Small space? Use inventory management apps to reduce what you need to keep in stock

September 19, 2017

This is a guest post by the team at SimpleOrder.

With the continuously growing food truck movement, pop ups and alternative restaurants, it seems that restaurant space is getting smaller and smaller. This is part of a broader trend towards micro-sizing (like the tiny house craze): people are reducing their carbon footprint by utilizing less space. This is great news for the environment, but for businesses, can make it difficult to coordinate inventory.

In a small space, where every inch counts, it can be difficult to assess how much and exactly what inventory you need to keep on hand at all times. No chef, for example, wants to run out of essential ingredients and lose potential sales. Thus, it becomes necessary to manage inventory more carefully and consistently. The good news is that with the right tools, managing your inventory with care is within reach.

With the proper inventory management tools and a great POS system, you can constantly evaluate your inventory and sales assess whether they are in tandem. These two systems should work together to constantly tracking your sales, purchases, and inventory levels so they provide your restaurant with crucial analytics. This streamlines the reconciliation you need to do manually, and provides you with the exact numbers you need so that you can track and monitor your business.

By tracking your inventory levels in real time, you’ll also measure your costs of goods sold (COGS), essentially telling you the value of your stock. Take this number and divide it by two to get your inventory turnover ratio, a number that measures how many times you sold your total average inventory during the period your COGS was calculated.

If your inventory turnover ratio is high, this usually indicates that you are buying and selling your inventory consistently, but if the number is high and your POS reports show low sales, it will indicate that your inventory levels are too low.

Doing this crucial calculation is just one reason that having the proper tools to track your sales, purchases, and inventory will indicate trends that are important. You’ll know exactly what items you are selling most of, what ingredients are essential, and how often you need to order. Armed with this information, you won’t have to use your already limited space to stock up on items you can easily order. (And as a bonus, you can use a back-of-house ordering app to replenish inventory with one click when levels are running low.) When you have a smaller space, you have to work smarter. Implementing the right inventory management platform and POS system will help you do just that.

SimpleOrder is a world-leading online inventory and purchasing platform, optimizing restaurant back-of-house operations, from the purchase order to the point-of-sale, for more than 1,500 locations in 14 countries. Integrated with a Clover POS, SimpleOrder Automatic Inventory reduces inventory levels for each dish restaurants sell and streamlines stock replenishment in real-time.

[image: Food Trucks Around Town by CityofStPete on flickr]

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