Today, we announced that xtraCHEF has reinvented restaurant inventory management software. To read the full press release, click here.

I wanted to share some thoughts on why we built a restaurant inventory management product and how our offering is different than any other product available in the market today.

Why Build Another Restaurant Inventory Management Solution?

As you all know, there are many moving parts to operating a restaurant.

Deliveries are constantly coming in the door. Orders are going out the door. Shifts are changing. Supplies are filling up, running out, getting ordered, transferred, 86’ed, etc.. Prices of ingredients fluctuate. Food goes bad and mysteriously walks out the back door.

All of these factors make it really challenging to accurately manage inventory in restaurants. What makes this critical task even more challenging is that most restaurant inventory management systems available in the marketplace today are not suited to accommodate the modern restaurant operator.

We’ve often heard from existing customers and prospects who had tried other solutions that they needed a better option.

So, we built a better option.

If you’re using a tool like xtraCHEF’s Restaurant AP Management solution to digitize, itemize and categorize line-item invoice details to fuel another inventory management system, that’s a good start. But, it’s still not ideal.

Why? Consider this scenario.

Any time you purchase a new item or your vendor mistypes an item description on an invoice, those details are being flagged in your restaurant’s inventory management system and creating more manual work for your team to complete. This ends up creating data bottlenecks and productivity roadblocks that you originally intended to resolve.

By keeping your inventory management data within the same tool that you’re using to automate AP processing, you’re minimizing any margin for error and ensuring that critical details like pack size, catch weight, and units of measurement are as accurate as when you first set your system up.

What Makes xtraCHEF’s Restaurant Inventory Management Software Different?

Here are just a few reasons why our solution is a better option than anything else in the market today:

1. Super Simple to Set Up

When you digitize your invoice data using xtraCHEF, you’re building out a product catalogue for any item that you’ve ever purchased along with real-time and historical pricing. All of your products are readily available at your fingertips in xtraCHEF. All you have to do is drag and drop new items into a product group or onto a count sheet, and you’re done.

xtraCHEF’s quick, simple set-up with minimal manual maintenance over time is where we shine.

2. Automatically Updated Inventory Values based on Last Purchase Price

Many existing restaurant inventory management systems aren’t accurate because the purchase price data is as stale as the bread that you just turned into croutons. This could mean a bunch of manual data entry—or worse, inaccurate P&Ls for restaurant food costs.

We’ve built the power of our invoice digitization and data extraction technology into our Inventory Management feature. What this means is that when customers scan, upload, email, or send EDI invoice data to xtraCHEF, we update the on-hand inventory value to reflect a configurable algorithm of last purchase price.

3. A User Experience that Operators will Love

When we announced xtraCHEF’s Series A round of fundraising last month, I noted that we would be investing some of the resources into providing better user experiences for restaurant operators. This is our first fulfillment of that promise.

Our customers will be able to use our Inventory Management product on any desktop or mobile device. They can use the app even while disconnected from the internet. Once they reconnect to WiFi, we’ll sync up the data.

Recently purchased a new product? Simply drag and drop the new product into a product group, and you’re done. No need to create new count sheets. Your existing count sheets will be automatically updated.

More importantly, we’ve built a user interface that is intuitive, easy to set-up, easy to navigate, and a pleasure to use. Our Product team really knocked this one out of the park.

4. Integrations to Purchasing and Order Management 

Once you’ve set your par levels in xtraCHEF and have taken inventory for those items, we will automatically create an Order Guide that reflects the difference between what you currently have in stock and what you should have in stock.

In just a few clicks in our Purchasing and Order Management module, you can send the order out to your vendor representatives and get your inventory back up to par.

At the 2019 National Restaurant Association Show this past May, I had the opportunity to sit down with Editor, Cherryh Cansler, to talk more about our latest product release featuring restaurant Inventory Management.

If you’d like to learn more about how we can reinvent your restaurant inventory management, or if you want to see a demo of the software in action, let us know here.