Managing Your Food Spend Doesn’t Have to be Hard.


Running a profitable restaurant is hard work.

We get it… You’re busy. You’ve got a lot of irons in the fire.

The last thing you want to do is spend the time you don’t have on things like taking inventory.

So, how do you boost your profits and take your restaurant business to the next level?

The answer is three little words: Food spend management

Ugh…we can hear you groaning already.

But what if we told you that there’s a way to track your food costs that involves almost zero work on your part?

No, really. Zero work. Bet you’re listening now.

You need a piece of technology that takes the pain out of the process so you can focus on what you do best – preparing and serving delicious food.

And also saving some serious moolah while you’re at it.

The Food Spend Situation

You probably already know about 30% of your cash is being eaten up by food costs. And those costs aren’t going down anytime soon.

In fact, food costs have risen 25% over the last 5 years… And they just keep on rising.

Any smart, resourceful restaurant owner knows for a restaurant to maintain profitability, it’s got to closely monitor and control the amount spent on food.

And yes, we know what you’re thinking…

You didn’t get into this business to spend all of your time knee-deep in spreadsheets.

When you hear the words “food spend reporting”, your eyes probably start to glaze over.

At best, it sounds important but boring.

At worst, it sounds difficult, time-consuming… Maybe even painful.

If you’re drawing from past experiences, you might not be wrong. But we’re not here to talk about the past.

We’ve got a new way to manage your food spend reporting that will blow your mind.

That Inventory Problem

One of the biggest headaches of food spend reporting is taking inventory.

As much as it pains us all, inventory can feel crucial to understanding your food spend. But it’s also extremely time-consuming.

If you’re calculating your Cost of Goods Sold (COGS) by hand, you’ll need an accurate inventory. You can then use that number to calculate your prime cost, which shows you the overall profitability of your restaurant.

Let’s break that down step-by-step:

  • First, take an accurate inventory count for a specific period (let’s say a week). Then, take it again at the end of the week.
  • Next, figure out your COGS, or the total cost of all products that went out the door in that week. The math looks like this: (Current Inventory) + (Purchases) – (Ending Inventory).
  • Then, figure out your labor costs for that same week (which includes wages, payroll taxes, insurance, and any other benefits).
  • Once you’ve calculated each of these numbers, you can then figure out your prime cost, which will allow you to discover just how much profit you can expect. It’s pretty simple: (COGS) + (Labor Costs) = Prime Cost.

Still with us? Good.

Now, here’s where things can get dicey… Getting a truly accurate COGS number from inventory is crazy difficult.

Most restaurants fudge their inventory counts. People get bored standing in the stockroom so they just fill in numbers. Or they don’t take their counts at the same time every week. Or they definitely don’t take the time each week to update ingredient prices… So they just use old ones.

Air is great in your soufflé but not in your inventory costs.

Skewing your inventory numbers throws off your entire COGS report – and COGS is the most important metric to track your food spend.

And when you undervalue your food costs, you end up looking more profitable than you actually are, which has an impact on your bottom line.

Basically, you lose money.

So we can all agree… Fudging your inventory numbers is a recipe for disaster, even if it seems like a genius plan when you’re stuck with a clipboard on a Sunday night.

This leaves you stuck between a rock and a hard place: You know you need to take accurate inventory to get your COGS. But every time you do, it’s a painful, slow process that doesn’t give you an accurate picture of how your business is doing anyway.

You’re not alone.

Everyone in the history of forever has hated doing inventory.

So, what if there was a way to get your COGS, have it be accurate, use it to make your restaurant more profitable, and skip taking an inventory altogether?

The Easiest COGS Report Ever

Now, there is a way to get an accurate COGS with:

NO spreadsheets.

NO data entry, and

NO inventory count.

Oh, yeah.

Sound complicated? It’s not, at least for you.

Orderly uses what we call “machine learning” to analyze every single purchase from all your suppliers. It works to understand your ordering habits and depletion models.

In a nutshell, analytics are used to figure out how you use your ingredients and project the amount of inventory you should keep on your shelf for any given item.

Oh, and it gives you an accurate COGS every week.

What’s the catch?

To be honest, there really isn’t one. We’ve even tested this against hundreds of restaurants’ regular COGS reports, and the Orderly approach is more accurate every single time.

There are two simple tasks that you’ll need to do every week in order to keep getting accurate numbers.

And you can do it all from the palm of your hand.

All you have to do is:

  • Snap photos of your invoices.
  • Enter your weekly sales figures.

Once we’re cookin’ with a few weeks worth of data, we start to crunch the numbers.

The result? Easy-to-read reports and an accurate COGS number.

Sure, it may go against what you’ve always done (Which, you know, hasn’t really worked).

This is unique. COGS has NEVER been calculated this way before. It’s a completely new concept.

But this change isn’t scary.

You and your staff can now get better numbers for a fraction of the work. And when time means dollars, this new process saves both your sanity and your labor costs.  

CONCLUSION: Save Hours and Dollars with Hands-Off Inventory

With Orderly, your workload has been chopped, diced, shredded, and sliced.

You’ll automatically receive your weekly COGS in an email, helping you to more accurately track and calculate your restaurant’s profitability.

Orderly is a service that does it all for you. Almost zero work on your part.

Just snap a picture of your invoices, tap in your sales, and Orderly will automatically read and scrape the line item detail.

We’re the data nerds. So we’ll analyze everything and send over the reports you need. This gives you more time to focus on the millions of other things on your mind.

Yeah, you read that correctly. More. Time.

Accurate reporting is crucial to a restaurant’s long-term success and profitability.

And Orderly helps you easily generate detailed reports that take everything into account – ingredients, prices, trends, and an overall comparison to the market.

You don’t have to keep track of it anymore – we will. We’re watching the charts – and watching your spend.

And all you have to do is snap and enter sales.

That’s it. Thousands more in your pocket with barely any work.

What in the world are you waiting for?

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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