Restaurant Profitability Blog

The Technology Solution to Your Inventory Troubles

 Orderly experts recently sat down with Steve Moody, our Digital Product Marketing Manager, to discuss his experience with inventory during his career as a Chef.

Find out how he tackled the tedious task and the game changing solution he found that made the process quick and easy.

Taking inventory was like nails on a chalk board. While chewing on a broken bottle. In a burning building.

But worse.

Inventory management for a restaurant can be a cross between gibberish and long division. In fact, it’s such a pain that the task can often fall to the bottom of the to-do list, where it sits unchecked for the week. Then weeks turn into months.

I don’t need to explain why taking inventory is important. You know it’s important.

I remember my old restaurant days. Sunday night was our designated inventory day. The kitchen team would break up the inventory list so we could get through it quicker. I’d take the walk-in; Jenny took dry goods; Ben took the alcohol closet; we all rushed to count what was on the shelves and filled in our spreadsheets.

Needless to say, the problem with our inventory process was immediately clear.

Nothing ever lined up correctly.

Big ticket items were always being counted lower than expected and out of nowhere someone would stumble upon three 50lb bags of AP flour.

Our kitchen was a disorganized mess. Items were spread out EVERYWHERE, making counting them extremely difficult.

Lemons? They could be found in the bar area, walk-in fridge, even dry storage.

See that case of avocados over there?  I would count it as half a case. Jenny would count it as half a case half the time and two-thirds the rest of the times and Ben walked right by it just trying to get out of the restaurant before midnight. Counting discrepancies were unavoidable.

At the end of the day, we were spending so much time taking inventory and the information we received was still wrong.

By the time we got our Cost of Goods Sold and inventory for May it was the second week of June. We were always reacting on old information instead of course-correcting immediately.

There had to be a better way.

Enter Orderly.

The solution to this inventory problem is to implement a system that transcends the variability of your staff, doesn’t require hours of work on your end and gives you up to date reporting so that you can make decisions today before you have a problem tomorrow.

Orderly simulates an inventory and backs into your weekly Cost of Goods Sold without you having to count a single product! No more relying on Ben and Jenny to take inventory!

By simply snapping photos of invoices and entering POS sales data, you will receive weekly Cost of Goods Sold, highlighting where potential problems may be costing you!

Prefer to take a physical inventory? Orderly has you covered!

Easily set up your inventory by using Orderly’s categories OR build custom “shelf to sheet” inventory lists. Milk lives in the walk-in, flour in Dry Storage, you get the idea.

As you count, on hand dollar amounts will be automatically calculated and beginning and ending inventories will show you exactly what you went through over a given period.

Orderly will continue working for you, whether your team has hours to spend counting inventory this week or they need to rely on our auto-COGS next week.

Rising prices of ingredients, over ordering and product waste can all lead to a high food cost.

Knowing that you have a high food cost is one thing. Identifying why your food cost is high is like finding a needle in a haystack. Orderly is going to help you shrink that haystack, so you can easily find the needle and the culprit for your rising food costs.

Would you rather spend 5 hours a week counting inventory or 5 minutes a day in Orderly?

Schedule a live walkthrough of Orderly’s food cost management solution!

OrderlyThe Technology Solution to Your Inventory Troubles
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How to Calculate Your Restaurant Inventory Par Levels

Your restaurant’s inventory par levels and food costs go hand in hand.

It’s one of the hardest things to juggle… Having enough inventory to meet demand each week, but also keeping it low, as to avoid stockpiling or food waste.

We mentioned this in our last article, but keeping track of inventory (and your par levels) is essential to the success of your restaurant.

Lower inventory levels help:

Ben BaggettHow to Calculate Your Restaurant Inventory Par Levels
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What is Food Cost Variance and How Do You Control it?

How often do you check the prices of your ingredients?

Every delivery? Once a week? Once a month? You’re expecting your food cost to be around a very specific number. Your supplier didn’t mention any major changes in price, so why should you have to worry? You’re getting a good deal after all, right?

But prices are seasonal, and will often change. Small increments here and there. Sometimes they may go unnoticed. Sometimes you may catch them.

In an ideal world, your food cost would be exactly what you expect every single time. But unfortunately, that’s not how the supplier industry works.

So what is food cost variance and how can you keep it under control? Below we’ve outlined what food cost variance (as called cost variance) is and a few ways you can keep it under control.

Ben BaggettWhat is Food Cost Variance and How Do You Control it?
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How to Calculate Your Inventory Turnover Rate (And Why it’s Important)

Do you know if you’re using your inventory efficiently?

Or how many days you’re holding inventory?

Managing your restaurant’s inventory sometimes get pushed to the backburner.

Invoices stack up. Servers call in. Managers show up late. And payroll has to get done.

You have a million things to think about every day and inventory management isn’t always a top priority.

But understanding your inventory is vital to the success of your restaurant.

You should have a thorough understanding of your inventory turnover rate, how many days its held on average, and how that compares to others in your market.

Ben BaggettHow to Calculate Your Inventory Turnover Rate (And Why it’s Important)
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Restaurant Food Waste: The Silent Killer

You’re busy.

Well, ever since you opened your restaurant, you’re never not busy.

You’re being pulled in a million different directions at all times. You’re covering for a waiter who skipped his shift. A customer is causing a scene. A fight just broke out in the kitchen.

With all that going on, you just haven’t had the time – or energy – to focus on reducing your restaurant’s food waste.

You’re not keeping track of your orders. Instead, you’re just placing the same ones over and over. Who has time to analyze all that stuff?

Well, when you don’t analyze that “stuff”, you’re throwing out hundreds of dollars a week in wasted food.

And you have nothing in place to help with your restaurant food waste management.

But, you can reduce food waste in your restaurant in a ton of ways, including inventory management, smarter ordering decisions, and more.

Stop letting restaurant food waste kill your profits.

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Danny BarryRestaurant Food Waste: The Silent Killer
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Infographic: 5 Processes to Shred Your Food Costs

According to the National Restaurant Association, the restaurant industry netted almost $800 billion in sales in 2017.

So.. why are you still struggling to turn a profit?

It’s probably because you’re not taking care of your food costs.

Make a change and save your restaurant.

Here are a few places to start:

Danny BarryInfographic: 5 Processes to Shred Your Food Costs
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Restaurant Inventory Master Class Webinar Recap

Recently, we hosted the Restaurant Inventory Master Class Webinar.

This first-of-its-kind course covered a variety of topics, including:

  • The importance of getting accurate inventory numbers
  • How to find your Cost of Goods Sold
  • How all these numbers help lower your food costs
  • A way to get better numbers in a fraction of the time (and without counting inventory)
Danny BarryRestaurant Inventory Master Class Webinar Recap
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