Restaurant Inventory Management: What system do you use for ordering and keeping track of inventory?
Hey! Welcome to Making Dough Show!
We are in this series we're gonna be going over different questions that we're getting about restaurant and all the different categories.
We're gonna go based on our experience some things we know and something we don't.
We're gonna see how it goes alright. So the first question is from Danielle. This kind of mostly from Matthew because this is his area of expertise versus mine but we have very clear zones in our restaurant.
Anyways, Danielle asked “What system do you use for ordering and keeping track of inventory visual excel or your POS system?”
“My husband keeps trusting the kitchen manager and he's making trips to Walmart daily for things they're running out of. I wanted to start using the Talak POS system but without purchasing the upgrade I can't see if it is worth the cost.”
“Would you kind of explain what upgrade that we're talking about with the POS system?”
In my understanding like when you do a POS. It is point-of-sale, it is not shaking it but many of the new ones they have an upgrade.
Where it's like okay you want to add this module you want to add this piece it's all separate.
I think it's ultimately still similar back to the original like micros, Aloha just doing it a little bit differently with the different tablets.
And it's cloud based which is important as opposed to having a server in your office that could run out of power or get busted and you may not have access from home.
So when it comes to the inventory I'm sure there like a lot of software a lot of you know companies that sell you their services it's the one there was a book for Avero.
Avero is one, isn't it? There is a book Avero, a platform. It depends on your needs but anyways she's asking about what is one of the ways that we've done.
I think we try excel way back 2014.
I didn't know what the inventory was apparently you're supposed to take it and when one of the other restaurant owners comes over and he's like..
“Hey how do your inventory go?” I'm like "good sure!"
I didn't even know what inventory was it's a separate video but we had started on Excel.
I have an engineering degree so I may have a degree in excel they just call it engineering.
We started there and then we moved to our food vendor. Actually, they had an inventory system there so I played with that.
It was very complicated mind-boggling.
You got to watch a lot of tutorials to learn how to do it. It's challenging and then we went to integrating with our point-of-sale because when you have a point-of-sale you're generally you're most committed to that system.
It’s good to have that with you, have your data for years, gives you that something to fall back on to help for planning and preparation and try and keep you at food cost down to a minimum.
We do use our POS systems module that is for inventory. There is an unusual paying for it.
We're paying for it I think it's worth it.
And another reason that we do that also is because if we have multiple cloud we need to keep this as simple as possible for our team and our managers.
So they don't need to remember another login or they need to log into another platform everything is already in the POS system.
There, it gets your numbers in one place because your register is gonna have your sales numbers and then if you can put your cost numbers in there then you've got you know this one.
This one gives you where your profits are and ultimately being in business is about making a profit.
You're gonna be able to track it and keeping it easy and simple for your team to help you do that helps your team do that.
So that you can live your dream so that you can have the business be a vehicle for getting to your dreams and goals in life.
I always tell our team you know so we can get folks raises that are who we're not you know company's not making money.
There's no profit nobody's know yeah and then ours are getting cut and it's just what I want to ask Matthew what is your philosophy about cause we do run out of stuff.
It's just I'm sure everybody because it's you're predicting the future unless you're really strong with the force like Yoda you're probably not gonna get it right.
Literally the dark side of competition clouds everything actually it could be the weather in our case but we rain hurricane.
We also have a Walmart very close to our restaurant and on occasions we send folks because we like run out of lettuce or tomatoes or cucumbers.
We send folks over there but we our food vendor facility it's 45 minutes away from the restaurant one way.
Matthew what has been your philosophy when the fact that we ran out of food is because something we did not order or whatever it was our system is this real simple it could be a training issue and something I miss when I train someone.
In that case if we got to go get something I go get it if the food delivery service.
If they failed to deliver something than “hey guys come on like you need to deliver what you
promised” and so I'll try and negotiate with them to get them to bring it to me.
It'll cost because they charge you for the hot rod every tactic that after that if it was my staff members fault, my team members fault.
I'm going to call one mark to cover for them I'm gonna start making them go to Walmart.
I'm gonna start having them drive 45 minutes one way. Do that two hours round-trip on their own time because they need to understand like if you're gonna waste time, if you're not going to be planning appropriately following the system you're off the clock go your own responsibility you gotta teach some person a sponsor.
Then well like for instance there is an event or something they could have usually checked they know that there's a catering coming up they did not account for.
They've been properly trained and they're getting you know there is a raise associated with doing this task so if we’re paying you extra for you to do this.
This is our promise then your promise is to do this job right.
Run out yeah and the customer is taken care of which I know you're a test for the customer because that's how you pay your bills.
