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Serving pre-prepared meals in limited-service restaurants requires accurate supply management

10/26/2017

In a competitive market, restaurant chains are always looking for new ways in which they can differentiate themselves from the competition. One way they're doing this is by offering pre-prepared boxed meals that customers can buy in a grab-and-go format, QSR Magazine reported. This format allows busy customers to come into a limited-service store and quickly purchase a high-quality meal without the wait.

This is a great way for limited-service restaurant chains to expand their offerings and give them a new way to market their businesses. Adopting this new service model, however, means that these restaurants will have to adapt their supply chain management practices to accommodate the less-predictable nature of a grab-and-go style. Here are a few ways that a SaaS supply management platform can help limited-service restaurant chains incorporate this model:

Limited-service restaurants that want to add grab-and-go elements to their operations need agile and accurate inventory management.Limited-service restaurants that want to add grab-and-go elements to their operations need agile and accurate inventory management.

More accurate order forecasting
Filling out an inventory of pre-prepared meals is a risky proposition. In general, the staff will prepare these meals during non-peak times and have them ready for when the breakfast or lunch rush comes in. This means that if inventory managers didn't forecast their sales correctly, the restaurant could end up with considerable waste if too few customer take the boxed meals, or a stockout in the event that not enough meals were set out for purchase.

A SaaS solution gives supply managers a real-time view into periodic and perpetual inventory levels and puts them side-by-side with historical sales data so he or she knows exactly how much of each ingredient must be ordered at any given time. Understanding the sales trends of boxed meals will ensure that restaurants don't prepare too many or too few, leading to wasted food and money.

"Filling out an inventory of pre-prepared meals is a risky proposition."

Ease of integration with existing operations
SaaS platforms have modular designs, meaning that previously gathered sales data stored in spreadsheets and existing accounting systems can be seamlessly integrated into the new system. SaaS platforms reduce the hassles that come with trying to make an operation more agile and efficient while coming with the flexibility to work with existing systems.

Special events call for agile ordering
During community events or a catering situation in which the restaurant is asked to provide a large quantity of boxed meals on short notice, there can be a major spike in demand without a lot of time to prepare for it. In this case, it helps to have an ordering platform that allows inventory managers to place orders quickly without sacrificing accuracy.

With a SaaS supply management solution, every actor in the supply agreement has the same real-time view of orders, invoices and sales data. When a specific restaurant location needs to increase its usual order for one day alone, it can do that instantly by updating the order information for that day. Production facilities, suppliers and distributors can immediately access that information and ensure that the store has enough product on hand to make it through the day.