Last Updated On January 08, 2019 / Written By Caroline Sams

Inventory Management in Restaurants | How Ordering Can Ease the Strain

The process of managing inventory in a business can be a major source of workplace stress for employees and administrators. Due to the sheer importance of the process, it is vital that inventory processes are carried out as flawlessly as possible.

The process of inventory management can be difficult and stressful, but it is integral in a restaurant for the business’ success. Inventory is by no means something that should be underestimated. One wrong step can be disastrous for the continued prosperity of a restaurant, especially in the way that the inventory process goes hand-in-hand with the ordering process, which then, in turn, reflects on the ability of the restaurant to function as it’s supposed to.

The ordering system that you use can play a more integral part in the inventory process than you may have first considered. It can provide key insights into the ordering and usage habits of your restaurant that even inventory software can’t quite do, and as such should be just as much a part of the process. The value that this sort of “team” effort provides for the process of inventory in a restaurant is just about boundless.

In this article, we are going to address some of the ways that your ordering system can play a part in easing the redundant processes of inventory in a restaurant. Doing so will enable you to engage in an easier, more efficient, and more error-free kind of inventory management. While this isn’t necessarily a list of tips, the items discussed will be distinct enough that even just one of them might be enough to motivate you to try this out for the inventory in a restaurant you own and, ideally, reap the benefits.

What Does an Ordering System Do?

It might seem a bit obvious, but inventory in a restaurant starts with exactly what your ordering system can offer you.

An ordering system is a piece of software that helps you organize, manage, and assess your food and supply orders. It maintains records of previous orders, keeps track of the financial end of things, and also provides nifty reports that can provide key insights into things like supply usage and needs. It is this feature, in particular, that helps to build the argument we are trying to make here.

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How Does Ordering Make Inventory Management More Efficient?

Unlike the process of your inventory in regards to restaurant software, your ordering software can provide a much better look at your supply usage with the added benefit of framing it in a monetary context, as well as a practical one.

By lending things a financial perspective, you enable yourself to keep track of food usage both regarding menu item popularity and regarding the cost this usage is inflicting on your restaurant as a business. If you’re using a large quantity of an expensive ingredient, for example, and you don’t seem to ever quite make your money back on it, you can then evaluate either your pricing of the menu item in question or your continued inclusion of that ingredient.

How Does Ordering Make Inventory Management More Insightful?

Now to get into the deep side of the topic in question. Your ordering management software offers you certain reporting features that even the inventory in a restaurant management software can’t quite offer.

Even a system like Zip Inventory, which can integrate with your point-of-sale system to provide seriously detailed analysis, can’t match up to the added dimension of a solid ordering system, such as Zip Ordering.

What a solid ordering system offers is a chance to look over everything regarding ordering cycles, rather than having to guesstimate them based on the available data. In so doing, you’re better able to understand your rate of usage, which can help make decisions about the ways certain ingredients are used in the future.

Teamwork Makes the Dream Work

Ultimately, the optimal experience for your restaurant comes in the form of combining the efforts of both the inventory process and your ordering system.

How do you do this? Easy, you take the inventory information as it relates to the rate of usage over a set period, and then define that set period based on the cycle data from your ordering system. That will give you a rate of usage based on your definitive ordering cycle. From there, you can gain a complete understanding of how quickly you use certain ingredients in a set, defined period, which can provide an even better understanding of things like future need.

There you have it - our look at the ways combining the efforts of your inventory in a restaurant processes and your ordering system can provide the maximum amount of benefit for your restaurant.


We hope you’ve found these points useful, and that they’ve motivated you to take a more technologically advanced approach to your inventory management process. If you’re interested in learning more about the ways technology can help improve your restaurant’s performance, then take a take a look at our "How to Choose the Best Inventory Control Software for Small Businesses" article also on the Hubworks Blog!

Online employee scheduling software that makes shift planning effortless.
Try it free for 14 days.

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