Every business in the hospitality industry is currently facing its fair share of challenges, but running a quick-service restaurant in this new climate can be particularly tricky. Rising energy bills and higher wages are only two of the expenses eating into profits.
The major cost that every restaurant has to sustain remains food, which has globally risen more than 30% during the past year alone.
To protect their profit, operators often resort to increasing menu prices, taking the risk of pushing customers towards competitors with more affordable choices.
It’s essential that every restaurant keeps food costs in check and locks in the best prices for ingredients with trustworthy vendors, if they wish to thrive despite the tough position, they are in.
A sensible way for operators to navigate the volatility of food costs and protect their profits is to efficiently manage their inventory to reduce food waste.
It’s alarming the rate at which food is wasted. 4% to 10% of food purchased by restaurants is wasted before even reaching customers due to oversized portions, inflexibility of chain store management and extensive menu choices.
Even managing the inventory efficiently is a hard task. Order too many raw ingredients and food becomes stale, damaged, or obsolete while sitting on the shelf, resulting in loss of profit. Order too little and menus are impacted by dishes not being available to customers, hitting a restaurant’s reputation and its customer satisfaction.
This is why Fourth is here to help. Macromatix is our Inventory Management Solution, which is specifically built to solve the most common issues that quick-service restaurants face.
We created it with clear goals in mind, including increasing efficiency and reducing food costs and waste. With Macromatix, the entire inventory management process is digitalised, streamlined and simplified so that restaurants can achieve their operational and financial targets as a single location or multi-chain brand.
- Real-time, automated and accurate tracking of what dishes sell the most and the least, on which days, at what times, across all menus and service styles allows future demand to be reliably predicted while offering valuable insights for improved menu planning.
- The Just-in-Time Ordering feature supports a faster turnaround of stock, preventing ingredients from becoming stale, out of date or spoilt while sitting on the shelf.
Supported by the automated tracking of customer consumption habits across all individual stores, it ensures efficient re-ordering of ingredients that are calculated precisely to meet future customer demand, for all individual stores, with real-time ordering alerts sent to the right team, at the right time to enable fulfilment.
- A list of pre-approved vendors assures QSRs get the best quality ingredients, for the right store, at the right time and price, protecting them from supply chain disruptions and minimising the volatility of food costs.Local teams across individual stores can make purchases and monitor in real-time food deliveries from receipt to electronic invoice, meaning a high level of food quality is retained across all deliveries, every time.
- Purchasing compliance rules allows for specific food items to be swapped between local stores, to cap independent purchases of single ingredients, with all instances recorded and communicated to the above-store leadership to avoid and prepare for potential wider scale compliance problems and unaccounted impact on store revenue.
- Automated inventory tracking happens as dishes are prepared and ingredients are directly deducted from total stock count and when minimum thresholds for each store are reached, a notification is sent to the appropriate team for the accurate re-ordering of items and ingredients, ensuring stock levels and storage capacity is constantly optimised to reduce food costs and meet future customer demand.Teams are further equipped with a mobile app that makes stock counting digital, so it is faster, easier, paper-free and less prone to human error, allowing for teams to work on or off-line.
- Accurate cost calculation of recipes and menu cycles removes the guesswork around menu engineering analysis and menu pricing. Costs related to new recipes and menu changes are automatically recalculated and menu cycles are easier to plan using a weekly view. Accurately labelling new dishes with correct nutritional values is made possible with nutritional information derived from industry recognised database providers, removing lab costs and consultancy fees for every store.
- A central recipe library, which is shared across all individual stores, includes all the information needed by the teams to prepare and correctly portion a dish with an ingredient list for each dish, instructions on how to prepare it and a picture to what the dish should look like when serving it to a customer.To ensure customer safety and compliance with legislation, each recipe includes a de-tailed nutritional analysis with full allergen information noted to alert customers to the risk of possible harm. The central library is displayed and automatically updated every-where a menu is seen, whether it be a team tablet, the business website or any other device.
- Centralised, real-time operational data organised in customisable dashboards provide full visibility into critical KPIs, such as sales, vendor performance, cash and digital payment transactions, that combined support accurate forecasting and the tools need-ed to make data-driven decisions across the entire business.