Whether you’re a seasoned restauranteur or a new restaurant owner, investing in excellent restaurant inventory management software can make all the difference! At the heart of every successful restaurant is good food made up of fresh, quality ingredients. So there’s no wonder why restaurants need to stay ahead of the curve and proactively manage their stock.
From small local eateries to larger restaurant chains, there’s an ideal app for everyone. Our guide to the best restaurant inventory management software will help you find a platform that suits your needs. We’ve also included a simple buyer’s guide to help you understand what to look for in your software.
4 Best Restaurant Inventory Management Software (Reviews)
Starter Monthly Plan: Operator: $127 (20 Invoice Scans)
MarketMan is a restaurant inventory management software designed to help restaurant owners streamline their operations. This software allows users to check their inventory from any location.
As it’s cloud-based software, you can use most devices to run your stock count. There’s also a stock tracking feature to eliminate waste and reduce and track theft.
With the customizable menu and recipe feature, you can intelligently build profitable menus to increase your revenue. MarketMan’s ability to list ingredient costs for all your dishes will help you determine your higher-margin recipes and adjust your least profitable meals.
Each item on your menu will also have a complete breakdown, so you can stay on top of your inventory management from the time a food order is placed. The platform allows you to input and upload photos of your dishes, preparation instructions, and even portion sizes. Additionally, you’ll get a comprehensive view of the ingredients for each dish and any allergens that you and your customers need to be aware of.
MarketMan offers reporting features, which allow you to track sales, food profitability, stock cost, and gross profits. It can also save you time on invoicing and managing unpaid accounts. The software automatically updates your inventory levels based on your delivery invoices, eliminating the need for manual entries.
Lastly, MarketMan allows for automated ordering. You can choose from your own vendors or one of MarketMan’s suppliers. Quickly set up purchasing budgets, minimum and maximum quantity guidelines, delivery times, and reminders for a hassle-free inventory management system.
- Vendor management
- Food costing capabilities
- Automated ordering and order optimization
- Budgeting and reporting tools
- Purchasing and food costing
- Physical counting
MarketMan’s inventory management software includes both POS and accounting software integration.
POS System Integrations:
MarketMan’s monthly subscription-based software offers three tiers.
The software is free to install, and the Operator plan includes all of MarketMan’s basic features. It also includes up to 20 invoice scans for $127. Users with bigger businesses and a larger number of vendors can purchase 50 additional scans for $50.
Both the Professional and Ultimate plans include reporting tools and ingredient costing breakdowns per recipe. The Professional plan comes with 50 invoice scans at $169 per month.
Finally, the Ultimate plan allows users up to 300 invoice scans at includes two vendor integrations for $339.
- One-on-one software setup with your account representative - including all data entry
- POS and accounting integrations
- Set your food cost budget and receive alerts for substitutions or alternative vendors
- Delegate tasks in real-time and keep employees in the loop
- Receive alerts when staff override commands and operations
- Compile all your recipes into your own unique cookbook
- Access the software from any device
- In-app orders are email-based
- Manual invoice data entry
- No vendor orders or payments through the electronic data interface (EDI)
- Can be expensive if you require more data scans - the Ultimate tier offers 300 scans for $339
- No free subscription tier
2. xtraCHEF by Toast
Starter Monthly Plan: Custom
xtraCHEF by Toast is another leading restaurant inventory management system. Toast’s platform allows you to track stock, streamline vendor orders, and use reports to enhance day-to-day operations.
This restaurant inventory software helps you create comprehensive and consistent inventory reports through a configurable system. You can train your staff to take inventory counts, reducing time spent doing busy work. XtraCHEF’s autosave feature also ensures that your stock counts are uploaded and saved in real-time so you can pick up where you left off at any time.
To keep inventory counts as simple as possible, you can customize your setup to reflect your walk-in and stock room. This ensures that all your stock is accounted for without skipping over any products.
Once your inventory counts are done, xtraCHEF will generate an order guide based on your current stock quantities to keep up with your inventory par levels. Using a purchasing and order management feature, you can send your necessary orders straight to your preferred vendors.
A nifty feature of this restaurant inventory software is it can estimate the value of your inventory using your recent purchase prices or an average derived from some of your older purchase prices. This can help to keep food costs optimal and increase the accuracy of your financial reporting.
