Your inventory is a precious thing; it is truly the lifeblood, the very essence of your restaurant. You may think that this is an exaggeration for dramatic effect, but you’re only half right. It’s also the truth - your restaurant would not survive without your inventory. As a concept, it makes sense that your business cannot function without the food you’re meant to be serving.
Owners and managers sometimes take inventory management for granted by, ironically, being too concerned about it. It can become an overwhelming mess that can potentially have a worse impact on your inventory management process than total apathy. One of the main areas where administrators begin to experience stress is when they don’t know to break down the process into “inventory count” and “ordering.”
On that level, the inventory process does include the process of ordering supplies since the supplies being ordered are part of the inventory. The inventory count is directly impacted by the results of the ordering process, and having one without the other is just not possible. They are two components once thought separate that are, in reality, inextricably linked. Thinking of them as such will not only make both processes easier but is entirely necessary to understand what we’re going to talk about today.
In this article, we’re going to give you five reasons to use a restaurant inventory ordering spreadsheet, even if you are already making use of an ordering management system in your business. We’re going to cover the benefits of this practice, as well as any potential drawbacks that may exist, in the hopes that it will prove to you why going the extra mile will save you a ton of time and energy!
It is important to keep copies and backups of everything you do. Whether this is for tax purposes, your records, or on the off chance a lawsuit should ever come up, being prepared in this way is always a huge benefit.
In this case, having a restaurant inventory ordering spreadsheet, as well as an ordering management system, allows you to keep the information not just in two different places, but in two different formats as well.
One of the major tenets of creative writing in the digital age is that, once you finish a manuscript, you should put everything in a different font before you attempt to reread it. The logic is that you have gotten so used to seeing everything in that same font for however many weeks or months, that it becomes comfortable, and things that don’t necessarily belong start to look like they do. When you change the font, you change the visual look of the piece, and it makes it easier to spot mistakes.
Keeping a restaurant inventory ordering spreadsheet as well as the data in your system allows you to borrow this same kind of refreshed look at the information, which can make it easier to spot typos or other errors in pricing or quantity.
Restaurant inventory ordering systems are marvelous things that offer a huge slew of benefits and features. However, by design, Microsoft Excel simply offers more features. To be fair, Excel doesn’t offer features that are specific to restaurant ordering, but it is capable of complex mathematics and analysis in a nearly nonexistent time frame, as long as you know how to work it.
Using Excel as your spreadsheet software opens up a lot of possibilities for analysis of ordering data, and that alone should be enough reason to start using both your current system and a restaurant inventory ordering spreadsheet.
Let’s face it, it’s just a whole lot easier to print off Microsoft Excel spreadsheets than it is anything from a more specialized system. Can it be done on other systems? Sure, but why would you when Excel makes it so easy. Printing off your restaurant inventory ordering spreadsheet grants you the ability to have three or four different backups of the ordering data available to you at any one time. You’ll have digital data in two different formats, plus the printed version, which can go into a binder or folder in a filing cabinet, making it much easier to retrieve at a moment’s notice than any digital file.
Disclaimer - this is true in most cases, not all of them. An ordering system such as Zip Ordering exists as a cloud-based app, which can be accessible from any device with the app and the appropriate credentials to get into it.
However, in some cases, being able to share information via Excel spreadsheets will be an easier, more hassle-free way to do things. When you’re dealing with your inventory ordering data, if you’re in a position where it needs to be shared, then being able to do so with a great degree of ease is vital. Since Excel is compatible with many systems, it would make sense that this would be the more shareable version of the information.
Well, there you have it - our top five reasons why you should be using both your ordering software and a restaurant inventory ordering system or spreadsheet in your business. Good use of both will work wonders for making these inventory processes much easier and more efficient, and hopefully, we have proven that point in this article. If you’re looking to learn even more about technologies that will have a serious impact on businesses like yours, especially regarding inventory processes, check out our “How to Choose the Best Inventory Control Software for Small Businesses” article or other articles also on the Hubworks Blog!