A Guide to Restaurant Inventory Management & Purchasing Software

What do you need, how do you get it, how much will it cost, and when can it be here? The tech solutions that address restaurants’ purchasing, inventory, and back office operations aim to answer those questions for you as your needs arise — or, ideally, before they do. Analyze your sales by day of the week, track your purchases by supplier, optimize prices for menu items, organize invoices, establish predictable sales channels, and do it all without having to input data manually. The essential principle of business — to buy a thing at one price and sell it at a higher price — becomes easier and more consistent when you have softwares helping you track the money coming in and the money going out. 

What are the benefits of solutions for restaurant purchasing, inventory, and back office?

  • Save time: Don’t spend hours punching data from different sources into spreadsheets, or trying to compile spreadsheets. Let a software do that while you focus on the parts of your job that actually bring you joy.

  • Save money: Don’t hire consultants to look for insights on how you can be more efficient until you’ve actually tried to become more efficient with faster, more reliable inventory tracking and invoice automation.

  • Gather granular data: In the live fire of an evening shift, your staff is more focused on cooking and serving than on logging a broken bottle of wine or dropped plate of duck wings. Integrated tracking systems make it simple for them to log those losses and move on with their night.

  • Connect to your favorite suppliers: Communicate instantly with your favorite farmer or your favorite wine distributor to let them know when you’re low on something, or be first in line when they have something to sell.

  • Pay bills and invoice instantly: No one’s favorite task now takes exactly as much time as it ought to, which is to say, nearly zero.

  • Make fewer mistakes: Your vendor changed their prices. Your sous chef’s handwriting is illegible. Your mental math is unreliable at the end of a night shift. Yeah, don’t worry about all that. Use a software that updates on the fly, and that allows for simple inputs and calculations.

Who uses solutions for purchasing, inventory, and back office?

Any business that has to move goods in and out is almost certainly using some form of back office software to make sense of that ebb and flow. But restaurants and other food and beverage establishments have some of the most complex systems to wrangle. Foods and many drinks are seasonal; they can spoil; they require other ingredients to work together in concert; and they can vary tremendously in price and quality, depending on where they’re sourced. For those reasons restaurants, bars, hotels, and other hospitality operations use multidimensional, specialized solutions to keep track of what they buy, how they buy it, and what they sell it for.

Why should restaurants use solutions for restaurant purchasing, inventory, and back office?

Having a tech solution that covers your purchasing, inventory, and back office operations will help you align your vision for your restaurant with the reality of running the place under real-world conditions. In that sense, it will help you prove out the models you have sketched out for your restaurant’s potential. The tasks they handle are essential to running a profitable business, and the odds are they’ll help you dispense with them faster, with less hassle, and with greater accuracy than you and your staff are able to do now. You’ll find time and bandwidth to focus on other things once you can seamlessly track the flow of inventory from your vendors to your kitchen to the table, and help you project your needs into the future.


[Photo by Jesson Mata on Unsplash]