Accurate inventory is essential for managing your stock and reducing waste. When you know what’s on your stockroom shelves, you can run your restaurant more efficiently and effectively.
This is where a reliable restaurant inventory system comes in handy.
Using inventory software can help you keep track of your stock and provide you with detailed reports that analyze your daily and weekly costs. Software apps also put you in control so that you can minimize human error and reduce the time needed to do manual inventory.
Here’s what you need to know when choosing an inventory software tool and the best options for restaurants in 2021.
What is Restaurant Inventory Software?
Designed specifically for the industry, restaurant inventory software makes it easy and fast for you to keep track of the items you have in stock, as well as gain insights through automatic reports. This way, you can accurately predict how much stock you need (helping you grow sales) and reduce your costs by fixing operational issues.
Among others, restaurant inventory software typically comes with the following features:
- Real-time updates of stock levels as you sell more items.
- Automatic inventory invoicing and ordering.
- Vendor information stored in one location for ease of use.
- Automatic reports.
- Access to historical data like usage and variance.
- Integration with your POS system.
These features lead to significant advantages compared to doing inventory manually or using spreadsheets.
Do You Need an Inventory Software Tool?
Taking inventory is often tedious and time-consuming. This is why it’s sometimes neglected, done sporadically, and prone to errors.
Inventory software is built to turn this around.
In other words, it can make it faster, more accurate, and less tedious to take inventory so it actually gets done as planned. This is likely the biggest advantage of automating your inventory management.
Other benefits of restaurant inventory software include:
- Reduce costs in case you’re outsourcing inventory management.
- Gain business insights from the automatic reports.
- Spend more time with customers and training employees due to taking faster inventory.
As you can see, keeping track of your inventory doesn’t have to be that hard. Using inventory software makes the process both easier and more enjoyable.
The Best Restaurant Inventory Software In 2021
Ready to start running your restaurant more efficiently? Here are the 7 best software tools to manage your inventory in 2021:
Glimpse Inventory is an easy and free way to manage inventory in your restaurant. The app lets you quickly count items, generate reports, and create purchase orders for items that are low in stock. When you use Glimpse, you eliminate the complexity of taking inventory so you can free up your valuable time.
Setup is easy – just choose items from the available database of products or import your inventory from an existing spreadsheet. You can add your vendors to the app and place orders so that your top-selling items are always on the menu.
Pricing: Glimpse Inventory is free. This software is supported by Glimpse’s core video auditing product.
Available on multiple platforms, MarketMan can be used on a Mac or a PC as well on Android or Apple devices. It comes with all the basic functionality you need, without any bloat, which makes it easy for restaurant owners and managers to use.
MarketMan lets you take stock simply by entering the quantity into the app or scanning in barcodes. You can set a minimum level and be notified when an item is running low and it’s time to restock.
Pricing: MarketMan has a flexible price plan to fit into your budget, with 24/7 support included in the subscription plan:
Professional: Monthly cost of $149 / month per location. This includes POS integration, purchase orders, inventory management and costing, invoice scanning, and alerts when stock is low. The yearly cost is $1,499 / year per location. This subscription lets you save 15%.
Ultimate: Monthly cost of $299 / month per location. Includes additional features to the professional plan, such as the ability to autopilot A/P and inventory, vendor integration, and 300 invoices per month. The yearly cost is $2,999 / year per location.
Ideal for multi-location restaurants, the basic features of Toast let you easily know what you have in stock and when you’re running low. The shelf layout feature can be customized to your own kitchen setup, making it even easier to plan your budget and menu.
Toast also has a few extra tools that can help you break even and manage your bottom line, such as linking retail and wholesale prices to items. Another benefit of Toast is a series of evaluation reports to help you analyze your cost and profit margins. These accurate real-time reports can help you decide which menu items are your best sellers and which items can be removed.
Pricing: Toast Inventory comes at $75 per month, in addition to any other products you use by the company.
Another cloud-based inventory software tool, Upserve lets you keep track of your menu items easily with just one click. You’ll be able to control your food costs, reduce waste, and order online. With its simple and easy-to-use functionality, Upserve helps you manage your daily inventory so you never run out of those top-selling items on your menu.
Other inventory features include recipe cost calculations, real-time inventory alerts, and barcode scanning.
Pricing: Choose from three Upserve subscription plans based on your budget and the features you need for your restaurant inventory management:
Core plan at $59 / month. This plan includes basic inventory functionality.
Pro plan at $199 / month. Their most popular plan – includes advanced inventory tracking, low stock alerts, vendor management, and recipe costing.
Pro plus at $359 / month. All the functions of the pro plan with additional features such as custom reporting and personalized account management.
An easy-to-use POS, Lavu also provides restaurants with an inventory management system that can be accessed online. You’ll be able to customize the software to your own personal preferences. Based on your sales, this software tool provides you with inventory updates and the real-time value of what you have in stock.
Lavu also helps you manage your vendors and create purchase orders when inventory is low. The menu costing and management feature lets you keep track of the precise costs of inventory items so you can better control your menu prices.
Pricing: Lavu offers plans for both small and multi-location restaurants:
Single terminal at $69 / month. Includes basic features for inventory management, real-time reporting, and 24/7 customer support.
Multiple terminals – contact Lavu for a price quote.
Enterprise plan – contact Lavu for a price quote.
TouchBistro lets you customize your inventory management system based on your menu items. You’ll get detailed real-time reports that let you know when ingredients are running low. The purchase ordering feature lets you accurately order online at retail or wholesale prices.
Another feature of TouchBistro is their Menu Engineer. This tool will help you analyze menu profit margins so you can keep top-selling items on your menu and remove those that don’t sell.
Pricing: TouchBistro starts from $69 / month for their POS software and inventory management comes included.
Budget-friendly for smaller restaurants, Loyverse is a cloud-based POS system that’s very simple to use. You can track your inventory in real-time so that you never run out of stock. Low stock alerts let you keep levels at their optimum with the added function of transferring inventory between your restaurants.
Other features of Loyverse include sending purchase orders to your suppliers and printing out barcode labels.
Pricing: Inventory management starting at $25 / month. This basic plan includes inventory tracking, evaluation reports, and lets you create purchase orders. Contact Loyverse for multi-location restaurants.
In the highly competitive restaurant industry, inventory is key to staying on top. Restaurant inventory software is the smart way to simplify your business operations, save on food costs, and keep food waste to a minimum.
The apps on this list can help you manage your inventory using software tools that make the process fast and easy. Not only will you be able to keep an accurate count of all items in stock, you’ll stay organized and in control of your menu so you can increase your profits.