Last Updated On October 16, 2020 / Written By Caroline Sams

4 Critical Inventory Management Mistakes to Avoid Making in 2019

An accurate inventory management system is a vital tool in running a successful restaurant, and it comes with a variety of benefits. One of the benefits to inventory management software is that it helps you to keep track of exactly what you sold at the end of your business day. If you have no idea what you sold by the end of a business day, you're missing out on an opportunity to maximize your sales. Unfortunately, keeping an accurate inventory is easier said than done, and many restaurateurs are still making costly mistakes even with restaurant management technology at its peak. In this article, we'll discuss four inventory management mistakes restaurants should not make in 2019, and we'll also see how you can avoid them.

A Lack of Automation Negatively Impacts Inventory Management

If you are still tracking your inventory manually, you likely haven't heard of the many benefits that come with automating the inventory count process. Before we look at the benefits of using inventory software, let's discuss manual tracking. For starters, manual inventory tracking is time-consuming as it eats the biggest chunk of your manager's time, and this is especially true if your restaurant conducts daily inventory counts.

Consider this, if your manager is always chained to the back of the house counting inventory, what happens to the other tasks that are part of their job description? Besides, manual inventory tracking is so boring it could easily send your manager packing. Yes, perhaps you don't know this, but, unemployment rates in this particular industry happen to be quite low at the moment, and your employees will not hesitate to walk out on you if their jobs are boring and monotonous.

A cloud-based inventory management tool, like Zip Inventory, will provide real-time reports of items available at the beginning of the day, and the remaining stock at the end of the business day. Automating this process comes with the following benefits-

  • It saves times and unshackles your manager
  • It eradicates common inventory errors, reduces wastages, and maximizes sales and profits
  • Keeps customers happy and satisfied.

Inaccurate, Gut-Instinct Forecasting Affects Ordering and Service

Is your manager still using their gut instinct to order inventory? If so, chances are that your restaurant is facing any or all of the following challenges-

  • Overstocking
  • Understocking
  • Food and beverage wastage
  • Lost revenues
  • Unhappy customers
If you have identified with any or all of the above-mentioned dilemmas, it's time to stop guesstimating your inventory. Remember that various factors, such as a surprise catering order or an unexpected weather condition, can seriously derail the predictions of your manager no matter how experienced he/she is at running a restaurant.

Using a forecasting tool, like Zip Forecast, that can integrate with an inventory management tool, will give you an estimate of what to order based on real-world insights, such as order history and sales reports. An effective forecasting tool will also send alerts to a manager's mobile phone when an item needs to be replaced.

Recipe Mismanagement Affects Inventory Counts

If your cooks are always using extra or unnecessary measurements on recipes (knowingly or unknowingly), it means they are wasting your stock, and this will quickly raise your food costs to enormous heights.

To curb waste, it's a good idea to use a recipe management system that integrates with your inventory system to automatically calculate the exact amount of stock needed to prepare each recipe. Doing so should minimize wastage and also help you keep track of all items consumed at the end of the day based on the dishes or beverages/drinks ordered.

A Lack of Inventory Reporting is Detrimental to Business

How much food or stock does your restaurant waste each year?

Restaurants across the nation waste more than 42 billion pounds of food every year, and while all restaurants have food wastages, only 47% of them track food waste.

Food wastage leads to lost revenue, and if you are not tracking your waste, you don't have an idea of how much revenue you are losing each year. Ordering right is the first step to reducing food wastage, but if wastage is still happening even after making all efforts to order right, an advanced inventory management tool will point out any existing wastages.

An inventory management tool helps keep track of waste by generating and updating inventory reports after every purchased order. With inventory management software, consumed stock and ideal stock reports are maintained at all times, and you can calculate your daily wastage percentage at the end of the day. Your wastage is the variance or difference between your ideal stock and physical stock.

To cut a long story short, automating the process of inventory management can help solve or manage the most significant inventory management mistakes that restaurateurs are still making in this age of high-tech restaurant management tools.