- Vendor management
- Electronic data interface functionality
- Visual interface
- Quickly scan and upload invoices
- Inventory ingredient tracking and rebate program
Toast is a software dedicated to restaurant management and POS system. xtraCHEF users can integrate their inventory management software with Toast POS.
A tip for Toast POS users: you can integrate with BevSpot, BrewLogix, CrafTable, and MarketMan to expand the capabilities of your software.
XtraCHEF’s restaurant inventory management system is free to install, and users can create custom monthly subscription plans to suit their needs. The platform has a free plan with basic functionality for companies just starting or smaller restaurants with more straightforward inventory management needs.
- Free subscription plan
- The visual interface is user-friendly
- Electronic data interface connections to vendor ordering
- Automated inventory management updates in real-time as dishes are sold
- Manufacturer Rebate Program compares orders against manufacturers’ rebates on xtraCHEF’s Buyer’s Edge platform
- Only compatible with Toast point of sale software
- Custom pricing which can get expensive
- Inventory counts are done through barcode-scanning
3. Upserve by Lightspeed
Starter Monthly Plan: $199 ($50 per Terminal)
Upserve is an all-in-one restaurant management software with built-in inventory management to streamline your business. The software performs functions spanning from front-of-house services to back-of-house operations.
You can automate day-to-day busy work with updated stock amounts as you sell your dishes. As your stock depletes, you’ll receive alerts directly to your Upserve platform. With one click, you can replenish supplies by ordering from your favorite vendors. And, when you receive stock, your inventory will be updated for your next service.
One of the biggest problems in the restaurant industry is food wastage. This can significantly impact your revenue, so it’s in your best interest to track how much stock is being served versus how much is going to waste. Upserve helps to track these numbers through the dashboard.
One of the main features of Upserve is its recipe cost calculator, which allows you to see how profitable your menu items are. Upserve uses menu and inventory data to determine which dishes your customers love - and which dishes are costing you money.
Whether you’re a local mom-and-pop restaurant or part of a larger chain, you can track your food costs and stay on top of inventory management within any of your locations. You can also authorize your trusted vendors and set your stock budget as you need, meaning there won’t be any unexpected costs.
If you distribute stock to locations via a central kitchen, you can also ensure that all your branches receive the correct inventory on time. Using the Upserve app, your staff can scan stock barcodes for quick and easy inventory counts. You can also use this feature to streamline your inventory ordering and delivery systems.
- Fully integrated POS
- One-click ordering
- Easily automate your entire inventory management system
- Receive alerts for accurate order tracking
Upserve allows you to integrate their POS system for an all-inclusive restaurant management system. The point of sale includes the ability to split payments and receive in-depth reporting and analytics.
You can train staff using the Upserve POS training mode, so your servers can learn on the go. It also has a straightforward user interface that allows your team to search for menu items. Behind the scenes, the kitchen has an order overview which helps them see all open orders at any given point.
Upserve offers three subscription plans. Software installation fees are quoted based on your business needs and are a once-off additional payment to your subscription plan.
Upserve offers a starter plan for $59 per month, with an additional $60 fee per terminal that runs the Upserve POS. Their most popular plan - the Pro - is offered at $199 per month, with a $50 charge for additional terminals.
It’s important to note that the inventory management software is only offered as part of the Pro and Pro Plus subscription tiers.
- Mobile capabilities for on-the-go management
- One-click ordering to replenish stock with low-stock alerts
- The mobile app includes barcode scanning capabilities for inventory counts
- Offline capabilities that automatically update your system when reconnected to the internet
- Detailed reporting for smoother operations and business management
- Inventory management tools only available as part of Pro and Pro Plus plans
- Only operates as part of the Upserve POS system
- No electronic data interface
Starter Monthly Plan: Free
Square, known for its POS business software, includes a basic inventory management tool. You can use it to manage your inventory remotely, download inventory reports, update inventory levels, and receive stock alert emails to remind you of low stock amounts.
From the Square dashboard or Point of Sale app, you can manage menu names, details, and prices. There is also a quick modification feature so you can update your incoming customer orders.
As you’re linked to the POS system, it’s also possible to take and process online payments, generate digital receipts, track inventory based on sales, and generate comprehensive business reports from the app.
