Imagine a restaurant chain purchasing manager’s typical day at work: countless phone calls and emails with restaurant managers and suppliers, manual price monitoring, piles of paper, dozens of open Excel files and a host of numbers and details that must constantly be kept in mind. Even though purchasing managers usually only work with one store (for example, they might be responsible exclusively for produce or drinks), the amount of data they need to retrieve, process, send out and manage can be staggering. The self cost of each dish and the promptness of supply deliveries both depend on how fast supply orders are created, how favourable the terms of supplier agreements are and how seamlessly document flow is organised. This is a critical and strenuous job that requires impeccable attention to detail.
What does the typical purchase procedure in a restaurant chain without Tillypad look like?
Step 1. Distribute and process requests from restaurants
In addition to the purchasing manager in a chain’s main office, each of its restaurants has at least one person responsible for the promptness and completeness of stock deliveries. Usually this person is the chef, administrator or manager, who creates requests on-site and sends them to the central office. In most cases, chefs and managers create these requests based on their gut feelings: ‘We're almost out of red peppers. Let’s order 20 more kilos; that should cover us for the next week.’ An experienced purchasing manager may suspect that the quantity ordered is either insufficient or excessive and contact the restaurant for clarification. However, this is not guaranteed, and the entire line of communication between the restaurants and the central office takes place via phone or email, without any centralised data or recordkeeping. As a result, if an issue arises (spoilage, faster-than-expected consumption, late delivery), finding the responsible employee is very difficult.
Step 2. Create supplier requests
After requests have been received from the individual restaurants and checked for accuracy, the purchasing manager proceeds to the next step—contacting suppliers. They may be new or current suppliers, as prices and delivery terms are constantly in flux. Phone calls, requests for price lists, contract renegotiations, price and delivery comparisons, and later, request management and record generation all await the purchasing manager.
Step 3.Receive deliveries and generate records
On the appointed day, a lorry with the ordered stock items arrives at the loading area of either the central store or the store for an individual restaurant. In all the confusion, stock-in records don't always make it to the purchasing department immediately, which means that the stock-in may be recorded inaccurately or with a delay. This results in stock control errors that are not easily caught and corrected after the fact.
Keeping in mind the time and effort purchasing managers expend to do their jobs, Tillypad have developed a new back office tool, Purchases. The Purchases system allows you to automate the entire purchase cycle in a restaurant or a restaurant chain, from generating an initial request to creating a stock-in record. It ensures that the restaurant or chain will consistently be supplied with low-cost stock items, and it can free up as much as 40% of the purchasing workload. Today, Tillypad is the only customised hospitality management software offering these unique features.
How does the Purchases tool work in Tillypad XL?
Step 1. Create planned and ad hoc requests
All original requests received from the individual restaurants are immediately displayed on the purchasing manager’s interface. Creating supplier requests takes almost no time or effort: Tillypad XL automatically calculates recommended quantities for order, taking into account the standard delivery times and consumption rates at each restaurant. Are you hosting a banquet or large party? Use ad hoc requests to determine what stock items need to be ordered and in what quantities.
Step 2. Work from the user-friendly Active purchases interface
Without a centralised system, inconsistencies in communication and recordkeeping can create chaos in a purchasing department. But with the new Purchases tool from Tillypad XL, these issues are a thing of the past. The work of purchasing managers has become much easier thanks to the consolidation of data within a single system. Requests from each restaurant and information about each supplier are stored in one place, and all communication is logged. Purchasing managers require less time to do the same job, and compiling requests from multiple restaurants and sending them to suppliers now takes only a few seconds. Tillypad XL will make sure you are purchasing stock items at the most favourable prices possible—the system recommends suppliers with the best sales offers. With this system in use at your venue(s), your food and payroll costs will decrease, and your business’s profits will begin to climb.
Step 3. Receive deliveries and monitor quality
When a delivery arrives at the store, its stock-in records have already been created, since they are generated automatically based on supplier requests. The storekeeper’s final step is to change the stock-in record status, and the purchasing manager’s last remaining tasks are to check the stock items’ prices and run the stock-in record on the store.
Your entire purchasing history and all the operations connected to it are logged within the system. This means that the restaurant has an ever-growing database on its stock consumption and its suppliers. Based on this purchasing history, Tillypad not only creates supplier requests, but also guarantees the accuracy of important figures and warns the user when inconsistencies are found. For example, the system will notify you if a delivery is incomplete or if the prices in a request differ from those in its accompanying stock-in record. It will also list the employees from the restaurant and the back office who are responsible for this delivery.
Automate your purchases with Tillypad to earn more, avoid overconsumption and decrease payroll costs. With this tool for monitoring stock item prices, suppliers and purchasing department employees, your business will grow faster than you ever thought possible!