchronization between your restaurant POS system and inventory software helps avoid stockouts and overstock situations. 

Think of it this way: If a dish becomes unexpectedly popular, the system ensures you know the increased demand so you can adjust your inventory accordingly.

The restaurant inventory system receives instant updates upon placing each order. After serving a dish, the system also reduces the exact quantity of ingredients in your inventory.

Since it’s an automated process, there’s no need for you to manually update the ingredient quantities on your inventory management tool.

Supplier management

Your inventory systems for restaurants can maintain an updated database of your suppliers’ contact details, including names, phone numbers, and email addresses. 

Aside from streamlining communication, this feature also ensures that you can quickly reach out in case of urgent needs or order changes.

Best practices when integrating restaurant inventory management systems

Staff managing inventory
Female staff managing restaurant inventory.

Adding inventory management for restaurant technology requires careful planning and execution to guarantee optimal results.

Here are five best practices to consider:

Thorough training for staff

Provide comprehensive training for your staff on how to use the new inventory system, including the basic functionalities and advanced features that can enhance efficiency.

A well-trained team guarantees the system is used to its full potential, minimizing errors and maximizing productivity.

Data migration and clean-up

Before integration, you should thoroughly review your existing inventory data. Clean up any inconsistencies, errors, or outdated information.

Accurate initial data is important for the smooth functioning of the new system.

Additionally, it would help if you worked closely with the system provider to seamlessly migrate data from your old system to the new one.

Customization to fit your workflow

Choose a restaurant inventory management system that allows customization to fit your specific workflow.

Every restaurant operates differently, and a one-size-fits-all approach may not be suitable.

Tailor the system to align with your ordering process, menu structure, and reporting needs. This ensures a more natural integration into your daily operations.

Regular inventory management system for restaurant audits and updates

Once the system is integrated, conduct regular audits to ensure it aligns with your operational needs.

Regularly review user permissions, system configurations, and data accuracy.

It’s also equally important that you stay informed about system updates to implement them promptly.

Feedback loop and continuous improvement

Establish a feedback loop with your staff. Encourage them to share their experiences with the new system, identifying any challenges or areas for improvement.

You can use this feedback to make continuous improvements to the system’s configuration and user interface.

A collaborative approach ensures that the system evolves to meet the changing needs of your restaurant.

Seamless restaurant inventory software example

inventory software for restaurant
An inventory software flashed in a tablet.

When looking for the perfect digital inventory manager, we know it can get overwhelming. With countless online systems, it will take up a lot of your time to choose which is the best.

To help out, here are a few restaurant inventory examples:

Zoho Inventory

Zoho Inventory is a cloud-based system that helps businesses manage their stock and orders efficiently.

It offers features like order tracking, multi-channel selling, and integration with various e-commerce platforms.

QuickBooks (formerly TradeGecko)

This inventory management software is designed to track cash flow, generate reports, and integrate other modern restaurant technology.

It includes features for managing stock levels, order fulfillment, and providing insights into sales performance.

QuickBooks also integrates with various e-commerce and accounting platforms.

Deputy

While not solely an inventory management system for restaurants, Deputy is a workforce management tool you can integrate with various restaurant management software.

It helps businesses manage employee schedules, time tracking, and task assignments.

Xero

Xero is primarily an accounting software that integrates with multiple platforms that are usable for restaurant operations.

It provides tools for invoicing, bank reconciliation, and financial reporting.

When connected with an inventory system, it helps maintain accurate financial records.

Automating inventory systems and MENU TIGER with Zapier

MENU TIGER software
MENU TIGER interactive software dashboard.

Looking for ways on how you can seamlessly automate online ordering with digitized inventory management? Here’s what we’ve got: Zapier integration for restaurants.

You can elevate your restaurant operations by effortlessly integrating various inventory platforms through Zapier, enabling MENU TIGER to synchronize with your chosen systems.

With this integration, you will be able to streamline inventory management and maximize MENU TIGER’s digital ordering and payment features, providing customers with a modern, efficient dining experience.

The key to restaurant success: QR code menu software and inventory system integration

A restaurant inventory system plays a vital role in the success of any restaurant. But it’s not enough to just have it; you must also know how to maximize its benefits for your business.

It would also help to use a digital tool with powerful features and a user-friendly interface. You must consider MENU TIGER, a QR code menu software that seamlessly integrates with the inventory systems we’ve explored. 

Elevate your food establishment’s culinary excellence with our digital restaurant software, where every byte is as delectable as every bite. 

Check out our advanced features and integration. Create a free account today.

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