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As IT Support Manager at StockTake Online, Ayushi Saxena brings eight years of rich experience in the Hospitality and IT sector. Her profound commitment to continuous learning and adaptability plays a pivotal role not only in enhancing technical trends but also in problem-solving capabilities, leadership skills, and people management. Her expertise spans System Implementation, Hospitality Analytical Data Study, Customer-Centric Approach, User Education and Comprehensive Training. All crucial components within the dynamic realm of support management. 

Ayushi Saxena embodies the spirit of growth and resilience, contributing significantly to StockTake Online's success. She has notably increased staff support's product knowledge while simultaneously enhancing troubleshooting skills. Her dedication is evident through designing and implementing training programs for the team. 


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StockTake Online is a stock control software that enables suppliers and operators to collaborate. It is the perfect sales, inventory, and accounting software for restaurants. It helps businesses manage their full-service restaurant catalogues, prices, and delivery services, accounting for food trucks, and bakeries accompanied by other small businesses with the goal to help them save money. StockTake Online’s vision is to help multi-unit operators and independent restaurants maximise their profits.

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How to Leverage Data Analytics in Restaurant Inventory Management

Jun 20, 2024 7:10:05 AM / by Team STO

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Running a restaurant involves managing many things, like making a good menu that sells and taking care of customers' needs. Among these tasks, having an effective way to handle stock is very important for success. Think about cooking a tasty meal without knowing what ingredients are available. Chaos, yes? This is where data analytics helps. With the use of data analytics in managing restaurant inventory, you can make operations smoother, decrease expenses, lessen waste and enhance efficiency greatly. But how exactly can you get this to work for you? Let us dive in.

 

Table of Contents

 

 

 

Understanding Data Analytics

Definition and Significance

Data analytics is the process of studying raw data to understand important information. In the restaurant business, this means looking at sales figures, stock amounts and how well suppliers are doing for making decisions based on insights. Picture data analytics like a knife for chefs - it is needed, can do many things and is very powerful, but you have to use it right.

Types of Data to Collect

To begin, you need to gather the right data. Key data types include: 

  • Sales Data: What dishes are flying off the shelves? What’s gathering dust?
  • Inventory Levels: How much stock do you have? What’s nearing expiration?
  • Supplier Performance: Are your suppliers reliable? Do they deliver on time? 

Collecting this data forms the foundation of your analytics efforts as this sets up the base for your supplies.

 

 

Setting Up Data Collection Systems

Tools and Software for Data Collection

There are many tools and programs available to gather and organise data. Here are a few examples: 

Point of Sale (POS) Systems: Tools which record sales and have the capability to monitor inventory concurrently.

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Inventory Management Software: This helps monitor stock levels, manage orders, generate reports and track waste.

 

Integrating POS Systems with Inventory Management Software

Linking your inventory management software to a POS is very important. When your POS system and inventory management software are connected well, you can do automatic data entry that lessens the possibility of mistakes from manual work. This connection keeps the amount of products in stock accurate which shows genuine sales instantly.

Automating Data Entry

Writing everything manually could cause errors and it takes time. Automating this makes it simpler, while making sure there is accuracy in data entry, and allows your team to concentrate on significant duties such as attending to customers.

 

 

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Key Metrics to Monitor 

To effectively analyse inventory data, focus on key metrics such as: 

  • Turnover Rates: How quickly are items moving in and out of your inventory?
  • Stock Levels: Are you overstocked or understocked?
  • Order Accuracy: Are orders being fulfilled correctly?

 

Methods for Data Analysis

Using methods like trend analysis and ABC analysis can provide deeper insights: 

Trends Analysis: Examine patterns that happen over a duration. For example, in specific months of the year, are there ingredients which get used up faster? This would help you gather the data on what works for you and what does not work for you.

ABC Analysis: This is where we arrange inventory depending on importance and rate of usage. The topmost important ones, known as 'A' items, are then followed by the 'B' category which denotes moderately significant goods. Lastly, the 'C' category represents those things with low priority in both regards of significance and utilisation alike.

