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How to Choose the Right Inventory Technology for You

July 14, 2020 by FoodBAM Admin

Now more than ever, technology is changing the game for restaurant management.

Things like POS systems have streamlined service, while social media and websites changed the restaurant-patron narrative entirely.

If you are already utilizing these tools to efficiently run your restaurant – that’s great! You understand the importance of utilizing technology to help grow your business.

What you may be less aware of is other ways that your restaurant can benefit from technology.

One of the most important ways you should be utilizing technology to ensure long-term success of your restaurant is with your inventory counts.

Utilizing technology for your inventory counts can help ensure accuracy, saving you lots of time and money.

With a lot of tools and services on the market, it may seem confusing how to choose the right technology platform for your restaurant’s inventory management.

Fear not! Our team of experts compiled a list of key questions you should ask yourself when choosing a technology solution for your operation.

Keep reading to learn the right questions you should ask when choosing a software solution for your restaurant.

Question to ask to help Choose the Right Inventory Technology for You

1) Does this inventory technology get me accurate counts?

One of the biggest risks when doing an inventory count is inaccurate numbers. Mistakes happen, items get missed … at the end of the day, we’re only human.

However, inaccurate data can directly impact your bottom line. You may end up calculating incorrect food costs, which could then lead to inaccurate profitability decisions for your operation.

When looking for an inventory management technology tool, be sure your tool produces clean and accurate numbers. Doing research on the tool can help, as can reading reviews and talking with sales reps. Be sure to fully understand the software’s capabilities so you know it will truly help you.

2) Does this inventory technology save me time?

Let’s face it – manually taking inventory each week is a time-consuming process. That’s time you could focusing elsewhere around your business, or even at home catching up with family.

Investing in an inventory management tool should help reduce this time constraint for you.

While this seems like a no-brainer, you’d be surprised. Not all inventory technology software is equal.

Some platforms might simply provide organization for your inventory counts or require you to still enter information like unit measurements and prices. This means you still need to input the same time and effort you originally were.

Your technology tool should help you save time, not continue losing it.

3) Does this inventory technology tool help me identify opportunities for new contracts?

An inventory management tool should help you pay closer attention to your inventory. This means you may gain insight into certain categories or items that are a good opportunity to target for deal negotiations with distributors or manufacturers.

If your inventory technology helps you identify a spike in the rate in which you are using a certain item, you can use that data to pre-buy the product in bulk at a locked-in, contracted rate. This can lead to several benefits that you may have missed if you waited until the end of the month to look at your inventory data.

Utilizing an inventory technology software that has a strong analytics feature will allow you better visibility into opportunities for additional savings.

4) Can this inventory technology provide a holistic view of the data?

While inventory management is crucial for the success of a restaurant, taking that data one step further can help streamline additional issues across your business.

Does the tool offer inventory management as well as receiving features? This combination of insights can help create a holistic and comprehensive view of every item you purchase from time of the PO, through receiving, to storage, and even use.

While doing your research on inventory technology software, see if there are additional benefits offered that can help you see a holistic view of your data.

5) How cost-effective is this inventory technology?

One of the most important factors you will have to consider when looking for a new technology platform is price.

While it is unlikely to find a quality inventory solution that is absolutely free, it’s important to remember that whichever solution you choose should SAVE you more than it costs you.

Do your research to ensure you aren’t paying for features you really don’t need, or that you avoid paying for a software that doesn’t really benefit you in the long run.

Look at the numbers beforehand to see if they make sense to you, and again after you start. That will help ensure you choose a tool that is cost-efficient for your business.

6) How easy is it to use this inventory technology?

Before you invest in a new technology tool, it’s important to identify whether the tool is easy to use and whether you enjoy using it.

Free demos are the perfect opportunity for this! As you test out the tool, consider a few key questions:

  • Is this software easy to navigate?
  • Will my staff have trouble using it?
  • Will I be able to easily train staff on how to use it?

Additionally, user reviews and customer testimonials can also help provide insight here.

There is no point in investing in a new software if it will cause more issues than benefits. Afterall, inventory management tools should make your life easier, not harder!

Be honest in your opinions and go with your gut. If you feel a tool was too difficult or confusing to navigate for you or your staff, maybe it isn’t the right one for your restaurant.

7) What does the support look like for this inventory technology?

A technology tool is only as helpful as the support behind it.

Ease of contacting customer support should be a big factor when determining which inventory software to go with. While you breezed through your demo and setup easily, you may find yourself with questions about the software down the road.

When doing research or speaking with the sales rep, as a few key questions:
– Does this software come with a dedicated support team?
– How easy is it to contact support?
– What is the typical response time from the support team?

The last thing you want is to find yourself stuck in your new inventory management tool with no resources to help resolve your issue or answer questions.

Why FoodBAM?

If you’ve made it this far, you should have a pretty good understanding of what qualities and features to look for in your new inventory management tool.

If you haven’t already, check out FoodBAM and learn more about our inventory management software.

Our tool makes it easier than ever for chefs and general managers to take their restaurant’s inventory every time they order, instead of having to conduct one large inventory process at the end of each month or quarter. FoodBAM digitizes your restaurant’s inventory so it’s logged, saved and stored in one place and one consistent format.

Aside from inventory management, FoodBAM offers additional services and tools to help you efficiently manage your restaurant. Check out our complete Cost Saving Technology checklist to ensure your operation is utilizing technology in the right ways to streamline your business.


Contact Us!

Do you have questions about inventory management, or other ways to efficiently manage your restaurant? FoodBAM offers restaurants tools and insights to help them efficiently manage their business.  Interested in learning more? Request a demo!

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