Money on the Shelf

Technology, The Kitchen, and You

Let’s start with a cross-comparison. It wasn’t too long ago that accountants stored their finances and data on massive spreadsheets that they would fill out by hand, which took hours and hours. It was a paper and pencil practice. As we all know, that isn’t the case today. There are endless amounts of automation solutions that ensure accountants never have to do that “pause and shake out the hand” maneuver that comes inherently with hours of writing. Now, for chefs, these kinds of tech efficiencies are just as available, yet the industry remains rooted in paper and pencil practices. Why is that?

Some chalk it up to the stubborn nature of a chef. To be fair, chefs are often touted as some of the busiest people in the world. Hell, if we weren’t preconfigured to breathe, I’m sure chefs wouldn’t be able to squeeze it into their schedules. They don’t have time to throw another device, system, platform, or tech tool into their already crowded juggling routine. Yet, that’s not always the case. More and more we’re seeing chefs pivot strategies to incorporate tech solutions into their kitchens. It’s not an easy feat, but there’s only one way to win a chef’s heart. You have to keep your promises.

Let’s dive into just one of those solutions that’s working its way into the hands of chefs.

Inventory Management

Let’s paint a well-known picture for almost every chef who walks through this scenario on the regular. It’s late. You’re tired. You’ve been on your feet for what seems days (probably because it actually has been days), and you’re making your final rounds around the kitchen. Just one thing left to do; take inventory. This is the part where you whip out that clipboard and inventory sheet and walk around your kitchen, manually counting stock and figuring out your on-hand levels. Then you take that sheet back to your computer, compare it to your par levels, add it all up and fire it off to your supplier via late night phone call, voicemail, email, or fax.

You deserve better. Modern inventory management systems, like BlueCart, allow chefs to slice that process down to minutes. Let’s compare scenarios. It’s late. You’re making your rounds, taking your inventory. But there’s no clipboard. No inventory sheet. There isn’t even a spreadsheet. Just a chef and his/her phone. Rather than counting and comparing on-hand and par levels, you’re just entering current on-hand levels into your inventory management system. Meanwhile that system is doing all the heavy lifting. It’s comparing your levels for you. Are your on-hand levels lower than your par? It’s automatically submitting an order from your supplier to bring you back up to your comfortable on-hand level. Magic!

Food and beverage costs usually run up 25-40% of a restaurant’s total cost. Labor is the only other cost that rivals food and beverage, meaning these are the two categories that require an especially watchful eye. Aside from saving chefs a tremendous amount of time, immense value lies in a proper inventory management strategy’s ability to get the most out of your capital. A wonderful byproduct of these systems is it’s ability to reduce food waste, another reason chefs lose sleep at night.

Simply put, inventory is just money sitting on your shelf. A robust inventory management system allows chef to unlock a greater portion of those shelves. This means fresher ingredients coming and going as your inventory gets more and more efficient, increased customer satisfaction, and decreased COGS. If you want to run a leaner kitchen while increasing efficiency, productivity, and profit, then deploying an inventory management tool in your restaurant is a terrific place to start.

If you have questions about inventory management for your restaurant or would like to learn more about BlueCart, please visit our website where we also have convenient online chat. If you're ready to join the BlueCart family, please head to the front of the line!