Restaurant inventory management software is a must-have for any restaurant. Inventory can be a complicated process. When you think of inventory management, you might think of an inventory spreadsheet and days spent counting individual inventory items. With the right restaurant inventory management software, it doesn’t have to be that way. The right software can even help with your restaurant profit and loss statement.
Finding the right restaurant inventory management software for your business can make all the difference in the success of your restaurant. When you’re setting up your restaurant business plan, you should include a plan for inventory management software. If you already own a restaurant, and you’re looking to improve your inventory, it’s never too late to find software that reduces costs and improves efficiency.
The best restaurant inventory software platforms have some shared features. From a reorder point notice to real-time tracking, there are some things that you need for inventory to be the best it can be. There are some restaurant inventory software programs that have those needs covered, to help you simplify your inventory with ease.
These 10 factors will make your restaurant inventory management process as easy as it can be. These functions are standard across a lot of the best restaurant inventory management software. What you should prioritize in your search for are software programs that go above and beyond with ease of use.
10. All-in-One Features
A restaurant inventory management software platform with an all-in-one build means that you don’t have to build your inventory program across several software programs. Without a cohesive software program, you’ll find yourself having to count inventory, track sales, and note variances, all in separate spaces. That can turn into a mess of work quickly. All-in-one software like BinWise, with compatibility across apps and separate programs, means you can focus on your work without keeping everything moving together on your own. All-in-one is simply the way to go for easy inventory management.
9. Menu Compatibility
Much of what’s involved in running a restaurant includes having great selections on your restaurant menus. An inventory software program that you prepare for meals and group main dishes with sides is priceless. Anything that makes preparing different menu types easier is well worth it.
8. Interactive Reporting
Reporting is a necessary component of any inventory management system. Interactive real-time reporting, however, is a cut above the rest. When you can check in on each section of your inventory reports as you sell each item, you’re able to fully understand every facet of your inventory process. The BinWise Pro software, paired with the BinScan app, gives you real-time access to every aspect of your inventory. When you’re that clued in, you can stay ahead of inventory issues.
7. Cloud-Based Platform
These days so many software programs are cloud-based, so this isn’t a surprise feature, but it is extremely helpful. The ability to access your inventory software from any device with an Internet connection is vital. It means you can easily work with your inventory program across multiple channels and locations, or check in when you’re not at work.
6. Real-Time Tracking
Real-time inventory tracking is essential to a quality inventory program. This feature is complementary to a cloud-based platform and a perpetual inventory system, but it deserves its own mention as a valuable function. Your inventory will fluctuate every day that your restaurant is open for business. Being able to track those fluctuations as they occur is key.
5. Staff Management
Unless you’re doing the entire inventory process by yourself, you’ll need a software program that brings your employees into the flow. Staff management means you're able to assign inventory work and allow each employee to track their inventory responsibilities. That ability gives your team access to a great inventory system that will help them save time and make more time for important tasks that often get overlooked when inventory takes up too much time.
User-friendliness is a must for any software program, but it’s especially important for inventory management software. When you’re reaching the end of the day or week, the last thing you want is software that is hard to navigate. Everything on this list is important, but user-friendliness is a basic need. The BinWise platform gives you easy access to simple menu designs, an intuitive onboarding process with customer support every step of the way, a simple interface, and compatibility with your other systems.
3. Perpetual Inventory Support
Perpetual inventory, where you keep a consistent inventory count every day, is one of the best ways to stay on top of inventory counts. It helps you avoid a multi-day inventory count once a month. Inventory management software with perpetual inventory functions can help make a tedious job much simpler. The BinScan app, with mobile compatibility and a user-friendly interface, can help you keep track of your perpetual inventory.
2. Tech Support
Even the best inventory management software has occasional hiccups. A SaaS program that comes with tech support in the form of a team of customer support specialists makes those hiccups easier to manage. Tech backed up by humanity and customer service is the best tech. The BinWise customer support team has a response rate of following up within a few hours and resolving issues within the same day, or the same week for extremely complex issues.
1. Report Reminders
Report reminders win the number one position because it is an extremely useful feature. Report reminders are a great addition to an inventory management software program. They give you one less thing to remind yourself about throughout the day. BinWise is set up to run reports for variance counts, perpetual inventory, reorder points, and glaring errors in counts. Once you’re set up in the BinWise system, you’re tapped into a mobile-compatible all-inclusive inventory system that will help you stay on top of every aspect of your restaurant.
Frequently Asked Questions About Restaurant Inventory Management Software
The better your restaurant inventory management software is, the more successful your restaurant business will be. A strong inventory management program helps you with everything from customer service to employee retention to bigger profits.
As you run your inventory processes every week, you’ll find more of what works for you and what you need to do. Our answers to these frequently asked questions will give you some background information to keep in mind as you refine your inventory program.
How Do Restaurants Control Stock?
Restaurants control stock by regularly taking inventory, doing ABC analysis, and keeping track of inbound and warehouse outbound process flow products through warehousing techniques. There is only so much you can control. There are outside forces, namely the supply chain, that sometimes make it difficult to predict future stock issues, even with safety stock supplies. What you can do is maintain a consistent inventory schedule and use inventory forecasting to stay ahead of the curve, even when inventory reduction is out of your hands. That way you can strive to avoid the 86 meaning in your menu listings.
How Does a Restaurant Inventory Work?
A restaurant inventory works to keep track of all the products and items the restaurant needs to run smoothly. That includes the following:
- Recipe ingredients
- Dishes and cutlery
- Cooking supplies
- Cleaning supplies
A restaurant inventory management software program can make the process as easy as possible. With mobile support and perpetual inventory counts, a restaurant inventory program is a crucial piece of the puzzle for keeping a restaurant on track.
What Kind of Software Does a Restaurant Need?
There is a variety of software a restaurant can use. Some of these programs are needed, and some are less vital but still incredibly useful. Some of the software programs a restaurant should have include:
- Inventory management software
- POS systems
- Restaurant accounting software
- Loyalty programs
- Online ordering platforms
- Employee training programs–similar to a restaurant training manual
- Scheduling software
- Payroll systems
When used together, these systems help a restaurant run more efficiently. They come together to cover all aspects of running a restaurant.
Restaurant Inventory Management Software: Restaurant Management Made Simple
When you’re searching for the right inventory management software for your restaurant, be sure to keep these functions in mind. They’re key parts of any software system. Beyond that, their functions are the core of reliable inventory management practices. If you’re ever stuck on a particular part of inventory, you can lean on these functions to find the solution.
On the BinWise blog, we’ve spent a lot of time going over inventory management and restaurant businesses. You can always come back for a refresher course. If you’re looking for more, check out our business companion, BlueCart, over on the BlueCart blog. You’ll find even more inventory tips and strategies.