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Don't Run your Coffee Shop without an Inventory Management System

Posted by Kady White

Tue, Feb 16, 2016

Good friends don’t let friends run a coffee shop without an inventory management system!

Are you a current coffee shop owner or thinking about going into the business? Do you want a leg up on being successful? What is your plan for managing your coffee shop inventory? You need a plan and the will to make this a routine part of running your business day to day. There are cumbersome manual systems to do this but today managing your inventory with a POS like Coffee Shop Manager will go a long way to simplify things for you and help to assure your success?

There was a time when it was easy to turn a profit operating a coffee shop. Then came the 2008 recession and everything changed. There were less coffee shop inventoryfolks with disposable income for purchasing lattes and mochas. Many coffee drinkers stopped going to their favorite shop and started to make their own
at home of if they did continue to frequent the coffee shops they were coming in less often or would drink a less expensive drink or forgo that muffin with their drip!

What happened? Many Specialty Coffee Retailers simply were not prepared for this kind of downturn and didn’t survive. There became a need to focus on the pennies and not just the dollars. Of course not all shops failed. Many made it through. A common theme for the success stories was that these stores were well managed. An important component of that management was to be able to control and manage their inventory and associated costs on a daily basis.

The coffee shop inventory is different than that of a traditional café or restaurant. It is a hybrid. Not only needing an effective way to track the components used in drink and food preparation but retail items as well. That is because specialty coffee retailers carry items that are thought of as more traditional retail. Items such as packaged beans, coffee mugs and cups, brewing equipment, clothing and grab and go items, including bottled drinks and packaged foods.
coffee shop inventoryIf you run out of an item because you were not aware of how fast it was selling or worse yet it was being lost due to employee theft, that can cost you sales and profit. No big deal you say? Let’s take a look at a single item. like vanilla syrup. If you charge .50 for adding the vanilla flavor but didn’t have it on hand when the customer orders it from your menu you potentially loose the sale of that item or worse loos the drink sale and disappoint your customer. Repeat this several times during a day and the pennies of profit lost now mount to dollars. You may potentially loose customers to a competitor particularly if this is a common occurrence. Do you not have their favorite bottle of juice on hand and loose that sale as well. Not having timely inventory information on hand is why you lost those sales.

There is more to an inventory management system then looking at the shelf and deciding it’s time to order more coffee mugs or vanilla syrup. A POS system like Coffee Shop Manager with a full inventory management component built in with timely reports such as the “Recommended Reorder Report” may have saved that sale and lost profit for you by highlighting it’s time to reorder before an item goes out of stock! With the Margin Analysis Report you can easily see which items are moving. Find those high margin items that are fast moving and keep them well stocked.

An investment in effective technology to help you better manage your coffee shop will help to assure you are a success story in tough economic times!

Learn More about Coffee Shop Inventory