Tag: Supply Chain Management

supply chain management

Smart Supply Chain Management

Here is the harsh truth: managing a restaurant’s supply chain isn’t easy.

In fact, in 2023, a staggering 77% of operators reported experiencing supply delays or shortages of essential food or beverage items. When you’re juggling multiple locations, this challenge only intensifies.

Coordinating inventory, suppliers, and logistics across various sites amplifies complexity, making it even more crucial to master supply chain management. It’s all about guaranteeing that each restaurant receives precisely what it needs, precisely when it’s needed.

What is Restaurant Supply Chain Management?

Restaurant supply chain management refers to the systematic and strategic coordination of all activities involved in sourcing, procuring, producing, and delivering goods and services required to operate a restaurant successfully. It encompasses the entire process of managing the flow of materials, products, and information from suppliers to the restaurant’s final customers.

The goal of restaurant supply chain management is to ensure a seamless and efficient flow of goods while minimizing costs, reducing waste, and maintaining the highest quality standards. It’s no small feat and involves various critical aspects, including:

Supply Chain Management Best Practices for Restaurants

Mastering restaurant supply chain management isn’t just about good food—it’s about smart business.

Elevate your operations with these 10 essential strategies:

  • Data-Driven Decisions: Harness the power of analytics to forecast demand and optimize inventory.
  • Supplier Relationships: Forge strong partnerships for quality products and favorable terms.
  • Centralized Procurement: Streamline purchasing for better prices and reduced admin.
  • JIT Inventory Control: Keep stock lean with just-in-time management for freshness and efficiency.
  • Tech Integration: Invest in software for real-time tracking and smarter decision-making.
  • Sustainability: Go green with local sourcing to reduce costs and support the community.
  • Risk Management: Plan for the unexpected with backup suppliers and logistics options.
  • Logistics Optimization: Trim delivery times and costs with streamlined transportation.
  • Collaborative Communication: Keep everyone in the loop for problem-solving and alignment.
  • Continuous Improvement: Stay ahead by regularly reviewing and adapting to changing needs.

By embracing these strategies, restaurant operators not only safeguard their businesses against disruptions but also position themselves as industry leaders poised for continued success. With a steadfast commitment to efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and customer satisfaction, the future looks bright for those who dare to innovate and adapt.

As the restaurant industry continues to evolve, the importance of staying ahead of the curve in supply chain management cannot be overstated. With the power of data, technology, and innovation at their fingertips, operators are better equipped than ever to tackle the challenges of tomorrow.

Ready to simplify your restaurant’s supply chain management? Fill out the form below and join Consolidated Concepts today! Discover how we can help you save time, reduce costs, and streamline operations. 


3 Vital Tech Tools for Multi-Unit Restaurants

3 Vital Tech Tools for Multi-Unit Restaurants

Balancing the demands of multiple restaurant locations requires a constant awareness of time’s ticking clock. Decisions must be quick, impactful, and directly tied to profitability.

Leveraging innovative tech tools not only streamlines decision-making processes but also enhances overall operational efficiency, providing a crucial edge in sustaining profitability across multiple restaurant locations.

What is a Tech Tool?

A tech tool refers to any software, application, device, or solution that is designed to assist or enhance the performance of tasks related to technology or information technology. These tools can range from simple applications that perform specific functions to complex software platforms that address a variety of needs.

Examples of tech tools include:

Essentially, any tool that utilizes technology to accomplish a task or solve a problem can be considered a tech tool. Tech tools play a crucial role in the industry, helping multi-unit restaurant operators streamline processes, increase efficiency, and achieve their goals.

Let’s breakdown the crucial, often underestimated tech tools that can redefine efficiency for multi-unit restaurant operators.

Back Office Tech tool

Back Office 

At the heart of efficient multi-unit restaurant management lies the transformative power of back office technology.

