Inventory, accounting, and scheduling demand precision. Here’s why these aspects of the restaurant business need a 21st century approach.
I filmed 13 seasons of Restaurant: Impossible, and of all the recurring issues I encountered at the hundreds of failing restaurants I visited—from bad food to crummy service—the one constant was a lack of attention to detail. Sometimes this manifested as depressing décor, uncomfortable seating, or unappetizing presentation. The fixes for these issues were usually what we showed on television. They were, after all, the most photogenic; they involved taking sledgehammers to walls, throwing old chairs in dumpsters, and yelling at line cooks who weren’t paying attention to their work.
But so often, this lack of attention to detail manifested as poor management of the things that are less tangible, but even more important—namely inventory, accounting, and scheduling.
For instance, many of the smaller eateries I visited were guilty of overbuying when it came to inventory; they simply stocked their fridges and pantries the way they did when they first opened. But after the initial rush of business died down, they were left to watch food spoil on their shelves—and watch money go down the drain.
Accounting practices were usually just as dismal, with pen and paper reigning at restaurants in rural areas, and confusing Excel documents the method of choice in others. But even in the best-case scenarios where the books were accurate, the raw numbers offered little to no window into what aspects of the business were the most profitable and which were losing money.
Scheduling was also a major area for improvement, with paper handouts—or simple verbal agreements between managers and employees—standing in for a true, fool-proof method.
I’m not saying it’s impossible to get by on old-school methods of handling these three areas of your restaurant. But by adopting a technological solution, such as cutting edge restaurant management software like CTUIT, you can greatly reduce risk. And let’s face it: the restaurant business is risky enough without adopting more risk when you don’t have to.
I’ve been using CTUIT software in my Pentagon restaurant, Fresh Kitchen by Robert Irvine, since it opened in 2016. CTUIT doesn’t just keep the books straight and give me a clear picture of the inventory, it provides real-time data that allows me to pinpoint exactly which menu items are performing well and which ones aren’t. The scheduling module also allows the manager to send reminders and updates to all employees whenever there’s a change in staffing.
It easier to master software like this than you might imagine, and once you do, it’s impossible to think about going back to your old ways of doing things.
To have a sound, technological solution to these universally difficult aspects of the restaurant business doesn’t just improve the performance of your business, it alleviates stress for owners, managers, and employees. Best of all, it makes it easier for you to give attention to the details that your customers are going to notice. And it’s going to give them an experience they’ll want to come back for.
You can learn more about CTUIT software by clicking HERE.