Working in the food service industry, it is common to see paper documents go missing or get damaged while taking up valuable space in your back office. Manually keying invoice data into your accounting, inventory or food cost management software is extremely time-consuming and prone to human error. This is where food service operators are increasingly aware of the value that automation brings to this part of their businesses.
With the onset of the digital transformation wave in today’s food service industry, digitizing invoices becomes a painless process with the introduction of automation software like FoodRazor. Digitizing invoices becomes as simple as a quick snap of a pic to easily upload your vendor invoices or even just emailing them into the restaurant management software. Once the transformation from paper to pixels has been made, invoices are catalogued, easily searchable and accurate.
Automation is the first step to revolutionizing the operational workflow of any business. But many food service operators are unaware of the treasure trove of data and insights that can be used to improve their restaurant’s finances.
Accurate line-item invoice data can empower restaurateurs to better manage purchases and inventory, analyze ingredient price trends, and stay in control of spending while preventing wastage, and more.
Track food costs easily.
Digital invoices provide granular data and visibility into food costs — almost 40% of the overall costs of restaurant operations. Invoice management solutions are able to extract food cost data by their unit prices and quantities directly from invoices in real-time. From invoices to insights, operators can have a clearer idea of where they’re spending the most and by how much. Solutions like FoodRazor provide additional features that further empower restaurateurs. The price increase notification from FoodRazor is a key tool that automatically flags out price hikes on ingredients based on the data captured from vendor invoices. This data gives restaurateurs the upper hand in negotiating for better prices while ensuring that vendors do not overcharge.
Effectively manage purchases.
Automating the digitization process of vendor invoices allows restaurateurs to make informed purchasing decisions. Having a good idea of the historical data of purchases allows staff to have a reference of products, categories and prices before they make new orders. This is crucial especially if the staff making these orders changes every now and then. A one-stop platform that enables the overview of past purchases and changes gives these staff the ability to make better purchasing decisions and avoid errors.
More accuracy in inventory.
Dealing with inventory sounds bothersome, and it truly is. Inventory management is a chore, plagued by complicated, time-consuming processes and inaccurate data. While digitizing vendor invoices does not guarantee 100% accuracy in inventory counts, it generates searchable and sortable data based on the last purchase. With that, restaurateurs are able to obtain a better idea of their current inventory, especially with new or updated items.
Correct mistakes and make adjustments.
Invoices come in different formats, printed, digital and also handwritten. It’s common to see vendors making adjustments, especially on handwritten invoices. Hence they aren’t always the most accurate. Important line-item details like pack size, weight, and units of measurement could be wrongly keyed in, or even overlooked, resulting in restaurateurs being overcharged by their suppliers. This is where having these invoices processed by advanced solutions can ensure higher levels of accuracy and efficiency to communicate with vendors regarding any mistakes as quickly as possible and prevent extra costs.
Calculate recipe costs and monitor trends.
Plate costing and menu engineering become a much simpler task after digitizing invoices. Imagine calculating recipe costs by manually listing each ingredient, cost and quantity from the paper invoices received. And to have to update this every single time there’s a price change in the ingredients. This is a tedious task that takes up a lot of time, effort and is inefficient especially for seasonal menu items and recipes. Having a better understanding of the live changes to ingredient costs can enable operators to adapt quickly to seasonal prices and adjust menu prices accordingly.
The food service industry is known for its razor-thin margins and every single fluctuation could result in a greater effect on the recipes and menu items prices. Knowing that your supplier invoices have such detailed information that could affect your profit margins directly, it is important to rely on solutions that can provide granular and accurate insights into food costs. Restaurateurs can then be better equipped with the tools to respond to price fluctuations in real-time and substitute ingredients as and when plate costs see a spike.
Alfredo Molinas leads the team at FoodRazor as the Chief Executive Officer in empowering the global restaurant and hospitality industry with its invoice management and food cost tracking solution. FoodRazor is dedicated to supporting the industry by equipping restaurateurs with greater knowledge on their business expenses and creating opportunities to help them lower costs.
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