  • Streamlined Operations: Simplifying your tech stack including food cost management, payroll, ap automation, accounting, and bookkeeping through integrated back-office solutions.
  • Real-Time Insights: Access to critical data, enabling informed decisions, and proactive adjustments to optimize back office performance.
  • Cost Controls: Enhanced visibility into expenses, labor management, and financial analytics to maximize back office profitability.

Embracing integrated back-office solutions enables multi-unit restaurants to seize control of operations, fostering agility and data-driven decision-making for sustained growth and efficiency.

Spend Management Tech Tool

Spend Management 

Efficient financial strategies lie at the core of successful multi-unit restaurants. Here’s how spend management technology revolutionizes financial operations and empowers strategic decision-making:

  • Centralized Procurement: Consolidating purchasing power across units to drive economies of scale and secure favorable pricing.
  • Negotiation Expertise: Leveraging industry insights and expertise for strategic vendor negotiations, reducing costs without compromising quality.
  • Data-Driven Efficiency: Analyzing spending patterns to identify areas for savings and directing resources towards high-impact investments.

By harnessing the power of spend management technology, multi-unit restaurants can not only optimize their financial strategies but also fortify their positions for sustainable growth and success in a demanding market landscape.

Supply Chain Management Tech Tools

Supply Chain Management

Supply chain management technology drives operational efficiency for multi-unit restaurants. Here’s how it works:

  • Seamless Integration: Connecting with a robust supply chain network to ensure timely and reliable delivery of goods and services.
  • Risk Mitigation: Reducing supply chain disruptions through contingency planning and diversification of suppliers.
  • Sustainability Focus: Embracing eco-friendly practices and ethical sourcing, aligning with modern consumer values while reducing costs long-term.

Supply chain management technology emerges as the bedrock for operational resilience, empowering multi-unit restaurants to navigate challenges, ensure consistency, and uphold sustainable practices for enduring success in a dynamic industry.

consolidated concepts

Offering comprehensive assistance across the spectrum of crucial technology solutions for multi-unit restaurant operators, Consolidated Concepts stands as the guiding force.

Holistic Integration

  • Back Office Technology: Leveraging sophisticated software to streamline business operations, manage costs, and enhance visibility into financial analytics.
  • Spend Management Technology: Utilizing negotiation expertise and centralized procurement strategies to optimize vendor relations and drive cost efficiency.
  • Supply Chain Management Technology: Overseeing contract compliance, ensuring visibility into produce management, and pinpointing the precise products tailored to fulfill the operational requirements.

Tailored Expertise

  • Custom Solutions: Tailored technology solutions to fit the unique needs and scale of multi-unit restaurant operations.
  • Industry Insights: Providing guidance and strategies honed through extensive experience within the foodservice industry.
  • Proven Results: Demonstrating tangible success stories showcasing cost reductions, improved efficiencies, and sustainable practices.

Collaborative Partnership

  • Ongoing Support: Offering continuous assistance, guidance, and updates to ensure optimal utilization of integrated tech solutions.
  • Scalable Solutions: Adapting to the evolving needs and growth trajectories of multi-unit restaurant operations.
  • Future-Ready Approach: Anticipating industry trends and technological advancements to keep partners ahead of the curve.

Consolidated Concepts expertise and tailored technology solutions make them the perfect partner for multi-unit restaurant operators seeking to excel in an increasingly competitive environment driven by data efficiency and technology.

Join Consolidated Concepts today!

supply chain management

6 Ways Supply Chain Management Technology Can Help Your Restaurant Brand

You’ve spent the last year adding a tech stack of solutions to your operation in hopes of getting a better look into the health of your brand.

The most important piece of technology you should be investing in is supply chain management technology. It’s impossible to navigate the chaos that is the supply chain and technology can be a huge asset to your brand success.

Supply chain management technology can bring a wide range of benefits to restaurants, helping them to streamline their operations, reduce costs, and improve the overall customer experience.

