How to Choose the Right Inventory Management Software for Your Restaurant

So you’ve decided to ditch the pen and paper piles, or the DIY Excel spreadsheet, and upgrade your restaurant inventory management to the digital age.

Congrats! This is a wise investment that could save your business thousands of dollars every year.

Choosing from the myriad of software options out there today is your next big decision. There are lots of companies offering inventory management programs for restaurant owners – but not all software products are created equally.

If you’re running a bar or lounge, you’ll have different needs than a hotel chain or casino. Or if you’ve recently opened a new catering business, you won’t need all the same software features as a franchise restaurant. Yet establishments of all shapes and sizes do need accurate analysis of their costs and sales, and software that can grow with their business.

So how do you know which software is best for the hospitality industry, and best for your specific business needs? Start with our checklist of the basic features any software worth its salt needs to have for effective food and beverage inventory management.

Choose software designed with restaurants in mind

A good software company will know the hospitality industry inside and out, from front-of-house operations straight through to the kitchen and the inside of inventory storerooms.

This means the features of any product you choose should reflect the developer’s knowledge of what is required to run a successful, profitable restaurant or bar. And a reputable software company will offer a product line for establishments of all sizes, from small or stand-alone restaurants to large chain enterprises – and all the other hospitality business models in between.

Optimum Control for example, was founded by former restaurant owner Jeff Hands – and our software has remained true to these roots for more than 20 years. Our successful design and development continues to be driven by feedback from the restaurant operations level and every product goes through extensive true-operations testing prior to full release.

Just like there shouldn’t be any guesswork in managing your restaurant inventory, you should never have to wonder if your inventory software was built with the hospitality industry in mind.

Invest in a complete inventory management solution

The software product you choose should have everything you need to effectively manage your inventory so you can make more money – without being a one-size-fits-all approach.

Managing your inventory involves knowing precisely what you have, what you paid for it, where it is and when you sold it. So any good inventory management software will include all the basic features, all in one place, such as inventory counting, recipe costing, storing recipes and detailed prep instructions, calculating optimal selling prices, and streamlined purchasing and ordering.

Moreover, every product line offered by the software company you choose should have all the basic features for inventory management, while still meeting the needs of your specific business.

For example, Optimum Control has different software solutions for restaurants vs. bars, one for casinos, hotels and golf courses, and one just for multi-unit chains. We’ve also developed several add-on solutions to meet our customer’s evolving needs, from apps for Apple mobile users to on-the-go barcoding capabilities to comprehensive labour management tools.

In a nutshell, you don’t have to settle for anything less than a complete, all-in-one software solution that puts comprehensive inventory control at your fingertips, where and how you need it.

Look for restaurant software solutions with flexibility and power

As we’ve noted, the best restaurant inventory management software programs on the market are complete solutions for your entire business. Your new software should have everything you need to run and manage your inventory while growing your profits. But, your software should also be able to grow with your business.

So if you decide to open a food truck or catering service this summer, in addition to your current restaurant or bar, your software should be able to help you do that. Or if you want to expand to a franchise, or add another chain to your hotel, your software should be able to give you operational visibility across your growing hierarchy. Plus, any software you buy should integrate with your existing POS, accounting and supplier systems, giving you power and flexibility all in one central place.

All Optimum Control software products feature compatible, consistent and user-friendly design and development. Whichever product you choose, you’ll get more than 70 report types to choose from, so you can analyze every aspect of your sales and costs with confidence and ease. Our complete management solutions for chains and franchisees give you all our great inventory management features plus extra benefits like centralized web-based functionality and store-level reporting.

The best software companies are continually updating and re-visioning their products to grow with the industry and their clients – we make sure the software you choose can do all the heavy lifting in your inventory management, now and in the future.

Try a free restaurant software demo before you buy

In today’s world, there’s no need for overcomplicated design or programming. Good restaurant inventory management software is simple and straightforward so everyone in your business can use it.

User-friendly software and apps mean faster training and more successful implementation so you can spend less time checking your manuals and more time making more money.

If a software company claims its products are easy to use, sign up for a free, no-commitment demo to see firsthand how it works. Make sure your wait staff, line cooks and managers can all use it to streamline their workflow and connect your whole team.

Optimum Control software is developed using the expertise of restaurant and bar owners, making it one of the most comprehensive yet easy-to-use systems available today. We integrate powerful features and benefits into each product, so you can track your inventory with ease in almost every application. Our user-friendly design is tested in real-world operational settings to ensure your entire team can learn and use our software with minimal IT training and computer experience. If you know the food industry, you know Optimum Control.

Plus, we offer dedicated support to all our customers. Based in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Optimum Control’s friendly and knowledgeable staff are always just an email or phone call away.

Put your trust in a credible company with good products and happy customers

Experience and knowledge set a good software company apart. Look for a company that’s been in both the hospitality and software development businesses for a while – and one whose products are being used by other similar, reputable clients. Website testimonials from happy customers are a great indication of how well you can trust a company to work well for you.

For example, Optimum Control is produced and designed by TracRite Software Inc. We’ve been in business for more than 20 years, and our software is used extensively by hundreds of food and beverage providers in North America and in more than 45 different countries around the world.

Ready to pick a product and boost your business, profits and productivity? Our expert team of design, sales and support staff are dedicated to connecting you with the best solution to meet all your business and inventory management needs so you can make more money now.

Connect with us today and take control of your inventory and profits with Optimum Control!