Inventory Software

Was wondering how many of you use inventory software like Chef Tec or Optimum Control?
I’ve only got one store and run through about $3000 worth of stock a week (this includes everything from flour to fried to beer and liquor.
I already have cameras and a POS so employee theft has not been an issue.
What I’m asking is, is it worth the investment or is this for multiple stores?


I’ve no knowledge of those specfic systems - how do you control/monitor your inventory at the moment?

I use a simple Excel spread sheet that helps with inventory control, menu pricing, food cost calculations etc. It took about 2 hours in total to put it together. I have only one location but to me (OCD inspired) it gives me peace of mind.

daddio…can you share that sheet or possibly help us build or own?..excel is very difficult to work with.

There are some excellent tutorials at Excel is an important piece of software for any business…

Here is an example of a simple Excel spreadsheet for inventory management. It is a PDF file but it will give you an idea of something you could put into Excel. … ySheet.pdf

We have a bunch of other downloads available for restaurant operations that you guys can look at if interested. … loads.aspx

Finally, this is an article on Conducting Inventory that you might find useful. … ntory.aspx

No one tool is going to stop staff theft. posted a few times on this issue having been subject to staff theft shortly after we opened.

If you’re not doing regular (ideally daily) inventory of your ‘high risk’ goods then you’ve little chance of knowing if things are being stolen or not. 10 boxes missing and 10 pieces of dough? Is that wastage, bad order or 10 pizza’s going out free and the money in some ones pocket? A couple of soda’s a night soon mounts up and if you let people get away with it then it’ll open the door to bigger things.

Whilst you haven’t answered if you do an inventory at the moment I strongly suggest anyone who is not doing daily inventory to start!

It depends. I know operators who wouldn’t operate without inventory software. And I know others who’ve wasted their money on it.

The successful ones:

a) Have accurate recipes defined for their menu items & portion controls in place.
b) Have a solid physical inventory process in place (at least weekly for most ingredients; daily for critical/high food cost ingredients).
c) Were prepared to invest the time required to set it up correctly.
d) Maintain it consistently.

You may find some helpful best practices in this article. While most examples refer to SpeedLine Inventory, the concepts are pretty universal.

What an inventory application tied to your POS gives you that you don’t get with the typical Excel tracking worksheet is the real comparison of actual and ideal usage. That comparison is the whole point of inventory software: it’s where you find the variances that help you pinpoint waste, theft, improper portioning, and other problems.

One caution, though: if your menu includes create-your-own pizzas, make sure that the inventory software you choose can calculate usage accurately for those “dynamically built” menu items without requiring individual recipes for every possible combination. If not, it will never work for you.

Sorry, I ‘forgot’ (took for granted) that my inventory software is integrated in my POS.

I totally agree with Jennifer. You have to spend the time on setting up your inventory properly.

If you do you can review (by item) at the end of the day or the week to see over/under topping etc.

I’ve had plenty of nights (particularly when someone new starts or when we’ve introduced a new pizza) when we over top (particularly on red and white food items!) So we check this carefully and can step in and remind people if we haven’t been able to spot it already on the night.

So going back to the original post - what your POS and has it got an in built (or add on) inventory as that should be your first stop IMO

I ask about those two particular pieces of software because that’s what my POS (Diamond Crap) exports and updates to so that there is a real-time inventory status.

Not sure if I can setup Excel to accept the file format that the POS exports… I’ll have to check.

I use to have a big spreadsheet that had each individual item with it’s recipe set so when the prices of the incoming inventory changed, the cost of the item and the Food Cost would change with it. But, the problem what that was, whenever I bought item A. from a different vendor, I would move that item to that vendors “area” and the formulas for everything that used item A. screwed up.

I’d have no problem doing this again but I can’t thing of a better way to set it up in Excel, or how to cross reference from say one file or sheet to the next.

Daddio, would you be so kind as to show us how you have yours setup?


I have an pretty sophisticated excel file I’d be willing to share if you pm me your email. Obviously its going to take some work to get it set up for your operation tho.

You input all your purchases for the week. And it transfers into the next page for the inventory. Then you input your ending inventory and your sales and viola.

Because I have all my recipes and formulations on my spread sheet I am reluctant to share it. I looked at several intigrated software packages and determined that I was better off creating the spread sheet. My POS will exprot reports in a CSV format which is easily imported into Excel.

I apologize for being so criptic but somethings are just secret.

Pakula excel is fun and easy I can help you with it


One word: Pivot Tables. Learn to use them in Excel and the world is your oyster.

WOW! I never knew that existed. Charles, specifically, how do you apply that?
Are you exporting a data file to track sales by item or customer?

been looking on how to apply the Pivot Tables… i see how they work but now shure how to setup the format… any pic’s?


Try this.