How Supply Chain Management Technology Can Help Your Restaurant:

improved efficiency

Improved Efficiency

By automating various supply chain processes, such as ordering, invoicing, and payment, restaurants can save time and reduce the risk of errors. This can help to free up staff to focus on other tasks, such as customer service and food preparation.

inventory management

Better Inventory Management

Supply chain management technology can help restaurants to keep track of their inventory in real-time, allowing them to know exactly what they have on hand at any given moment. This can help them to avoid running out of key ingredients, which can be frustrating for customers and lead to lost sales.

enhanced forecasting

Enhanced Forecasting

By analyzing data on past sales and customer demand, supply chain management technology can help restaurants to better forecast future demand and adjust their ordering accordingly. This can help them to avoid overstocking, which can be costly, and ensure that they have enough product on hand to meet customer demand.

better supplier relationships

Better Supplier Relationships

Supply chain management technology can help restaurants to establish better relationships with their suppliers by streamlining communication and making it easier to place orders and track deliveries. This can help to ensure that restaurants receive the products they need in a timely and cost-effective manner.

reduced costs

Reduced Costs

By automating various supply chain processes and improving inventory management, restaurants can reduce their overall costs. This can help them to boost their bottom line and remain competitive in an increasingly challenging market.

enhanced customer experience

Enhanced Customer Experience

By ensuring that they have the products they need on hand and reducing the risk of errors and delays, supply chain management technology can help restaurants to improve the overall customer experience. This can help to drive repeat business and positive word-of-mouth, which can be crucial for success in the restaurant industry.

Overall, it is clear that supply chain management technology can bring a wide range of benefits to restaurants. By streamlining operations, improving inventory management, and reducing costs, restaurants can improve their efficiency, boost their bottom line, and enhance the customer experience. As such, it is worth considering the adoption of supply chain management technology for any restaurant looking to stay competitive and succeed in today’s market.

At Consolidated Concepts, we have supply chain technology to support your purchasing team with strong contract management and actionable information to help optimize procurement and increase your margins. Not yet a member? No problem! Sign up today for free!

cost reduction

5 Steps In 5 Months to 5 % Savings

Pre-pandemic, restaurants were doing well! Products were available, prices are stable, and employers had the power. Then an unexpected punch to the gut happened when the supply chain took a major hit due to shortages and price increases.

What if we said there were things you can do today in order to keep costs low and improve your margins? That means that in a world where everything was all about marketing, sales, butts-in-seats, new locations…. is now all about cost reduction, streamlining efficiency and driving margin.

The biggest and brightest minds in the industry are shifting their focus from top-line revenue to margins and profitability.

Here are 5 steps that you can begin taking today to reduce your prime and operating expenses by 5% in the next 5 months putting you on the right path to profitability:

Integrate Technology


Are you calling your distributors every day to check on stock levels of your most pressing inventory? Many operators are finding out about substitutions only after the products have already been delivered to their restaurants. This does not work when you have been using the same ingredients since the day you opened your restaurant. By leveraging technology such as InsideTrack, you gain visibility into product sourcing and substitutions so you can prepare for menu changes ahead of time – instead of last minute.

What about carrying out core responsibilities in your restaurant such as auditing and price verification? That takes time and resources that not everyone has these days. Your in-house system of taking multiple spreadsheets and comparing them against each line item is no longer a very efficient way to audit. That manual process is too long and can lead to overlooked overcharges – which cost you money at the end of the day. By embracing technology in both your front and back of house, you can streamline operational tasks and reduce spend all at the same time.

Think About Outsourcing


Today, restaurant operators are having to do more with less and are being forced to outsource certain functions of their business such as Marketing, Legal, HR, Payroll, or Accounting.  So, why not outsource supply chain management and purchasing? This does not mean your current supply chain team is replaced. Instead, by partnering with supply chain experts you expand your resource pool and supplement your current staff. Most operators would love to add to their supply chain staff but the added cost to do so is too much, leaving them scrambling to manage the supply chain chaos on their own.

