8 Reasons All Restaurants Need Real-time Supply Chain Monitoring

Paul Damaren
Paul Damaren

by Paul Damaren, Executive Vice President, Business Development at RizePoint

8 Reasons All Restaurants Need Real-time Supply Chain MonitoringYum! Brands, which runs KFC, Pizza Hut, and Taco Bell, prioritizes real-time supply chain management, using tech tools to manage inventory, track deliveries, streamline operations, and boost efficiency.

Using tech tools – like SaaS solutions, RFID tagging, GPS tracking, AI, and predictive analytics – for supply chain monitoring, allows restaurant operators to gather real-time insights about current and future events that could potentially impact your business. These insights can help you make more informed, data-based decisions to minimize business disruptions.

Eight reasons that your restaurant needs supply chain monitoring include the ability to:

  1. Prioritize food safety protocols. As a restaurateur, keeping your guests safe should be priority #1. One of the most critical components of supply chain monitoring is knowing where your food comes from and ensuring that it’s been handled with best-in-class safety protocols during the entire supply chain journey. Your vendors should share food quality audits, assessments, and reports willingly and continuously. If you have any concerns that a vendor isn’t upholding the highest safety protocols, change suppliers immediately.
  2. Identify potential risks and disruptions. Tech tools provide access to accurate real-time data. By leveraging these critical insights, restaurateurs can tackle potential disruptions within the supply chain and act proactively to address them. For instance, if you know of a transportation delay or product shortage in a certain area, you can pivot to other suppliers in different regions to avoid service interruptions. Since an effective monitoring system tracks food across the supply chain, you’ll be aware of any threat of a risk or disruption in real time so you can act quickly to minimize its impact, and maintain business as usual.
  3. Optimize and automate operations. By improving and automating various supply chain processes, such as inventory management, restaurants can reduce their overall costs to boost their bottom line and remain competitive. For example, automating the upselling process can help restaurants better manage their inventory and avoid running out of products while awaiting a delayed delivery. If an AI platform is connected to a restaurant’s menu and inventory systems, it can automatically promote or withdraw items based on stock levels. Say your restaurant is running low on chicken, but has plenty of beef. The menus can promote beef products prominently to reduce demand on chicken. Influencing demand like this will create minimal waste and optimize the supply chain.
  4. Find (and fix) problems. Supply chains fluctuate, and you never know what you’ll encounter on any given day, so stay vigilant. RFID, commonly used in retail, is now being used in the food industry to trace ingredients across the supply chain in real-time. Ideally, this technology will help restaurants (and suppliers) trace products to avoid costly, damaging food safety breaches. Using tech tools in this way can help restaurants maintain safety, quality, and consistency across their networks. And, when a problem is identified, any potentially contaminated products can be immediately pulled before they reach your guests, protecting their health (and safeguarding your restaurant’s reputation).
  5. Predict the future. Remember when supply chain bottlenecks caused avocado costs to spike right before the Super Bowl? While it may seem like a “small detail,” having the foresight to pivot from a pricy guacamole special to a more affordable queso dip instead could save restaurants significant cash during a busy Super Bowl weekend. Think of tech tools as your own crystal ball that can help predict the future, with access to critical data that can help you make more informed decisions. If you know there’s going to be a product shortage, price spike, or other potential disruptor, you can proactively come up with a Plan B to avoid any interruption to your business, unpleasant surprises to your budget, or customer disappointments. Now that you have the chance to see into the future – and act accordingly to protect your business – why wouldn’t you take it??
  6. Exceed customer expectations. When customers visit a restaurant, they expect consistently high-quality food and service. If a restaurant isn’t reliably strong in these areas, they risk losing customers. Since managing customer expectations is linked to a healthy supply chain, restaurateurs must ensure that their supplies come in safely and on time. Think about it: supply chain management technology can help restaurants improve the customer experience, drive repeat business, and influence positive word-of-mouth reviews. These are essential for your restaurant’s success.
  7. Meet stakeholder demand. Key audiences – including customers, employees, investors, influencers, the media, etc. – are scrutinizing whether companies are committed to doing the right things. They’re supporting brands that are following strict safety protocols, buying responsibly sourced meats, prioritizing ESG initiatives, treating employees fairly, etc. Real-time supply chain monitoring provides increased transparency, allowing restaurants to better communicate this information to boost trust and gain support from these important audiences.
  8. Boost sustainability. Sustainability is important to today’s customers, with two out of three (66%) saying it’s important that restaurants are transparent about their sustainability practices. Improving supply chain monitoring can help improve sustainability efforts, like reducing waste and inefficiencies throughout the supply chain, optimizing routes, reducing idle times, and lowering carbon emissions.

Using state-of-the-art tech tools for real-time supply chain management is a smart move for restaurants. By streamlining operations, improving inventory management, boosting sustainability, and enhancing safety, restaurants can improve efficiency, mitigate risks, and enhance the customer experience. Adopting supply chain management technologies will help restaurants of all sizes stay competitive and succeed in today’s exceedingly competitive market.

Paul Damaren is Executive Vice President, Business Development at RizePoint, a technology leader in the food safety, quality management, compliance, and social responsibility space. RizePoint’s quality management software solutions help companies, including Starbucks, McDonald’s, Marriott, and more, keep brand promises through their quality, safety, and compliance efforts. Customers gather better data, see necessary actions earlier, and act faster to correct issues before they become costly liabilities. Check out RizePoint’s new website to learn how these solutions can help your company.