Tis the season! For many of us, this is the busiest time of year heading into the slowest sales season. Now is the time to capitalize on profits and prepare to tighten our belts by bolstering your purchasing systems.

Use these strategies to finish the year strong and set the tone for a profitable new year.

1. Navigate Through Negotiation–Capture Quotes Before Purchasing

Purchasing blind is a very dangerous practice, but it’s easy to forget procurement is a process between multiple parties. That means operators can, and should, get involved! The simplest way to begin is with a single question: Can you do better? You will be amazed by the impact of this ask. In the short term, you often can get better prices and build your relationship with your supplier. In the long term, you will become more informed about the procurement market, causing your supplier’s initial quotes to be more advantageous for you. 

2. Planning Makes Perfect–Organize Your Operation

The human brain is so prone to mistakes, the human condition is equated to making them (here an err, there an err, everywhere… you get it.) However, that fact is often forced to the back burner as daily tasks, management, and customer demands boil over. One thing leads to another and all the sudden, the poor practice of ordering from the desk or memory has become incredibly common. Savvy operators ditch this strategy in favor of planning their week, reviewing their inventory, and checking their sales against their inventory. Improving your drop size will make your negotiating position stronger with suppliers. Plus, with U.S. restaurants racking up 22-33 billion pounds of food waste per year, keeping your finger on the pulse of inventory pays well for your operation and the environment. 

For inventory tips and tricks, be sure to check out Craftable’s blog here. Err no more! 

3. Ball, Boil, & Broil on a Budget–Build the Target & Shoot Straight

It’s impossible to hit the mark when the mark does not exist. Creating a budget is another way to organize, plan, and increase efficiency. You likely already have a target cost of sales percentage, but that goal is a moving object, depending on the inevitable shifts within the hospitality industry. To improve, review your projected sales with the team and build out a budget that mirrors those projections. The busier you are expecting to be, the more product you’ll need. Unfortunately, none of us are psychic, so track purchases, monitor sales, and stay within your budget. Make a mid-week adjustment to ensure efficient spending. FnB management software like Craftable makes this task a breeze while providing additional insights and control. Bullseye! 

4. Wait, These Oranges Aren’t Apples–Receive your Goods Properly

All inventory is not equal, and sometimes what operators order is not equal to what is delivered. That’s why you should only pay for what you receive. Many restaurants are quick to overlook the importance of this job and end up paying for more than they actually get. To avoid this, be sure to weigh all appropriate items, check the quality of products, and make sure products are at the proper temperature. This is the first line of defense in the quality your customer experiences. Mistakes will happen in the supply chain process, so protect yourself.

5. Make Your List, Check It Twice–Review your Purchasing Invoice Prices

Remember that little fact about humans? Well, your salesperson happens to be one along with the person entering the bid into their computer system. It is not uncommon for quoted prices to differ from those that appear on invoices. Whether innocent or not, double checking these details is another way to protect yourself and ensure best procurement practices. Craftable users can count on a second set of eyes in this step with clear alerts and tracking. 

Ready for Saving 

By implementing these strategies, operators can boost their purchasing systems and ensure success in the new year. And there’s more where that came from! For individualized guidance, book a 15-minute consultation with Craftable and define actionable improvements to lower your spend across all purchases, free of charge. Start saving today.