Tag: technology

Artificial Intelligence – the Future of Foodservice and Supply Chain

Back-of-House restaurant operations have never been just easy. Especially now, post-pandemic, when many operators are struggling with staffing and labor shortages, supply chain shortages, inflation…the list goes on.

As a restaurant operator, you want to make sure you’re leveraging technology to help save you both time and money. At Consolidated Concepts, we can help you do this by using a little something called Artificial Intelligence.

Artificial Intelligence

AI

The future of Foodservice and Supply Chain lies in the hands of Artificial Intelligence.

What is Artificial Intelligence you ask? It is the simulation of human intelligence in machines that are programmed to think like humans and mimic their actions.

It may seem like you’re completely unfamiliar with AI, but rest assured, you see it every day—even when you don’t know it.

Did you know that every time your Google Maps reroutes you as you’re driving to your destination, it uses AI? It monitors your phone as you drive to make better decisions for you based on where you are and where you’re going.

Or have you noticed that every time you type a letter on your touch screen keyboard, the area in which you’re clicking in expands a bit and the letters become bigger? That’s because your phone knows what you’re about to type based on the sensitive area your fingers are clicking in! That’s AI too.

As humans, we are always looking for ways to solve problems in a more efficient and timely manner. Whether it’s transporting from one place to another or beating your partner in a game of chess.

With Artificial Intelligence in the foodservice industry, you can make better business decisions. In short, a lot of it is classical optimization. This means, by looking at either past or present data, you can determine what the best possible solution is to the problem you’re facing right now.

Back of House Technology

Back of House

The truth is, you’re most likely already using AI in the front-of-house tablets on tables for order taking and payment of checks. You’re probably even using it for reservations, restaurant seating and digital QR codes for menus.

If you’re doing marketing or serving any Instagram ADS, that’s also AI. If you have an online ordering engine or displaying product recommendations, or maybe your HR department is screening candidate resumes. What about your finance department forecasting? That’s all Artificial Intelligence!

The problem is, technology has been slower to be adopted in the back-of-house.

In the front-of-house, AI helps you control variables such as menu costs, table numbers, hours of operation, etc. It’s a lot easier to control.

Although you should be taking control of your back-of-house, too! That starts by utilizing the purchasing data your operation generates. Unfortunately, the amount of data your restaurant produces is so complex and time-consuming for the human mind to manage, this is where AI and technology come into play.

In the back-of-house, your variables are constantly changing. Pricing, inventory levels, quality. It’s hard to manage and keep track of every single situation, whereas in the front-of-house, your variables are limited—making it a lot easier to handle. Plus, almost everything is in your control.

The current challenges within the supply chain makes it extremely difficult for operators like you to manage a successful restaurant. You’re facing roadblocks left and right, and almost every day has become unpredictable.

Now, imagine if there was a way to identify new savings opportunities, optimize pricing, handle product substitutions, and do much more with little to no effort. Because there’s only so much we as humans can do, Artificial Intelligence is the future of our industry.

You as an operator need to focus on what you are good at and the real reason you opened a restaurant in the first place to create great food and memorable experiences for your customers.

Leave the time-consuming, laborious part to technology…

How Can AI Help Me?

Artificial Intelligence can solve all your problems. How do you adapt to the supply chain? AI. How do you deal with product shortages? AI. How do you deal with things like price fluctuations and inventory levels? AI.

For instance, artificial intelligence can identify thousands of substitutions for items you’re already buying within a matter of minutes. Humans don’t work as fast as technology.

How many analysts would you have to hire to identify over 1,000 similar items in two minutes? A lot. That’s why it’s important to embrace technology and AI.

But that’s only one of many things Artificial Intelligence is capable of.

Forget about your spreadsheets and long nights spent in the office. Our technology analyzes, normalizes, and cleans your data for you.

An AI engine (if you ask it to do so), can help you find similar or the same products at a lower price. It can also uncover what products are in stock or out of stock.

AI analyzes high volumes of data, provides visibility into purchasing, and helps you improve your partnerships. When you have a better understanding of your operation, you save money, time, and labor. AI provides consistency, stabilizes your pricing, and alleviates the supply chain strain.

How Can I Get Started?

If you’re ready to embrace technology and implement AI into your operations, you first need to work with a data partner that leverages AI, such as Consolidated Concepts.

Our cutting-edge technology was designed to identify areas where emerging, growing, and established restaurants may unlock additional opportunities to save money and increase profitability.

Start leveraging AI to streamline operations and put money back into your bottom line, by becoming a member today!

 

 

 

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!

