The hidden benefits of inventory-management software

foodservice employee reviewing food and drink inventory

By Eric Alister

You might have the best cheeseburger in town, but how are you doing on the less savoury side of the business? Good inventory management can help you save time, reduce food waste and prime costs, increase profit and improve overall productivity. That’s why, in this month’s technology section, we’re exploring asset-management software options and talking with experts in the field so you don’t have to.

Why Keep Track? 

Did you know that each year, we waste one billion tons of food, globally? According to Abby Jenkins, Product Marketing manager at NetSuite, “up to 10 per cent of food purchased by restaurants is wasted before it even reaches the consumer. Restaurants buy too much food at a time, so it ends up spoiling before being served to customers. Food inventory management can minimize that loss.” 

Common causes of food waste in the restaurant business include spoilage, over ordering, overproduction and staff errors. So how does inventory-management software play into all of this?

Food Waste

Inventory-management software helps restaurants know more accurately how much stock to order and when to order it. You might be accomplishing this with spreadsheets and manual counting, but there will come a time when this practice simply fails to scale. Restaurant inventory-management software tracks the lifecycle of your inventory in real time as food comes in from suppliers, makes its way into your storage and is ultimately used, lost or left over. Tracking the lifecycle of your inventory helps pinpoint where supplies are being lost or wasted so that you can address the root causes and save on costs.


A huge bonus of using an inventory-management software solution is its integration with your POS system. This holistic approach enables you to see detailed sales and labour data in the same place you view your inventory data, allowing you to save time and increase accuracy when determining how much food to order. Tracking your sell-through rate regularly will allow you to be much more precise with your ordering quantity.

Loss Prevention

It goes without saying that inventory management allows you to audit lost or stolen goods, but good inventory-management software saves you ample time and headaches associated with manually tracking items. It gives you the ability track with granularity where small items such as your cutlery, condiments, napkins and employee uniforms are going. If you’re not already doing this, it’s time to start tracking every item in your restaurant and cut your losses.


With an integrated inventory-management solution, you can create and effectively implement digital checklists and optimized workflows, saving you a ton of time that is otherwise spent on managing tasks and monitoring Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs). Let your inventory management software assign tasks, track who is doing what, and help you generate employee schedules so you can focus on the restaurant experience. 

Make Informed Decisions

By collecting meaningful data, centralizing it and integrating it across your operation, you have a broader view of your business needs and can therefore make much more informed decisions. And perhaps even more importantly, access to real-time data allows for real-time decisions, because in the restaurant business, owners and managers need to be able to react to changing daily demands with great agility.

Notch and Restaurant365, both, offer training in the forms of documentation, live online sessions and in-person sessions, but Restaurant365 has the added bonus of also offering webinars. Both companies offer telephone and online technical support.

Finally, if you have a penchant for supporting local companies, you may be interested to know that Notch is a Canadian company.

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