When you work with a supply chain management partner like Consolidated Concepts, Sundell and Associates, or even Restaurant Partners Procurement, you don’t have to pay for training, salary, insurance, and time off.  This is a popular option for many emerging and national chains, Private Equity firms, and even Publicly Traded restaurants.

Produce Management

produce management

Most operators don’t have the bandwidth, volume, or category expertise to efficiently manage their produce programs in-house. By leveraging a third party produce management company, you can reduce your produce spend by 5-10%.  On average, produce spend is about 15% of total food cost, so a 5-10% reduction in produce cost can lead to 100-200 basis points off your total food cost. Produce prices fluctuate throughout the course of a year due to things like seasonality and different growing regions. Yes, it’s true that you can occasionally buy better than the market but locking in contracted prices will protect you from volatility and you’ll ultimately be better off. Produce management companies such as Fresh Concepts or Produce Alliance will not only help you maintain, but improve your pricing, quality, food safety and traceability.

Operational Efficiency

operational efficiency

There are many changes you can make, both big and small, within your operation that can help you cut costs without making it so obvious to your customers. Take trash liners for example. If they are too big for your trash cans, you are wasting money on buying bigger bags without maximizing the full value out of each liner. By buying liners that are the correct fit, you can save on costs and extract the full value of each trash bag. What about your TV’s? Are all your TV’s running at the same time – even the ones where no customers are being seated? What a waste of power and electricity. Turn unused TV’s off and save on your electrical bill. Don’t forget about your kitchen burners. If you aren’t making food right away, they don’t have to be turned on as soon as your staff is clocking in. All that is doing is heating your restaurant up, forcing the AC to kick on – using unnecessary energy.

Making changes to your utility usage such as turning of lighting and electronics in unused sections of your restaurant, buying the correct size trash bags, using energy saving light bulbs are all small changes you can make cut costs.



GPO’s sometimes have a bad rap. They can cost an operator money and sometimes require you to switch products and change distributors. But not all GPO’s are the same. GPOs are widely used in the Healthcare and Hospitality space and the adoption rate for restaurants has dramatically increase over the past few years. Finding the right GPO partner for your restaurant brand can reduce costs and broadliner purchases by 50-150 basis points or more, depending on how contracted you are. Work with a GPO partner that is distributor and manufacturer neutral – one that will not require you to switch products or vendors and will honor your contracts. Work with a GPO partner that you can call on when you are looking for new product suggestions or reporting and analytics on existing purchases.

If you implement any of these suggestions, you will reduce cost and improve your margins.  It’s just a matter of how much. At Consolidated Concepts, we can help you tackle each of these steps, reach your business goals, reduce your costs, and streamline your operations. Become a member today for FREE and start making smarter business decisions.

Efficient Restaurant

How to Run an Efficient Restaurant During a Labor Shortage

To run a restaurant operation during the current labor shortage is one thing. Running an efficient one is another. With the continuation of the pandemic and no relief in sight, especially before the holidays, restaurant operators are seeking alternatives to what was once known to them as their traditional, every-day way of running their operation.

There’s no doubt that times are changing, and everyone is doing their part to keep up. These changes are fairly easy to make and will not only help you run a more efficient business, but will also put money back in your pocket.

Let’s take a look at three different ways Consolidated Concepts experts say you can run an efficient restaurant during the current labor shortage:

Technology Can Streamline Processes

Technology has played a massive role in restaurant operators lives, especially since the beginning of the pandemic. From QR code menus and mobile ordering to inventory management, there’s nothing technology can’t do to help streamline your operation.

One way we encourage restaurant operators to implement technology is by partnering with industry experts such as InsideTrack. With the help of their spend management technology, you’ll have access to the most effective data cleaning in the foodservice industry. Data accuracyconsistency, and reliability are guaranteed. Operators like you gain better insights and spend intelligence into your operation.

