Burn Your Spreadsheets. Sticking to the Status Quo is Killing Your Business.

Doing things the old-fashioned way may seem simple, but it can literally be ruining your livelihood.

You and your staff are used to things being run with a certain process.

And sure, that process feels safe and easy.

But is keeping with the status quo really as efficient as you think it is?

It’s likely some of the methods you’ve used forever are out of date and out of touch.

There is tons of new technology available at our fingertips. You can find software to help with scheduling employees, making reservations, leaving reviews, tipping, ordering, and doing inventory.

Look, we get it. Running a business is difficult no matter what aids you have at your disposal.

But, it doesn’t have to be excruciating.

You can optimize your methods to cash in on the hard work you do every day and night.

It’s as simple as ditching some of your old processes and catching up with the times.

food costs in a snap

Trash your Typewriter and Calculator

With over 80% of restaurants absorbing newer, sleeker technologies, it’s time to re-evaluate your clunky hardware.

A shoddy POS system and lags in communication during a brunch, lunch, or dinner rush can make or break your restaurant’s daily sales goals.

Those scribbled pieces of paper handed to the cooks might make sense for now, but they can get lost in translation when it comes time for the server to close out the tab.

There are easier, more streamlined ways to do everything you’re already doing.

Time and money are your most valuable assets, and losing one inevitably means losing the other.

Plus, if you’re taking inventory by hand and not sure what you’ve run out of, you’re disappointing hungry diners.

It can be as easy as a few clicks or taps to know exactly where your food costs lie.

The process becomes easier, and staff can focus on optimizing guest happiness.

Your business is based on customer enjoyment, and them coming back for more.

If you and your technology are not up-to-date, you’re going to fall behind.


Don’t Be Afraid to Modernize 

You know that ONE special you have? That one that’s so good that people wait hours to get seated and enjoy it?

Or that one perfect spice combination you call your secret recipe, that you haven’t shared or changed since before computers were invented?

Classic and timeless ways of doing things are great – when they work.

In fact, they’re what makes your business unique and reputable. But are they getting stale?

Does your menu seem to lack the luster they once had? Even a rotating menu can get predictable.

If you’re thinking of shaking things up, there is no better time than now.

But make sure you’re changing based on what people want.

For example, 70% of reported guests looking for healthier menu options. Maybe re-evaluating your Triple Bacon Burger that’s not selling too well is worth it.

Or maybe it’s just time to re-evaluate every aspect of running your restaurant. Though this doesn’t mean that you have to change everything about the core of your business.

You can still retain an old-world feel, with a new age approach.

Uncle Angelo’s tomato sauce recipe might be top secret, and his pizza oven might have bricks straight from Napoli…but refusing to accept Apple Pay won’t do anything to boost sales (especially when an estimated 32% of restaurants currently accept mobile payments).

What about on the back end? How are you managing your staff and inventory?

With the technology available to make employee scheduling a breeze, you can avoid all the negatives that come with the territory; arguments, no-shows, and the classic “I didn’t see your text”.

Plus, with apps that help you manage your food costs, you can make the nitty-gritty behind-the-scenes work as hands-off as possible.

Bringing your restaurant and your staff into the 21st century can only revolutionize and embolden your path as a business owner.

The more you strive to keep up, the better your profits will be.

Watch Out for Climbing Numbers

It’s safe to say you didn’t get into the restaurant business to crunch numbers all day.

It’s never fun sitting down with your accountant and seeing how much of your hard-earned money is going elsewhere.

Streamlining invoices and costs make the “crunching” process painless and accurate.

It also takes the guesswork out of your finances.

With less time spent poring over discrepancies, more time can be spent optimizing potential revenue.

Keep in mind, restaurants are unique in the accounting they require. You need to reconcile everything–from credit cards to cash and accrual, to payroll, to profits and loss.

More importantly, you need to stay on top of what you’re doing well, and what you’re doing poorly.

The difference could be as simple as making sure your profit & loss accounting is on a 4-week cycle, or using software that’s up-to-date and calibrated for ultimate efficiency.

As much as you want to just hold your breath, say a prayer, and hope for a constant upward profit graph, it likely won’t work without your input.

