Should Your Restaurant Take Inventory?

Libby Peck More Posts
Libby Peck
9 mins ago
Should Your Restaurant Take Inventory?

Every hospitality vet knows that taking inventory sucks. It’s time-consuming to write down the numbers of every single item in the walk-in by jotting notes on a printout, then transferring the notes to an Excel spreadsheet or directly into an old-school inventory management system.

Taking inventory in this way just doesn’t work, even though it’s necessary to track what’s left at the restaurant to look for theft and to manage Cost of Goods Sold (COGS). But if a restaurant does inventory to track potential fraud, it would be much cheaper to install cameras than to pay for the labor for manual inventory management!

And when you stop to think about it, it’s kind of a fruitless exercise to spend the time on taking inventory if the purpose is to calculate COGS. Manual data entry is prone to errors—and there are likely to be many, many more of them when inventory is taken at the end of a shift and staff is exhausted from a long day. Plus, manual inventory tracking doesn’t account for ingredient price fluctuations that can happen every week, or even every day. You simply cannot manage COGS without accurate data.

So stop taking inventory the old way! xtraCHEF has a much better solution for restaurants: Inventory Management.

inventory of oranges

Invoice automation means automatically accurate inventory

xtraCHEF’s AP Management feature, which digitizes paper invoices and automatically applies General Ledger codes, eliminates a lot of data entry and paper pushing for our customers. But the beauty of automation doesn’t stop there.

All of the data gathered from those incoming invoices is also sent to our Inventory Management feature, which allows operators to see their on-hand inventory values based on actual purchase prices!

It’s not a calculation made from a purchase price at one point in time; it’s dynamic, keeping your inventory as accurate as possible while maintaining realistic COGS and financial reporting. Plus, with the human element removed, you don’t have to worry about errors; our AI for data extraction is known as some of the best in restaurant tech.

Some restaurants may use one tech solution for invoice automation, and another for managing inventory. But why manage an additional platform only to revert back to manual data entry, ensuring invoice data is properly entered into an inventory management system? xtraCHEF allows you to do both on one platform!

taking inventory

Make inventory management easy—and maybe even fun—for your team

Does fun inventory management sound like a stretch? Don’t take our word for it: Cassidy Womack, Director of Operations for our customer Sidewall Pizza Company, says that Inventory Management with xtraCHEF is “so straightforward, it’s almost like a game. What do you see? Enter it. That’s it. There’s no guesswork involved.”

The Inventory Management feature has an intuitive user interface that’s easy for anyone on a restaurant’s staff to navigate. Set up is simple, and little manual intervention is needed to maintain the software over time. You’ll configure the feature exactly as you need it: select the frequency, time of day, and member(s) of your team to take inventory, and our software will prompt the counts from there.

xtraCHEF can be used on any desktop, but more important for managing inventory is our mobile functionality! We have apps for both Apple and Android devices, so inventory can be taken easily even deep inside the walk-in. Don’t get WiFi back there? Don’t worry; what’s captured on the app will be synced once internet access is available again.

Building count sheets is super easy, too. With xtraCHEF, a product catalogue is created out of digitized invoices, so every item you’ve ever purchased along with its real-time and historical pricing is already available. Just drag and drop products into a count sheet built into our platform, and you’re ready to go!

Have new menu items that are requiring new products in your inventory? All you have to do is pull the new products into your existing count sheets, and they’ll be automatically updated—there’s no need to build something from scratch.

wine inventory

Always have your inventory values up to “par”

Using Inventory Management through xtraCHEF not only tracks your COGS in real time, but it also sets you up for future success. When you use the feature for the first time, you’ll set your desired par levels, or the minimum amount of food you need in house every day after receiving deliveries. Then, you’ll take inventory for the first time.

The inventory counts will generate an order guide that’s based on what’s on hand, and what’s needed to maintain par for the next day. Our Purchasing & Order Management feature then allows you to send orders directly to the vendor and vendor representatives of your choice!

Keep track of when your order was received, where it is in transit, and when other orders were placed. You can even choose to schedule recurring orders based on standard par levels, saving your team time from building the same order sheets over and over again.

produce inventory

It’s time to take inventory with a purpose

xtraCHEF eliminates the people and process problems surrounding the practice of inventory management. Our platform helps you take inventory consistently, with automatically accurate values based on actual invoices, for quick and correct visibility into COGS.

So say goodbye and good riddance to the old way of doing inventory. When you’re ready for a better method of inventory management, request a demo of xtraCHEF! We can’t wait to help you implement operational solutions that work the way you need them to.

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