5 Unbeatable Inventory Management Software Solutions for Restaurant Chains
What is Restaurant Inventory Management Software?
Restaurant inventory management software is a cloud based system that automates the day-to-day inventory management of a restaurant business. Integrated management systems work with a bunch of tech tools to give restaurant owners and managers a complete overview of the operations and also offers insighst into ways in which they can optimize the business. Inventory management systems help both, small businesses and large chains reduce costs, minimize wastage, and optimize resources, while improving performance.
From real time inventory tracking, to resource planning, and distributing inventory tasks among the staff, management solutions help restaurants with a number of tools. Inventory software can also integrate with other tech solutions like accounting software and POS systems a restaurant might already be using. This makes the job of business owners and managers who manage inventory on a regular basis, a lot easier. As you save valuable time, thanks to inventory management software, you can choose to focus on other business needs such as marketing or expansion plans.
5 Benefits of Inventory Software
- Real time tracking- Every time an inventory item is used to fulfill a purchase order, the inventory management software will keep track of the usage. This will help the kitchen staff and managers become aware of stock levels in real time, and enable them to place orders from the software itself before the goods run out. From raw ingredients, to non-food items such as paper napkins and packaging material, the software will keep track of every item and make sure you never run out of stocks and supplies.
- Streamline management- From inventory tracking to supply chain management, order management and overseeing multiple locations of a business, the software can perform all tasks with accuracy, and streamline business operations.
- Reduce waste- Tracking and reducing food waste is crucial for any restaurant, especially small businesses that need to watch their expenses. Restaurant inventory systems take care of these needs and keep track of the practices that lead to wastage so that you can optimize your inventory usage and prevent wastage.
- Maintain all records- The inventory software also maintains all historical records of purchase orders, sales orders and inventory usage to help you get an overview of your larger operations and take calls that suit your business needs.
- Get reports, analytics- Inventory systems have a particularly useful tool that prepares insightful reports and analytics based on sales orders, stock levels, inventory usage and supply chain. These help business owners optimize their operations and cut costs or increase them as and where needed.
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Best Inventory Management Software- No. 1 Zip Inventory
One of the best inventory management software available in the U.S. market today is Zip Inventory.
It is available on the restaurant app store Hubworks, which caters specifically to the software needs of the restaurant industry. Here's an overview of this inventory software-
- Inventory count- Zip Inventory makes managing inventory a breeze with its mobile inventory control features, waste tracking, quick transfers and an easy use interface. The software slashes the time it takes to complete inventory across multiple warehouses and frees up staff for other tasks.
- Variance reports- Zip Inventory gives you an overview of your business expenses and other costs by preparing variance reports and Cost of Goods Sold reports, which are some of the key parameters you need to monitor at all times in order to study the financial health of your restaurant.
- Easy ordering- Whenever your inventory levels fall, the asset tracking tools of the software will help you place fresh orders. Zip Inventory will use data from your sales orders, inventory usage and supplier delivery schedules to plan orders and get your supply chain moving. With suggested ordering, you can always maintain the right inventory quantity.
- Real time reports- Zip Inventory's mobile app will give you real time updates and insightful analyses on your costs and ingredient usage, and also prepare variance reports when you need them. These reports can be viewed right after an inventory count is done, thus saving time and effort by processing data at one go.
- Recipe management- The inventory software will provide a complete breakdown of ingredients used in each recipe the restaurant uses. You will receive real time updates on the inventory levels of each ingredient, along with highlights of popular recipes and ways you can leverage them to boost revenue.
- Waste reduction- If a large chunk of your restaurant inventory lies unused for long, it ends up affecting your food costs by adding to your wastage. With inventory optimization, you can regularly check wastage, set reminders for your staff to use ingredients, and control expenses.
- Mobile inventory- Zip Inventory comes with a mobile app that helps you manage shelf-to-sheet inventory even when you're on the move. You can navigate and manage all your inventories at multiple locations using the app on your phone or tablet. The mobile app can be used not just for inventory tracking but also for viewing reports and analyzing operations.
- The Zip inventory software comes with two pricing models. These are the 'Standard' plan and the 'Professional' plan. The 'Standard' plan costs $125 per month, while the Professional plan will come at a price of $175 per month, per location.
