Food costs often have the leading impact on restaurant margins, accounting for between 25 and 38 percent of total operating cost, according to Steven Buckley of Demand Media. However, small restaurants had poor options for managing inventory. Existing solutions were time consuming and costly to implement, overly complex, and incompatible with mobile devices, meaning users had to write down inventory on paper and then enter the values on a desktop computer. HotSchedules Count aims to address this gap in the market and save small restaurants from the time drain and inaccuracies of manual inventory management.
Available on iOS and Android devices, HotSchedules Count allows restaurants to manage food and beverage inventory from a smartphone or tablet. Setup takes just minutes, thanks in large part, to Count’s easy-to-use, drag-and-drop interface and its ability to import items from spreadsheets. Users can organize items by location and sub-location (e.g. freezer, dry storage, etc.), identify high cost or high loss items that needed to be counted more frequently, and set par levels for each product. Count can also be customized to each individual restaurant and can import catalogs from vendors to ensure that all items and prices are accurate.
The Count interface supports multiple time frames (spot, daily, weekly and monthly), all common units of measurement, counting by location, and the ability to count offline and sync the data later. In addition, users can review totals by category and location, compare on-hand inventory versus par, and queue up a purchase order by simply completing the count. The application can also export inventory lists or purchase orders to a spreadsheet and then email them to the user.
“Before we discovered HotSchedules Count, we were using a combination of iPads, pencils and spreadsheets to manage our inventory,” said Titus Striplin, Director of Hospitality Operations at Dust Bowl Brewing Company in Turlock, Calif. “We began searching for a cloud-based inventory management system to drive efficiency and profitability into our restaurant and were really excited to discover that HotSchedules was introducing exactly what we needed to grow our business. We’re poised to implement HotSchedules Count at our current tap room facility with the expectation that we’ll be well-versed in using all the capabilities when our new, much larger facility opens next year.”