Restaurant managers have a lot to do in their line of work. The dishwashers and waitstaff might think that all managers do is sit in their office most of the day except to come out and yell at people or have customers yell at them. While it’s true that managing people is a huge part of restaurant management, be it handling people paying to eat there or people you pay to work there, it’s also true that your restaurant has to pay for the food that is used in preparing the meals that you sell customers and put on your menu.
After payroll, food costs are often the second largest expense column in a restaurant’s budget, so doing anything and everything you can to manage and minimize your expenses is something that you should do. So, exploring food cost software is worth your time and attention if you haven’t taken this step as of yet.
Food cost software comes in various forms and each program has its own specific functions and benefits, but all the options should help you manage your food costs. As you track your food use and inventory, you should be able to maintain adequate supplies of the foods you need to keep on hand. That way, you never lose revenue from running out of something that you need for a popular dish, nor should you waste money on a rush order for something that you run out of and have overnighted or bought locally at retail costs. In fact, the best food cost software balances keeping your existing foods fresh with your supply room and storage limitations so that you don’t lose money from food going bad or turning stale and becoming unusable.
Food cost software with Internet connections can look over all the options for ordering supplies and even hook up to databases of costs and prices to find you the cheapest possible options for ordering not just food but any other regularly consumed restaurant supplies, ranging from gloves and aprons to napkins and paper products or to-go containers.
On top of finding the best-possible prices per individual unit, food cost software can also help you arrange bulk orders for volume discounts. You can even learn to manipulate your shipping so that it’s staggered based on what’s right for the item in question. You might find to-go containers on sale at one outfit and place a bulk order but have them shipped ground so the shipping handling is cheap. If you have plenty in stock, you don’t need them right away. On the other hand, something fresh like fruit or seafood might be something you want to be sent immediately so that it’s still in prime condition for your cooks and staff to make great dishes for your patrons.
Food cost software can be bought as a one-time purchase that you install on a computer, but some are more cloud-based apps these days that require a monthly subscription to stay up to date with the databases they need to serve you. Considering the potential savings, it’s worth a try.