Dumping a pile of balance sheets and expense reports on your bookkeeper’s desk probably won’t work, either.

And sure, we all have that one relative who can multiply massive numbers in their head… But that’s obviously not something to be relied upon for overall success.

There’s no reason to make it more difficult.

You don’t have to spend hours on Google. Investing in easy-to-use, accurate technology can almost guarantee positive future projections.

It’s being accountable for accounting. And it can make a difference.


Bite the Hand that Feeds 

What are you paying for your goods? Are you tracking your suppliers? Price creep is named so for a reason—it creeps up on you.

Sure, you might find a new supplier who’s got the product you need starting at a third of what you’re currently paying.

But over time, you realize you’re not saving at all. Why have your books gone back to where they were? Market value has gone up, and you’re stuck paying it.

What’s worse is nobody’s going to tell you. You have to do the research yourself. Suppliers aren’t the big bad wolf, and they’ll happily wear sheep’s clothing until you notice.

Are you absent-mindedly signing invoices without double, triple, quadruple checking price hikes and supplier cost?

Don’t be that person. It’s up to you to take responsibility and make sure you’re getting the most chomp for your change.

That way, the next time you have a meeting, you can fully take the reins. You are taking charge of your business and assets by knowing exactly what you have to pay, and not getting gouged in the process.

Holding quarterly reviews, and keeping your suppliers on a tight (but polite) leash ensures you’re not getting blindsided by massive increases you didn’t account for.

Just like you, your suppliers are running a business. And they’re most likely not going to keep you up-to-date on price trends. After all, their goal is to increase profits, too.

It is your responsibility to make sure that you’re not getting taken advantage of.

Know your costs and set the tone.

ordering glossary

Can You Check in the Back?

Accurate inventory management matters. And though you’ve been able to function without the right numbers, you’re slowly but surely shedding cash.

Numbers made easy is a blessing in the modern, and often too fast-paced world. Especially when messing up comes far too easily.

Stop panicking that you’ve run out of something, and get a better grip on what you have in stock.

Do you know how much food left your restaurant this week, or your Cost of Goods Sold? Do you have any idea how many cans of black beans you should be ordering?

You should be calculating this and taking steps to reduce what you’re paying and optimize what you’re making.

It can be that simple.

The status quo might work for now, but you may be missing out on crucial and necessary changes to your business that can lead to irreversible damage and loss.

Knowing what’s in stock and what’s selling well is important. Having an accurate Cost of Goods Sold can make all the difference.

Invest in technology that can help you out. Getting your COGS in minutes adds up tremendously over time, allowing for your schedule to reflect other projects you want to focus on.

It’s too easy to make mistakes and mess up numbers. When you do that, you’re backtracking to fix your errors. That time and money lost is better spent on a program that takes the entire load off.


The Bottom Line

It might be cliché, but it resonates: out with the old, in with the new.

Paying attention to changing food trends and what the diners want will make a big difference.

Updated methods and using a savvy approach to every step in your business will elevate you and keep your customer base happy.

Doing tasks by hand leaves far too much room for error and time loss. Bring your business into this century – invest in solid technology and gain a stronger hold on how you’re going to do in both the short-term and the long-term.

You have the ability to easily evolve and improve while taking pride in the blood and sweat you put into your livelihood. You don’t have to compromise anything that you love.

One way to start? With Orderly.

Orderly helps you modernize by taking the work you hate and doing it for you.

Get an accurate COGS in minutes so you can optimize your food costs, and skip taking an inventory altogether.

Find out exactly how much you should be paying your suppliers for each ingredient, and go into meetings ready to fight for your cash.

Keep all your invoices in one neatly organized online filing cabinet.

Orderly makes your life easier, helping you run a more modern, smarter restaurant. Keep guests coming back and cash in your pocket.

See it for yourself!

Danny Barry

As Orderly's Content Marketing Manager, Danny is always in the weeds of the restaurant business. He's having conversations. He's scouring the internet for research. He's writing until his fingers start to hurt. And it's all to help you run a smarter restaurant. When he's not writing about restaurants, Danny can be found eating at restaurants. Or, you may find him cheering on his beloved Miami Hurricanes.

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