By embracing spend management technology, you make better business decisions and identify new opportunities for savings and revenue. Data on your purchases is organized into easy-to-read dashboards you can access at any time. InsideTrack members can streamline operations by utilizing spend management, contract management, cost savings, GPO services, and much more—all within one powerful technology software.

Another way experts at Consolidated Concepts encourage the use of technology is by taking advantage of food cost management. Food cost management technology is a great resource that helps operators and chefs manage and control their food cost, inventory, and much more.

Food cost management technology puts time back into your day and helps you figure out any pain points that may be affecting the success of your operation.

Instead of hand-counting each item, you simply upload a screenshot of your invoices and Orderly takes care of the rest. You speed up your inventory process when you implement technology into your operation.

Now you can calculate the cost of a recipe online, too! With solutions such as Orderly, you’re able to build all of your recipes directly into the system. Each time an invoice is uploaded, the technology breaks down each ingredient and updates your prices in real-time.

Technology is key to running an efficient restaurant operation during these times. There’s an infinite number of things technology can do to ensure you’re streamlining operations, putting time back into your day and money into your bottom line.

Using Versatile, Easy-To-Prepare Ingredients

Did you know you could save time and money by incorporating versatile ingredients that are delicious and easy to prep? With products like Idahoan Real Potatoes, your customers will have that homemade taste and authentic feel they’re craving.

With the cold weather here, you can even add quick, savory soups onto your menus with items like Campbell’s Soup. Maybe even a soup base that’s less expensive and more consistent than scratch for you to work your final touches on such as LeGoût Cream Soup Base.

Have you considered pre-made sauces that are free of artificial colors/flavors and preservatives? Save time on prep and create dishes your guests will love with Knorr® Professional sauces. From gravies to sauces, your back of house will be thanking you for putting time back into their busy schedules.

But that’s not all. Who has time to hand-squeeze lemon and lime? Nobody, especially now with the labor shortage. That’s why The ReaLemon and ReaLime juices are great labor-saving ingredients that eliminate the inconvenience of slicing and squeezing. These juices are also a great option for salads, dips, main meals, and even beverages.

When you use versatile ingredients, you save money and put time back into your day while also satisfying your customers’ needs. Work smarter, not harder.

Partnering with Supply Chain Management Experts

Another way to ensure you run an efficient restaurant operation during a labor shortage is by partnering with supply chain management experts like Consolidated Concepts. With the current state of the supply chain, taking control of what comes into your operation seems nearly impossible.

You’ll have access to a fully customizable service that brings instant savings on thousands of items you may already be buying. Our experts help reduce costs, improve quality, and identify areas you may be able to achieve savings and negotiations in. This includes supply chain management, master distributions agreements, managed produce, and contracts.

Our supply chain management ensures maximum profitability and productivity while giving you access to items at the best competitive prices.

Join Consolidated Concepts Today!

If you’re looking to run an efficient restaurant operation during the current labor shortage, becoming a Consolidated Concepts member is a great place to start. As mentioned above, our experts will help reduce costs, improve quality, and identify instant savings!

Get started today!

supply chain management

Full-Service Supply Chain Management

Supply chain management is more than a one-person job. Especially for operators with multiple locations, doing it all manually can be stressful and time-consuming.

These days, restaurants are looking to run lean and reduce their overhead amidst a nation-wide staffing crisis. Others may be having trouble staffing full departments. How can an operator manage their supply chain projects without the staff to support them?

More and more operators are turning to full-service supply chain management solutions to minimize their costs and maximize their profits.

At Consolidated Concepts, our service offerings are fully customizable to provide the appropriate level of consultation and support required by each client.

Let’s look at three areas where we offer expertise to help you streamline your supply chain management and meet your resource needs:

Spend Intelligence and Insights into Your Business

Our data and technology are designed to identify areas where emerging, growing, and established restaurants can unlock additional opportunities to save money and boost profitability.