 

 

Forecasting Demand

Techniques for Accurate Demand Forecasting

Methods for predicting demand accurately are very important to prevent situations where there is too much stock or not enough, especially during rush hours. They involve: 

Seasonal Patterns: Know how seasons affect your sales. For example, there could be more people buying ice cream in summer.

Historical Data: Use past sales data to predict future demand. Keep sales records to know what sells the best and what needs to be removed from the menu.

Adjusting Forecasts Based on External Factors

Events that occur nearby, holidays and climate can also impact demand. By considering these factors in your predictions, they become more precise.

 

 

Making Data-Driven Decisions

Optimising Ordering Processes

Data insights can assist in refining your order processes. For example, if data shows that particular items often run out on weekends, you may alter the timing of your orders to accommodate this pattern or increase the quantity of the item.

Adjusting Inventory Levels

Knowing how demand behaves helps in setting the right inventory levels as per predicted demand. This makes sure one has sufficient stock to meet customer needs without having too much on hand which ties up money and may lead to spoilage.

Identifying and Eliminating Inefficiencies

Data analytics might show areas of inefficiency in your inventory management. For example, you could find that a particular ingredient is often wasted or some suppliers are always late. Recognising these problems will enable you to tackle them proactively.

 

 

Enhancing Supplier Relationships

Using Data to Negotiate Better Terms

Information about how well suppliers perform can be used as a strong bargaining point. If you can prove that your orders are often big, it could help when negotiating for improved prices or conditions.

Tracking Supplier Performance and Reliability

Frequent monitoring of your supplier's performance guarantees they are dependable collaborators. When a supplier often misses deadlines or provides low-quality goods, it is necessary for you to search for another one.

 

Streamlining Communication and Order Processes

Communication with Suppliers

Using clear, data-based communication processes can help suppliers understand and fulfil orders more efficiently. Automated systems can directly send out orders to suppliers, which minimises the chances of miscommunication and enhances on-time deliveries.

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Order Process

Automated systems are useful for sending orders directly to suppliers. This reduces the risk of mistakes in communication and makes sure that deliveries happen on time.

 

 

Continuous Improvement

Regularly Reviewing and Refining Data Collection and Analysis Processes

Never stop getting better. Keep checking and polishing the ways you use to gather and study data, so they stay useful and successful.

Staying Updated with the Latest Tools and Technologies

Data analytics is an ever-changing field. Keep learning about new tools and technologies to stay ahead of the competition.

Implementing Feedback Loops for Ongoing Improvements

Continuously improving inventory management is possible by introducing feedback loops. Collect input from employees, customers and suppliers, and apply this information for making data-based adjustments.

 

 

Conclusion

Using data analytics for managing restaurant inventory brings many advantages. The possibility of reducing expenses, cutting down on waste, and increasing effectiveness is great. By using a method based on data, you can make choices backed by information that improves the working and earning capacity of your restaurant. Then, what is stopping you? Bring the power of data analytics to your inventory management system and see how it helps your restaurant grow. 

Using data analytics is similar to having a GPS for your restaurant. It provides guidance, shows you the best path, and helps to avoid dangers. Welcome this technology and find your way to a better-performing, more profitable restaurant.

 

 

StockTake Online

A special tool for managing restaurant inventory is StockTake Online, also known as STO. This platform works together with your Point of Sale (POS) system to perform a variety of functions. STO is a complete and easy-to-use tool that helps you effectively manage your food inventory. It automatically records every transaction related to stock, keeping everything up to date in real-time. STO can be easily connected with most Point of Sale (POS) systems. It will help you in managing the stock by giving accurate data about what is available and what has been sold. STO is a helpful tool that can be connected to your POS system for better control of inventory management. With our system, you do not need manual input because it automatically provides constant updates on stock levels. STO is an automated solution that assists restaurants in keeping track of their food supplies more efficiently. It links all the relevant information from your POS system with its own database, resulting in less work for you when entering details manually.

 

 

 

Tags: Restaurant management software, Restaurant Inventory, Restaurant Procurement Software, Data analytics for inventory, Data analytics

Team STO

Written by Team STO

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