Whether you are in the beginning stages of starting a brewery or adding tables to expand a thriving dinner hot spot, it is a mistake to discount the impact of competition in any location. From food trucks to Michelin star restaurants serving fine wines, the newest niche eateries falter and fail in the same places as well-established favorites – competitive advantage.
The good news is that the restaurant industry is poised to explode with record sales. The National Restaurant Association predicted in 2019 an increase of $863 billion for the food service industry. The bad news for restaurants, bars, and breweries is the overlap in services that boost the level of competition for customers. Owners and managers must streamline employee efforts with technology to save time and money in order to stay competitive and outpace the competition in 2020.
13 Methods for Creating Competitive Advantage
People in business are always saying, “work smarter, not harder.” While that is a quaint cliche, few successful restaurants, bars, and breweries are suffering from the inability to work smarter or harder. The tricky part is knowing how to make the most of every minute your employees spend counting, ordering, and receiving your inventory.
Here are the 13 best ways to optimize efforts to create competitive advantage:
1. Audit your processes and workflow.
Many restaurants, bars, and breweries create a workflow and process for completing tasks to avoid wasting time and duplicating efforts. The failure ultimately occurs when the workflow is not routinely updated to make sure that time-saving tasks are not outdated. Finding a better way to streamline tasks can directly change the bottom line for most service based industries by freeing up employees to help customers.
2. Delegate ordering tasks to several employees.
Most breweries, bars, and restaurants are not fortunate enough to have an employee dedicated to ordering and purchasing. The task of ordering might fall on a busy bartender or chef wearing many hats. By delegating the ordering responsibility to several people, the size of the overall task decreases into small, bite-sized chunks for each employee.
3. Build in transparency.
Employers and owners struggle to hand off ordering tasks to employees due to the loss of transparency. Set up your order management solution to provide the account owner with notices for new ordering suggestions, communications with suppliers, and clear information about the status of each order. By building in transparency, owners and employers can keep on eye on the progress of orders and focus on the bigger picture of running a bar, restaurant, or brewery.
4. Ask suppliers to manage prices & contact details.
Food and beverage companies change prices and seller reps several times per year. Many restaurants, bars, and breweries spend hours making updates to pricing lists or never receive a notice that their supplier rep has changed positions. Giving suppliers the abilities to manage their own pricing in your order catalog and update their contact details saves data entry time, missed orders, and late delivery dates.
5. Ditch the pen & paper addiction. Go digital in 2020.
Writing down inventory counts and order data increases the amount of time that employees spend completing purchasing activities and the opportunity for error. Scanning barcodes to order or searching an online catalog for items makes the process of ordering easy and convenient. Once all items are scanned into your OMS and placed in your cart, you can hit place order and move on with other duties without backtracking through long lists of item numbers to find errors.
6. Drop multiple ordering systems.
Whether it takes you a few seconds or a few minutes to login to each order portal, most food service owners and managers understand the waste of time. Find an OMS that allows you to order everything from one system without switching between solutions. Saving time, training, and frustration of locating usernames and passwords means employees can go on to other tasks.
7. Stop counting inventory.
Many order management solutions require you to count your inventory before sending orders. The fact is that restaurants, bars, and breweries can look on the shelf to quickly identify what needs to be ordered. If a menu highlight will be shrimp or a certain craft beer, you do not need to do an entire inventory to know if you have enough to meet demand. Your inventory counts should not stand in the way of daily ordering.
8. Require order traceability.
For bars, restaurants, and breweries of all sizes, traceability and notices help you to follow up without hand-holding each order until delivery. The ability to quickly check the status of your order from your app means that you know if and when it is accepted by your supplier. If there is an issue and your order can not be easily shipped, then you know because the status will reflect the delay and save you time on follow-up..
9. Set up preferred times for rep visits.
It can be hard to run a restaurant, bar, or brewery smoothly with unplanned visits from reps and vendors. While most business owners slip into a natural rhythm of visitations with their suppliers, setting up a schedule for visits can help you plan your orders and maximize time for both of you. Allowing reps to visit during the slow times or before hours of operation gives you the ability to focus on what makes you money – your customers.
10. Ease ordering with mobile apps.
The days of writing things down for a rep or supplier to submit to their company for ordering are over. The camera on your phone serves as a barcode reader that connects directly to the Jellyfish ordering app to make locating the product you need quick and convenient. Whether on a wi-fi network or not, the app works to give multiple people ordering abilities at the same time and syncs to avoid duplication.
11. Order products and supplies online.
If you are tired of fighting through multiple ordering systems or the lines at the big club membership stores, then order your products and supplies online. Many restaurants, bars, and breweries hesitate to use a non-food online ordering system due to the variation of their needs – from soap to cherries to steaks to chairs. Using an online ordering system like Jellyfish allows you to add all of your items to your cart and checkout once to buy anything from anyone at any time.
12. Create and review spending reports.
Spending reports help owners of bars, restaurants, and breweries understand their expenses and track expenditures. Customized reports make it easy for business owners to target their most expensive items and find new suppliers. Tracking these expenses can also help buyers negotiate lower prices and better deals based on buying volume. From lowering overall cost to pinpointing expenses, spending reports regularly reviewed can give insight to help guide the bottomline.
13. Streamline the reordering process with notices.
An order management system is not complete without the ability to notify you of pending shortages to streamline the ordering process. Notices will let you know if you are depleting the amount you ordered and make suggestions about future orders to help you avoid running out. In the food industry, running out of a product can mean the loss of revenue and reputation. While you might not want to reorder every suggested item, automatic notices will help you increase your competitive advantage and save time.
In order to grow, a business needs an order management solution that streamlines the workflow and makes the most of employee time. Using technology to optimize efforts and increase efficiency in the ordering process ensures that you have the transparency needed to make sound buying decisions, track orders through to delivery, and meet customer demand.
Take the Next Step – Free Jellyfish Order Management Software
Buyers >> Jellyfish Order Management app is a B2B ecosystem that allows buyers to order from all of their suppliers at one time at no cost. Most businesses purchase from many different suppliers and each supplier has a different way for buyers to place their order – emails, phone calls, texts, rep visits, and proprietary portals. Jellyfish OMS increases your competitive advantage by eliminating the purchasing nightmare of paperwork and costly errors. Get your free Jellyfish OMS Retailer account today.
Sellers >> Suppliers manage their distribution centers, reps, and customers all from one tool. Jellyfish increases efficiency, accuracy, and helps reduce the sales reps administrative workload so they can spend more time with customers generating revenue. Using Jellyfish cost pennies per order and – in most cases – saves the supplier $100 or more per order in data entry, processing, and customer service. Sign up now for your free Jellyfish OMS Supplier account.
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