A Guide to Automated Inventory Management for Restaurants

Supply Chain Management

According to FoodPrint, up to 10% of the food that is purchased by American restaurants will be wasted before it even sees a customer’s plate. One of the biggest contributing factors to this problem is poor inventory management.

Keeping track of perishable goods and loss prevention are key components of a successful food business. That being said, it’s not always easy.

That’s where automated inventory management systems can come to the rescue. These systems can track your stock levels in real-time and lead to a reduction in waste, as well as help you to make more sensible buying decisions.

Intrigued to find out more? Keep reading for the skinny on how to stay on top of your inventory management.



The Benefits of Automated Inventory Management


Automated inventory management can help businesses in the food service industry a lot. It has become a tool that modern establishments can’t do without.

The first benefit of this tool is that it reduces human errors. Manual inventory tracking is a tedious and sometimes confusing task. It is easy to miscount, misremember where you were, or just generally make a mistake when you’re taking stock.

Automated systems don’t make these errors. They utilize things like barcode scanning and RFID tags to ensure precise tracking.

Automation also saves both time and money. A streamlined process is a great process. Tasks that could take humans hours or maybe even days to complete can be done in minutes when using the right automated system.

This frees up your staff to do their duties. But it also helps you cut down on labor costs in the long run.

Finally, automation allows you to better understand your stock levels. With real-time inventory tracking, restaurant managers can get an accurate reading of their stock levels at all times.

This will drastically cut down the risk of running out of crucial ingredients halfway through service. It will also help you make informed decisions when it comes to restocking and purchasing.

Use automation correctly, and your kitchen should remain operational at all times.



Choosing the Right Automated Inventory Management System


Automated systems are great. But how do you choose the right one? There are several key things to look for here that can help you make an informed decision about which system to opt for.


User-Friendly Interface


A system with an intuitive user interface is essential for easy navigation. It will also help your staff quickly adapt to the new system.


Real-Time Updates


The system should provide real-time updates on inventory levels. It will then trigger alerts when stocks are running low. These features will help you stay on top of when you need to be reordering certain items.


Integration Capabilities


Look for systems that can seamlessly integrate with your existing Point-of-Sale (POS) system. Running a restaurant is stressful enough, so make sure that you can integrate the new systems as smoothly as possible.



Implementing an Automated Inventory Management System


Once you’ve chosen the right system for you, you need to implement it. There are several important steps when it comes to systems integrations. Let’s take a closer look.


Data Migration


This is the first thing you’ll do. You need to digitize your manual inventory data so that you can log it on the new system.

This might take a bit of time, so be sure to allocate enough time to get the job done. Focus on accuracy here as it provides the new system with a starting point. If the starting point is wrong, everything that follows will be wrong too.


Staff Training


Next, you should make sure that your staff receive proper training on how to use the new system. Treat it the way you would a PoS system. If your staff don’t understand the system, it will be doomed to fail.

Training should cover things like stock counting and order placement. Your staff should also know how to read and generate inventory reports.


Define Standard Operating Procedures


Clear operating procedures help everyone. Your staff will thank you for laying out rigid and clear ways to use the system.

Many different people might access the system every day. Having SOPs ensures a level of consistency when the system is being used.


Regular Maintenance and Updates


Finally, you need to keep on top of updates. Software updates are regularly released for a reason. They help to fix bugs that users have noticed when using the system every day.

If you don’t update your software regularly, you are going to fall behind and be using an out-of-date system that could cause more trouble than it solves.



Integration with Point-of-Sale (POS) Systems


Integration is possibly the most important component of successfully using an automated inventory management system. You need to make sure that the new software slots seamlessly in with any existing systems that are in place in your restaurant.

When properly integrated, sales data from the POS system automatically updates the inventory records, providing real-time information on items sold and consumed.

This integration not only prevents discrepancies between sales and inventory data but also helps in identifying theft, pilferage, or discrepancies in the restaurant’s accounts.



Get the Right System For You


Automated inventory management is a powerful tool that can revolutionize the way restaurants handle their inventory. By eliminating manual processes, reducing errors, and providing real-time visibility into stock levels, these systems enhance overall efficiency, reduce costs, and improve customer satisfaction.

With an effective automated inventory management system in place, restaurants can focus more on delighting their customers with exceptional dining experiences while ensuring seamless behind-the-scenes operations.

But which system should you choose? Well, at Truffle, we’re passionate about helping your food business run as smoothly as possible. Efficiency runs at the core of everything we do, and our systems have been carefully crafted so that you can get the most out of them.

Book a demo with Truffle today to see how we can help transform your restaurant.