Consolidated Concepts’ clients have access to the most advanced food procurement and spend management tools in the industry. Client dashboards provide in-depth information into purchasing trends, commodity pricing, category-level breakdowns, rebate management, overcharges, location-level spending and more.

Contract Management

Technology has become a convenient way to automate your contract management and ensure price corrections are quickly resolved. By utilizing technology to manage your contracts, you get access to key  agreement insights that improve business decisions and ensure maximizes value.

Our technology monitors every line item that our clients purchase for contract compliance. Through digital reports to distributors and electronic invoice auditing, credits and price corrections are quickly resolved to fully maximize the value of all your negotiated contracts.

Produce Management

Produce management programs offer a wide variety of benefits to multi-unit restaurants. One major benefit for operators is full visibility throughout the produce process. Knowing the answer to questions such as where did the produce you purchased come from, who handled the produce, what safety measures were taken during the handling, and what route did the produce travel to get to your operation, are all vital for the protection of both your customers and your operation.

Working with produce experts ensures each item that comes through your doors meets the exact needs of your operation. Our expertly Managed Produce Program focuses on improving clients’ food programs’ quality, safety, and traceability.

Operators can fully outsource their sourcing and supply chain projects to our team of experts who can perform various functions such as product sourcing, contract negotiation, managing overcharges, managing inventory, looking for new distributor contracts and product specs, and more.

Talk to our experts about what sourcing projects you’re working on now and let’s find out how we can add our value and our expertise to your team.

Restaurant Supply Chain

Navigating the Restaurant Supply Chain When You Reopen for Indoor Dining

One of the most important things to ensuring your business is successful when you open your doors for indoor dining again is the navigation of the restaurant supply chain during and after the pandemic. As restaurants look towards patrons eating inside their operations again, many operators are balancing new sanitation guidelines with limited available inventory. Communication is the most important factor in operators successfully navigating the restaurant supply chain and surviving a pandemic.

Consider your indoor dining reopening as a soft opening. What contingencies do you have in place if there is gap or long wait for inventory when preparing for a successful reopening? Here are 3 things operators should be doing to manage the restaurant supply chain and ensure inventory is stocked for a successful dining room reopening:

Communicate with Distributors and Suppliers

It’s important that your distributors know your forecasted expectations in regard to your purchase volumes and any changes that you’ve made to your order guide. As more restaurants open for indoor dining, foot traffic increases, and distributors start to get busier, there will be an even larger focus on first come, first serve. So be ready to get your inventory and par lists together so your distributors have your order.

Here is a checklist of key things you should communicate to your distributors and suppliers before your indoor dining reopening:

  • Items and specs for substitutions
  • Daily communication schedule
  • Changes made to your purchase volume and order guide products
  • Disposables needs
  • Any new chemical or sanitation needs
  • New orders for non-perishable items like PPE, paper, plastic, and dry items

Conduct Inventory and Place Orders

Conduct an inventory count and place an order with your distributors to get all items to par level. Operators will have a better chance of receiving most, if not all, of their needed products if they order ahead of their indoor dining reopening. Make sure to speak with your distributor representative to discuss where substitutions can be made for those items that may have limited supply. Have that conversation in advance so you are prepared when it’s time to open those doors and let your customers back in.

Take an in-depth look at your needed supplies and the items listed on your menu that are more susceptible to a disruption in the supply chain now that more people will be dining inside your establishment. When it comes to inventory to support your take-out and curbside pick-up, these items are in higher demand now than ever. Communicate with your distributors about what disposable items you need and how frequently you will need them.

Know State and City Sanitation Guidelines

While you may be nervous that distributors and suppliers will be low on certain sanitation items, the truth is much different. Many manufacturers and suppliers of cleaning and sanitation products have been increasing their stock to ensure businesses can meet new federal and state sanitation guidelines. Not sure where to source the right products on spec? Consider connecting with your existing suppliers and distributors for product recommendations.

When it comes to understanding and managing the restaurant supply chain, our team of experts are ready and available to help! Contact us today!