Any restaurant, small or large, independent or chain, will benefit by engaging in good inventory control. Most operators can reduce their cost of goods sold as a percentage of sales by at least 1 to 2 percent per location simply by practicing good inventory control.
For this discussion, good inventory control means tracking purchases, monitoring cost changes, and counting inventory on-hand at the end of each period. It also includes tracking transfers if you operate multiple locations that transfer inventory between locations.
Inventory control used to require a reasonably large commitment of time and effort. But a modern system like COGS-Well makes inventory control easy. With COGS-Well, the added effort is minimal, and the reward is normally substantial.
Track Inventory Purchases:
Tracking purchases will continually inform you about what inventory items you are buying, in what quantities, from which vendors, and at what costs. COGS-Well will import this information, including the inventory item detail, via scanned invoice images. No manual entry is required.
Inventory purchase history will help you make informed decisions. You will know the total quantity and cost of your purchases for any item, even if you buy the item from more than one vendor. You can also filter your purchases to see what items you spend the most on or buy in the largest quantities.
Finally, tracking purchases provides cost alerts and cost trend analysis. You will receive alerts for items with cost changes greater than your desired trigger percentage. You can also monitor the cost trends for an item over a selected date range. Cost alerts and trends will help you make better purchasing and menu planning decisions.
Count and Value Inventory On-Hand:
If you are not taking regular inventory counts, then you do not know your actual inventory usage or cost of goods sold. This is because purchases alone do not account for the inventory or recipes still in stock at the end of a period.
Counting inventory regularly not only ensures accurate usage and cost of goods sold calculations. It also discourages theft, over-portioning, and excessive waste. Your staff is aware you are counting and excessive usage of an item will be more obvious to you.
If you are already counting inventory, but not using a system like COGS-Well, then using a spreadsheet will result in inaccurate counts and valuations. This is because you may buy new items that were not added to your spreadsheet. Or, the packaging or cost of items change, and the changes do not make it to your spreadsheet. Finally, maintaining a spreadsheet requires a lot of time and effort that isn't necessary if you use COGS-Well.
If you operate restaurants that transfer items from one location to another, or a commissary or central kitchen that transfers to your restaurants, then using a system like COGS-Well to track transfers will increase efficiency and simplify accounting.
Transfer requests make it easy for a restaurant to request items from another restaurant or commissary. Requests also provide a picking ticket for the location that will fulfill the request. A request can also be compared to what was fulfilled. Finally, the adjustments to your cost of goods sold and item usage for each location will be readily available for accounting.
It is not necessary to rely on instinct or to assume you know all you need to know about inventory control because you spend a lot of time in the restaurant(s). Inventory control does not require added staff members either. And independent operators will benefit just as much as chain operators from inventory control.
If you want to get started doing inventory control, COGS-Well will set up your inventory database for you - usually in just a few days. GOGS-Well will also maintain your inventory database for you. All you need to do is ask your managers to scan food and beverage vendor invoices and to count inventory on hand periodically.
For a very small cost and resource requirement, you can make better purchase decisions, add insight for menu planning, obtain accurate inventory usage and cost of goods sold reporting, and add a deterrent to theft, excessive waste, and over-portioning. Now is the time to enjoy the benefit of increased control.