Inventory management is typically a priority for restaurant owners. If it’s not in your business, you might want to reconsider. Utilize your point-of-sale (POS) system to help you keep track of the amount of food, supplies and other products you use over time. This can eventually be converted to cost of goods sold while facilitating a profit and loss analysis.
Here’s how you can better control your restaurant’s inventory with your POS system.
Purchase the Right Foods and Quantities
Do you know what’s selling on your menu? Your POS system can give you concrete numbers to show you what foods sell and which ones don’t. Plus, it can help you make sure you always have the proper amount of ingredients. You’ll never have to tell your customers that you’re out of their favorite dish. In addition, you’ll be able to tell if you are overstocked or understocked on ingredients based on your current sales trends.
Controlling shrinkage (inventory loss due to spoil, theft or poor tracking) can be difficult without a POS system. For example, if your don’t keep track of your alcoholic beverages, how will you know if your staff is giving away free drinks, stealing bottles of liquor, or if your beer is skunked from sitting in the cooler too long? Your POS tracks all this.
If merchandise is stolen, a POS system can show you what’s missing. It can also create employee accountability. Employees that know inventory is counted will be less likely to steal. In addition, there is less of a chance for human error when your point-of-sale system keeps track of your stock and purchase orders.
Analyze Sales History
Use real data from your POS system based directly off your sales history to decide which menu items to keep and which ones to remove. This long-term data capture of trends can help you make good decisions about your restaurant in the long run.
Maintain Accuracy and Improve Efficiency
Before POS systems, restaurant owners had to depend on their chefs to track inventory. The cooks would count the food in the dry storage room and freezers. Today, when you receive the items that you’ve ordered, you can check that the amount listed on the purchase order matches the number received and that it also matches the amount on your POS reports. If you know what the exact ingredients are to make a dish then your POS keeps track and let’s you know when you’re low. No more freezing while counting ingredients in the cooler.
Your POS also tracks what your customers eat and how often they eat at your restaurant. Collect their data through your POS system and send them promotions according to their preferences. They’ll feel like a VIP and you’ll see your profits increase.
It’s easy to see that inventory management is key to any restaurant. Make sure to utilize your POS system so you can watch your profits increase, shrinkage decrease, and your customers return again and again.