- Accept payments from customers while they stay comfortably seated
- Flexible payment options
- Faster order entry for streamlined service
- Floor management for optimal customer seating arrangements
- Kitchen Display System allows staff to track prep times and create custom ticket timers
- Inventory management integrations
Square is primarily a POS software that restaurants can use to help make service easier for everyone. While Square is one of the more basic restaurant inventory management systems, it allows software integrations to help you flesh out your management software.
Some of the top food inventory software integrations include:
- MarketMan - $149 per month
- Peachworks - $137 per month
- Yellow Dog Inventory - $99 per month
Square offers a free subscription plan that covers your basic POS and online ordering needs. The free plan allows inventory management system integrations, making it a great addition to your existing food inventory software.
The Plus plan also offers comprehensive features catered to restaurants and retailers with multiple locations. This comes at an affordable price of $29 per month. All of Square’s plan fees exclude their processing fees.
- Free POS software plan
- Affordable Plus plan for multiple locations
- Allows for inventory management system integrations
- Needs integrations for inventory management capabilities
Buyers Guide: What To Look For In Restaurant Inventory Management Software
Ease of Use
Running a restaurant is taxing. When looking for software to reduce the busy work of day-to-day operations, an intuitive and simple-to-use app takes the prize every time.
Consider whether the inventory management software you’re interested in is user-friendly for you and your team. Everyone will need training on the new platform, so it’s better if there aren’t lengthy onboarding processes or big learning curves involved.
Automations and integrations also save time and simplify work. Look for a platform that can take care of tasks such as employee management and POS processing in addition to inventory. This will streamline your restaurant management and help you track daily operations better from one dashboard.
It goes without saying that you need to find restaurant inventory software that fits your budget and business needs.
If you’re an independent venue finding your feet within the restaurant industry, you might want to pick a simpler system with a few key features. That said, look for something that is expandable and can grow with your business.
We always recommend trying out free software plans or limited time trials to get a feel for the features on offer. You can then make an informed decision about whether or not to invest in the system and start paying for it.
As a restaurant, food is your bread and butter. Quite simply, keeping track of stock is central to your operations; you need a platform that gives you insight into your stock levels at all times. With this information, you can easily plan stock replenishment and order sizes.
A sound restaurant inventory management system will also enable you to reduce stock loss and avoid food spoilage. Food waste is one of the biggest problems that restaurants face and can harm your profits. Similarly, running out of stock can bring your service to a grinding halt, causing unhappy customers.
Your inventory software should provide you with inventory analysis reports so you can plan ahead and stay up to date with what’s in your walk-in and stock room. Some inventory management systems also allow you to order or reorder from your preferred vendors directly. This will save time and let you focus on what matters most - running your restaurant business.
Just as food is the key ingredient to running a successful restaurant business, where - and who - you source your inventory from can affect the quality of these ingredients. Establishing contracts with vendors, negotiating fair prices, ensuring excellent service provision, and reducing the risk of problems with your suppliers are essential.
Some inventory management software allows you to interact with your preferred vendors, secure a fair price, and ensure that stock is ordered and delivered on time. When looking for a great inventory system, it’s important to look for vendor management capabilities that can help streamline these processes for you.
Suppose your vendor has increased their prices or can’t deliver your stock on time. In that case, you’ll want an inventory system that connects you with other vendors that offer similar prices so you can substitute your products without interrupting your operations.
A good vendor management tool should allow you to set purchase agreements and budgets. Some software may also allow you to automatically order from your designated vendors using your par levels data.
Inventory software is a vital component of running a successful restaurant. These platforms can be used as standalone systems or integrated with your existing restaurant management software for a more comprehensive management system.
A good inventory management platform is easy to use, affordably priced, has stock tracking, and vendor management capabilities. If your software meets these guidelines and can satisfy your business requirements, you’ll be running a booming business in no time!
In the market for event management software that integrates with your existing restaurant systems? Check out Perfect Venue - your planning and operations team will be able to automate processes, allocate tasks, create professional documents, and more from one dashboard, executing events flawlessly.
Try it free or watch a demo to see if Perfect Venue is a fit for your restaurant business. For restaurant inventory management tips and best practices, check out our post.