Can You Kick Your Addiction to Inventory Spreadsheets?
Addiction is serious business. And sadly, the restaurant industry has a serious addiction to spreadsheets. We get it. It’s the way it’s been done since the invention of spreadsheets. But times are a changin’ and it’s time to quit this addiction to inventory spreadsheets! So what’s the solution? For many independent, full-service restaurants implementing expensive […]
Addiction is serious business. And sadly, the restaurant industry has a serious addiction to spreadsheets. We get it. It’s the way it’s been done since the invention of spreadsheets.
But times are a changin’ and it’s time to quit this addiction to inventory spreadsheets!
So what’s the solution? For many independent, full-service restaurants implementing expensive enterprise inventory management software with a five-figure price tag and long-tail maintenance costs isn’t feasible.
Which is another reason so many restaurants have come to rely on inventory spreadsheet. In theory, a spreadsheet should allow you to solidly keep track of your inventory, but unfortunately, numbers don’t automatically populate all of those cells. With a spreadsheet, you’re still relying on manual entry, and with that comes one of the biggest barriers to the spreadsheet’s success: human error.
Still, restaurants are loyal to their out-of-date inventory spreadsheets!
Stop the Inventory Spreadsheet Madness!
Spreadsheets have a reputation for putting people to sleep for a reason. Manual data entry can be tedious at best and mind-numbingly dull at worst. Then there’s the time commitment required to gather the numbers in the first place-typically through pen-and-paper counts-before those numbers can be input into the spreadsheet.
It takes even more time to calculate your recipe mixes by percentages and translate cooking units of measurement to the purchasing units your supplier uses. Along the way, there’s inevitably some degree of breakdown in the process, which leads to errors and ultimately to waste, both in food and in money.
If your inventory spreadsheet had the capacity to keep your recipes on file and integrate your point-of-sale (POS) system to catalogue exactly how many units of each recipe were sold on a given day, you might come up with a more accurate inventory list, but spreadsheets simply don’t have those capabilities. And without them, you might find yourself ordering more from your supplier than you actually need or more than your inventory requires because you don’t have an accurate, current inventory list to rely on.
Ordering more of an ingredient than you require, whether it’s something pricey like meat or of lesser expense like a condiment, results in waste. Many restaurateurs know this academically, but when faced with the choice of springing for an expensive software or eating those food waste costs, many choose the latter. But if you don’t know how much inventory you really have, how can you truly know how much inventory you’re wasting?
Good news – we’ve got a little test you can take to determine how well you’re managing your restaurant’s inventory and … how much you might be throwing out into the dumpster every single night!