It's the same how we pay our bills, so they, our team has to understand that and sometimes people refuse to learn until they make that two hour drive and or worse they'll wait till 4:30 you know in the afternoon.
And then, it's easy two and a half to three hour drive and actually it is I'm sad to say that it's true.
We don't do that frequent it happened in the beginning like once a couple times.
Yep! They they're kind of more aware of doing it so we make them go and take responsibility of that.
I want to ask Matthew, what are your thoughts of somebody who is currently doesn't have a proper inventory system who's maybe wondering should I pay an upgrade for my POS system?
Should I get that? What are your thoughts about like kind of a step by step?
What it is that you think they should go about particularly with Danielle or anybody else similar?
Well, it comes back to your prime costs. You've got sales and then you've got your food cost in your labour cost.
Those are three critical items in every restaurant you all know this.
Whether or not you're doing inventory you have a system in place. We had a system when I didn't know what it was and the system was nothing if it does not doing anything about it.
We were looking at the invoice and yeah that looks okay or no, it doesn't look or it's too much.
I mean that was this close to a system but the best thing to do is to write down what you're doing now.
That's clear especially to the team member the kitchen manager who's helping you with this case.
Then you take that one and then you improve it.
You get the kitchen manager involved in helping you improve that so that there's less and less of these problems.
They're still gonna be some because somebody's in call in and ask for something different but you can minimize that and get to kitchen manager involved, okay?
What are we gonna do to make this better okay help me create the system. Here's the system why are you doing that why you want the manager involved in helping you versus you just doing it.
Asking him to just follow it there's power in getting them to help you create their job and then when you know if they leave you there often they're training somebody else.
They're training them on the own system that they created.
It creates kind of a circle that just keeps going.
We've seen the fruit of that, being on you know manager X number of managers later the system was done.
It requires less energy to get going and keep it going.
Yeah and initially I feel like we were not doing it consistently I wanted to haven't you to talk about what out whatever gets measured gets minutes managed and absolute specially on food.
So you know doing one of our early mentors our food supplier talked about even if you're just counting the top ten things.
It's better than nothing. Do what you can do.
What you're able to until you have the time to do it.
To do it more to do better.
To make it more consistent and so just start where you are and take it step by step.
It's going to take time.
It's painful to get there but once it's there oh! it's a nice feeling.
Once you learn to drive someone else to do it so you're not involved in the process.
That's kind of and you're still managing them.
We still get the food cost reporting. Hey guys what's going on this wine is weekly half-a-percentage.
You are controlling it because otherwise it goes off for weeks and if you're not a few not on top of it.
Oh! Definitely it'll do but you we haven't had to take inventory those guys got to stay on top of it yeah.
It helps give them awareness and many things.
Matthew, what's with the usage of their usage is a very complex subject because we're talking about going to Walmart purchases versus that's not.
With them, what I'm talking about “oh yeah no well, first of all any Walmart purchases into your inventory cost.
If you have a system set up for i.
.. that does take a significant amount of extra time cost. Your payroll go get it go banner it in the system and then your usage numbers can get messed up usage.
All that is usage means if you had a let's say a case of loaves of bread have 72 loaves and you sold 30 sandwiches during the week and you've got 42 left over.
Then beginning inventory was what I say 72 yeah 70 72 we use 30 minus the 42 we're getting the count so then that 30 is our usage and that is our number that we're using for our food cost percentage.
I mean this took us a while for this whole thing I need a whiteboard for this one communicated to the team.
I mean this is goes on and I'm sure we'll do future episodes on this one but answering Danielle and her question that we've experienced.
Our experience, we recommend using the module upgrade. Module that comes with your POS system now.
She was saying that hey I don't know before I invest in it I don't know if it's going to work. Earn if it's a good fit then our thing is call them and tell them exactly that I did say that hey I would like to check you guys.
It's modular give me a 30-day free trial you got to negotiate and if they tell you no then you better get another and you might want to tell them hey then I might need to get another system that is gonna give me that free trial.
Honestly, I am pretty sure whenever you ask for it they want to keep your business and stuff and you expelling time and YouTube videos for inventory.
A YouTube video is not going to cut it you need to get in there and play with it with your numbers with your system just you it's a toy and you got to play with it yeah and a lot
as you if you have fun playing with that.
Anyway so going back, call your POS company explain your problem then you want to check it out then again get a 30-day free trial and so you can taste it.
You can see how to do it.
Insist on it the most likely do if you have any other questions that you would like us to cover in our restaurant owners conversations a series please comment below send us an email to Making Dough show.
Check our website we've got some free resources there for you as well.
Thank you so much for watching and we see you next week right here and make into a show.
Take care I make some dough!