3 Ways to Ensure Supply Chain Success

The Supply Chain is facing a major crisis that is affecting operators all over the country. The numerous challenges this has led to over the course of these past 20 months is unimaginable. This is why supply chain success is crucial. From equipment delays and rotten food to sky-rocketing prices and product shortages, it seems there will be no relief anytime soon.

Fortunately, we have ways you can help alleviate the situation and ensure your operation is running at its full potential during these unprecedented times. Satisfy your customers, please your staff, and put money back into your bottom line.

Here are three ways to ensure you’re on the road to supply chain success:

Embrace Supply Chain Technology

Technology is evolving each and every day. Operators like you can easily boost your profit margins and put time back into your day. No more outdated unreliable information and lack of transparency. With technology, you can track, audit, and optimize your purchasing process to make sure you’re not over-spending.

Technology helps strategically source products so that your restaurant operation is putting the best ingredients on customer tables at the best imaginable prices. This means driving value to your customer experience and your brand.

Leveraging supply chain technology means you’re able to identify supply chain weaknesses within your operation and improve your purchasing process.

Technology gives you visibility into competitive distribution agreements, strategic commodity planning, inventory management, and much more.

Leverage Buying Power for Cost Reduction

When your options are limited, you have a much lesser chance of opportunities for savings on purchases. Leveraging buying power is the key for cost reduction. With access to contracts and pricing you wouldn’t find anywhere else, operators like you can gain discounts and rebates across hundreds of categories within the foodservice industry.

Did you know? Your operation could be saving on products and services you use every day. You can use your purchasing data to your advantage and maximize profits. With over 165,000 line items from over 350+ industry leading manufacturers, you’ll find the most competitive pricing for your operation. No more unprofitable contracts you can’t get out of.

We’re here to make sure you’re getting the most out of your money.

Join a Managed Produce Program Today!

Lastly, when your restaurant operation joins a managed produce program, they’re guaranteed the highest quality products at the most affordable prices. No more rotten foods and product shortages. We partner with the best local produce distributors to ensure you’re satisfying your guests and putting money back into your pocket. Our expertly-managed produce programs focus on improving the quality, safety and traceability of your food programs.

The supply chain is experiencing challenges that impact your operation every day. By partnering with Consolidated Concepts supply chain experts, you can ensure you’re making profitable more informed business decisions.

With a managed produce program, you gain access to the best quality, consistency, and food safety standards that’ll wow your customers.

All Things Supply Chain

You don’t have to navigate the supply chain alone. We want to help you succeed in the restaurant world.

Decrease cost, increase quality and ensure you’re on the road to supply chain success by becoming a Consolidated Concepts member today!

Are you a restaurant operator looking for updates on commodity insights, supply chain news and resources? Visit the Buyers Edge Platform Supply Chain Support Center today!

Streamline Contract Management with the Help of Technology

When you own more than one restaurant location, you’re bound to wear more than one hat. Think of all the contracts that go along with managing each of those locations. From Master Distribution Agreements and Manufacturer Contracts – the art of negotiating and managing these documents is truly one in its own.

It’s 2021 and its time to welcome a new player to your team – technology.

This team player is great at multitasking. They don’t complain, they don’t require a weekly paycheck, and they don’t need hand holding or constant reminders about what they’re supposed to be doing. Their results are instant, actionable and profitable.

No More Doing it the Hard Way

By using technology for things like contract approval workflows, edits, audits and signatures, implementation becomes easier and less time consuming. Businesses who adopt contract management technology are able to streamline the contract lifecycle into an automated workflow minimizing errors and maximizing profits.

Having to manually manage each contract step by step leaves room for errors or inaccuracies. Using technology ensures contracts are routed to the correct person and increases visibility and accountability. Contract management technology allows stakeholders more insight into the performance of a contract so they can make quicker more accurate business decisions.  

Secure Your Contracts in One Centralized Location

No more filing cabinets organized alphabetically. This isn’t the library, and you don’t have the time to go searching A through Z. Having your contracts securely centralized in one location helps you stay in control of contract chaos and allows for a more efficient contract management process.

The goal is to stay in control of each of your locations bottom line. Technology allows you to store all you contracts safely in one place and minimizes risk that goes along with contract management.

Contract Management Technology Solutions

At Consolidated Concepts, we can help multi-unit restaurants like yours save money on your contracts such as your MDA – your most important contract. We have former Presidents from distribution houses on our staff who lend their expertise to analyze your contracts, find areas where there may be new places for savings and help renegotiate your contract with your distributors. We do everything we can to make your contracts work in your favor.

It’s time to optimize your savings and limit the amount of increases in costs and changes in structure which ultimately result in more profitability for your business. You can even put our experts to the test by sending over your current contracts and having them analyzed.

Ready to streamline the contract management process and go from manual to automated? Contact us today!