It’s easy to see how good restaurant technology can help reduce inventory waste and improve sales. But did you know that the right inventory software program can also help reduce labor costs? From providing the data needed for hiring staff across multiple locations to predicting daily rushes, accurate inventory data helps ensure that you’ll never find yourself unhappily over-staffed or frantically understaffed again.
First, inventory software saves time, and allows employees to better utilize that time assisting customers, maintaining the restaurant, or prepping for daily rushes. Instead of sending employees to the back of house to count inventory and fill out reports, good inventory software can automatically help staff track inventory, send alert messages for low stock, and even make automated purchases. As a result, you might discover that a new hire is not needed after all and that your current employees can better utilize their time while on shift.
Additionally, when connected to an existing POS system, inventory software can provide up-to-the-minute data and reporting that is both highly accurate and easy to understand. This software can help identify long-term trends and assist managers in determining the number of needed staff based on both time of day and location.
For example, if your restaurant inventory data notes that the food used for a particular weekend special is almost at full stock on Friday morning but nearly depleted by Saturday night, a manager can use that data to schedule an additional server for Friday evening, but monitor the data to see if the same pattern occurs on Saturday night before scheduling an additional server on both days. Knowing exactly when you need extra staff and when to rely on a skeleton crew can significantly reduce your cost of labor.
Manage Across Locations
Understanding restaurant inventory can also help reduce labor costs across multiple locations, since you can sync the same software for each franchise and therefore track which sites experience the busiest meal-time rushes or which spots require less inventory. Beyond just knowing how many employees you need in-house, knowing your restaurant inventory can also reduce costs outside your restaurant as well, since you’ll know where you can reduce a bi-monthly delivery to a monthly charge, or where to transfer a potentially redundant server or back-of-house staff.
Lastly, well-designed software and a well-managed restaurant inventory system reduces labor costs by helping retain your best employees. An employee consistently frustrated by slow or out-of-date software and continually stressed by the negative customer interactions that occur each time a popular menu item runs out is less likely to stay with your business than an employee working within a functioning environment. Restaurant work is high energy and already experiences high turnover, so don’t push good employees away with poor inventory management practices.
Want to know the characteristics of good inventory software? The best systems will flawlessly sync with your existing POS system, provide real-time tracking of all items, monitor and alert managers of low-stock inventory, and help organize data and reporting for multiple locations. With all labor saved by the right software, it’s no wonder that restaurants utilizing the latest in restaurant technology reduce their labor costs and improve their profit margins— good inventory software can be the most reliable employee on your team!