Why Food Costing Software is the Solution to Your Inventory Foes

food costing software - do I count?

Orderly is here to help restaurant owners run a smarter business. And we can’t do that if we’re just giving you our perspective.

So each month our CEO, Bill Jones, takes a deep dive into a topic of his choosing. He’s got thoughts, tips, and things to watch out for – all designed to help you out. This week, he dives into food costing software and how it may be the answer to all your restaurant foes.

Virtually every General Manager I’ve ever talked to shares the same story about the futility of seeing their staff sitting on their phones, and then asking them to “Hey, go clean something”.  The staff will always say yes and might even stand up and pocket their phone.

But as you walk away, you know they aren’t going to clean anything simply because you asked them to. And they know you know they never do. So, you both continue to ask them, and they continue to lie to you. Just doesn’t make sense, but everyone continues to play the game.

That’s how I’m beginning to think about smaller scale restaurants and groups trying to manage their food cost using the traditional Actual versus Theoretical approach. They will tell me with authority about their processes and how they manage to the variance.

When I dive deeper into the results though, they almost always start to rationalize the practical difficulties. Every sentence begins with “Well…” and there is some clearing of their throats. They have conviction, but they lack confidence about it all. Why?

It’s because deep down they know there are too many ways it can (and almost always does) produce unhelpful results. Inventory counts with negative usage or that are left blank. Prices that haven’t been updated in months. Inaccurate count sheets. POS systems that have an “Open Food”, “Open Bar”, “Dessert” or other ambiguous entry that represents 5-10% of total sales. Menu changes that haven’t been updated in the system. The list goes on and on.

Everyone knows these fundamental frailties of the approach, and they know the outcome – a lot of effort for unhelpful results…like that conversation with your staff member.

Your staff knows you are asking them to waste their time. As if their time doesn’t count. But, they put on their parka, walk into the freezer with the clipboard and count. Everyone knows it’s sort of a sham, but we often get numb to the fruitlessness and resign ourselves to it.

There is a fundamentally better way, and I invite you to review what Orderly is doing. We’ve created a world in which you never have to count inventory again. Food costing softwarew without all the hassle. It’s groundbreaking, and it’s really pretty cool.

Your employees’ time counts, but with Orderly, they won’t have to.


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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