Best Inventory Management Software- No. 2 Oracle
- Real time inventory tracking- The Simphony point sale software by Oracle helps keep track of all inventory items in real time and automates the entire asset tracking system of the restaurant.
- Inventory order management- With multiple data points, the inventory system helps restaurants build reporting dashboards for easy and accurate inventory control. This helps business owners detect variations in pricing, maintain inventory levels and get real time sales forecasts. The system will also send warnings in case the inventory quantity is lower than usual. This will help you optimize your inventory and improve your warehouse management.
- Inventory reports- Oracle's restaurant inventory management software will provide reports on the Cost of Goods Sold (COGS) so you can compare actual costs with theoretical costs by reviewing invoices and receipts. This will help you take a deep dive into your expenses, sales channels, and products. This will give you better control over your inventory and restaurant operations.
- Menu and recipe management- One of the key features of the Oracle software is that it lets users perform a "what if" analysis on the menu and recipes. This means users can change some of the ingredients to forecast how they stand to affect prices and the bottom line. This tool also allows standardization of recipes, calculating plate costs while also forecasting and managing revenue.
- Pricing plans for the Oracle restaurant management software are not publicly available on their website. The company can be contacted for its pricing models.
Best Inventory Software- No. 3 Toast
- POS system- Toast POS is considered one of the best inventory management software by users. The software enables both, on- and off-premise order fulfillment by streamlining multi channel orders at one point.
- Contactless ordering- The software helps reduce labor costs through contactless payment channels, with credit card swiping, barcode scanning and other digital methods. This delights customers who look for speedy, hassle-free payments.
- Marketing tools- The Toast system also provides tools to run marketing campaigns, with email marketing and loyalty programs to boost sales and revenue.
- Payroll management- Toast POS promises to make hiring and training restaurant staff easier with its payroll and team management tools. It also offers varying options to pay the staff, including direct deposits, pay cards, and so on.
- Toast's pos inventory management software comes with different pricing plans that depend on the scale of operations and the tools a restaurant needs. Apart from the starter kit which is offered for free, Toast has two other plans. These include the Essentials plan, which starts at $165 per month, and the Custom plan, for which the cost is offered on quote.
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Best Inventory Software- No. 4 TouchBistro
- POS system- TouchBistro offers a pos inventory software that can take care of a restaurant's floor and table management, menu management and inventory management. It also provides reports and analytics on sales, inventory and supply chain.
- Payments- Its payments system supports all kinds of digital and offline payment methods. Scope of error is reduced through its integration with the POS.
- Kitchen display- The TouchBistro Kitchen Display System (KDS) offers to seamlessly link the front of house with the back of house of a restaurant, assisting communication between the staff on both sides for error-free operations.
- Self-service- The company promises to help restaurants reduce labor costs and enhance customer experience with easy use self-service kiosks. These kiosks can be used to display menus, take orders, assist payments and increase overall productivity.
TouchBistro's simple inventory management software is offered at a price of $69 per month, with which restaurants can opt for a number of add-ons, such as online ordering tools, at an additional cost
Best Inventory Software- No. 5 Upserve
- POS and inventory- Upserve by Lightspeed offers a POS and inventory management system that takes care of all your sales, ordering and payment needs, both online and offline, along with regular inventory management.
- Reports and insights- The system offers daily, comprehensive sales reports and analytics for restaurants, with its menu intelligence and server performance tools that analyze operations in real time.
- Payments- Along with contactless payment methods, Upserve also supports NFC payments and Europay Mastercard Visa (EMV) payment. With their chip-based card system, they help businesses steer clear of fraudulent transactions.
- Workforce- From managing employee schedules, to tracking information about team members, monitoring labor costs and tracking work hours, the tools of this software streamline workforce management.
- Marketing- Upserve promises to boost your revenue and return on investment (ROI) with marketing tools that can create campaigns, promotional offers and customer loyalty programs.
- Upserve offers its software solution in three pricing blocks. The Core plan comes at $59 per month; the Pro plan for $199 per month; and the Pro Plus at $359. Upserve POS terminals needed to run the software cost an additional $40-60 per terminal, depending on the plan.