That’s a pretty bold statement and we don’t want to be accused of overselling and under delivering.
Sure, you know that your Point of Sale System is pretty slick. You’ve seen the demo, maybe watched a video, read the brochures, but somehow it hasn’t fully lived up to its potential and while you may have made improvements in many areas of your business, you still have the age old problem of cost and inventory control.
So what happened? Did you buy the wrong system? Did the salesperson misrepresent the tool? Is your staff not using it correctly? Is it just a foregone conclusion that inventory and cost control will always be a problem no matter how much technology and money you throw at it?
The good news is that there is absolutely nothing wrong with your POS. It has all the functionality you need to take control and there are many features just waiting to be utilized. What it comes down to, just like many things in life, it’s all about timing! But more on this later, first let’s take a look at a seemingly boring but powerful feature of your POS.
What’s your PAR?
As you know, food costs usually account for one third or more of a restaurant’s overhead. Controlling a restaurant’s inventory and knowing what’s been used and what remains in storage lets you make an informed choice when placing vendor orders. You need to maximize profits by having the optimal amount of inventory at any given time.
Your POS lets you set par levels – a par is the amount of each item you need on hand to meet typical production demands between your vendor orders. When you order, you bring the product level back up to par. The par level is set to avoid the problems of having too much, or too little inventory on hand.
Too much inventory can spoil and go to waste, which is expensive. It also creates overcrowded storage areas and disorganization, which can mask shrinkage. It may even require multiple storage areas for one item, leading to undercounting and over-ordering. Even worse, it could potentially create a bad food safety situation for your guests.
On the other hand, too little inventory can create lost sales due to unavailable items, which leads to disappointed guests and stressed servers and managers. The cure for these problems is to set par levels for each item.
Again, your POS may even automatically calculate your par based on history. It will analyze sales by periods, usually weekly. For each period, it will track how much of each product you have sold. Compare this number to previous year, and adjust for your growth pattern and may even add a small amount to create a margin of safety margin. If your system doesn’t automatically do this, just follow the process.
OK, you’ve done that but you still have the inventory and costing problems – what’s wrong?
Remember what I said, “it’s all about timing”?
What’s wrong is that you have a timing issue, which is creating bad information or data in your system, which in turn is creating bad and costly decisions. You are familiar with the term garbage in, garbage out. That’s what is at play here.
Your state of the art POS is updating in real time, making inventory adjustments as customers order and pay and based on your stock takes and PAR levels, is making recommended orders, maybe even automatically. The problem is, the most critical part in the equation that’s causing the problem ISN’T automated – your invoicing!
You are busy running the restaurant and have to manually enter the invoices, probably once a week. Like most places you may do a weekly stock take and enter the invoices the same day. Let’s say this happens on Wednesday, and your PAR recommended order happens that day – and you receive the stock in the next day or two, but your system won’t know that for a whole week!
What is that going to do to your inventory? Your orders? Your costs?
Fortunately, AccountsFlow’s E-Invoicing allows invoices to automatically update your system as soon as they are generated by the supplier, giving you control to update your system as the stock arrives, or even before it arrives!
No double orders, No spoilage, No needless tying up of cashflow. You know have a POS system that can be let loose to do it’s job properly, which is to give you better control of your business, all thanks to AccountsFlow’s automated E-Invoicing working in partnership with you and your Point of Sale Supplier.
With immediate, up to date, visibility on your food costs, you can shrink that one third food overhead costs down and drive profitability – making you and your restaurant