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BigHoss

Inventory/Management Software

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what are some of your recommendations? user friendly? interact with other programs, etc.? ProChef, iCook, etc...............


Newgene Ledbetter would rather climb a tree to tell you a lie than stand on the ground and tell you the truth!

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I've used RMS for Windows

This was at a national chain, and it was great. It interacted with our MICROS POS system, and we were able to transmit sales, labor, inventory totals, EVERYTHING to our home office every Monday and have our P&L back by the second week of the following period for in-house reconciliation.

Right now, I'm at a single unit restaurant, and for inventory we just use excel spreadsheets and plug in our sales numbers from our POS system (Aloha). Because we're a small company, we don't have the capital to go in for Chef Tech or anything, although it's a goal.

I will also say that the tech support for MICROS and RMS was by far and away the best I've seen as well.

If you're in the market for a system, definitely figure out what exactly you want it to do (there are some amazing packages out there), and how much you're willing to spend. There are also packages where you can even plug in your schedule and it'll cost it out, give you projections vs. budget vs. actual, and not allow staff to clock in too early or out too late (to avoid people "riding the clock")


"have a sense of humor about things...you'll need it" A. Bourdain

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Anything new on this subject?

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As a programmer I can give you a quick tip on this, don't go for ready made solutions, hire a programmer (If you don't know where, freelancer is a nice place to start).

True they may be a bit cheaper, but if you get a custom package, not only do you get something truly tailored to your needs and are you supporting a profession as filled with craftsmanship and artistic fervor as a chef, but if you treat your programmer with some respect, you also get pretty much unlimited support (though make sure not to take advantage of this) and someone who makes sure everything works!


Edited by Deus Mortus (log)

"My rule of life prescribed as an absolutely sacred rite smoking cigars and also the drinking of alcohol before, after and if need be during all meals and in the intervals between them."

-Winston Churchill

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TBH, that sounds like kinda bad and expensive advice, especially for little guys. Why reinvent the wheel, especially when it's going to be hooked into the most important system of the place, the pos.

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TBH, that sounds like kinda bad and expensive advice, especially for little guys. Why reinvent the wheel, especially when it's going to be hooked into the most important system of the place, the pos.

I'm speaking with experience, I have rarely seen a person satisfied with the commercial product, especially not the little guys. If you have the IT knowhow to choose, install and maintain a commercial product, good on you! However most of those products are terrible and without inner knowledge of the market, you have no real way to know, especially seeing how with one update, a good product might turn in a complete disaster.

This is the reason why larger companies hire an IT department, not for maintenance of good products, but to salvage things constantly of stuff like that.

Now I'm not saying this can't happen to you when you hire someone to do it for you, there are off course a couple of bad programmers among the crowd, but these are much easier to spot out then a crappy product.

Also it isn't that expensive, a management system will cost you 100 to 200 bucks, though you may be tempted to simply license a product for a lower price per year and end up paying even more. Either way you will also be likely buying in support and when the time comes, they'll make you bleed for the updates. The kinda people who sell software are the kind of people who would get fired from a second hand car-shop for being immoral salesmen.

You can get a programmer for around 300 to 400 bucks, a bit more if he is very experienced, but with systems like this you don't need a magician, you need someone who will connect a nice gui with a well built database, while it is still hard work when you want to do it right, it isn't exactly the top of the game. For that money, that person will make sure the damn thing works and generally when you sign the agreement it includes a clause about fixing the bugs in the program. In the end you will have a very solid, well documented piece of software that will last you a long time and will have formatted the data in such way that if you ever need to move it down the line, it'll be a piece of cake.

I have rarely seen anyone disappointed with hiring a programmer to code a custom system like this, yet I have seen a lot of people disappointed in off the shelve packages that end up costing them an arm and a leg and hardly function the way they ought to.


"My rule of life prescribed as an absolutely sacred rite smoking cigars and also the drinking of alcohol before, after and if need be during all meals and in the intervals between them."

-Winston Churchill

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As someone who ran mostly Mom & Pop and single unit operations, I'd say that the custom program advice is absolutely contrary to my experience.

I've had nothing but headaches from small developers and custom systems:

Upgrades\updates are always huge pains in the ass on custom jobs. They are consistently more buggy than the large releases.

Training takes 2-3x as long because new employees have to learn a system from scratch as opposed to just learning the local customizations of a base system they are already familiar with.

Local businesses like Deus is talking about move or close up shop all the time. Then you are stuck with a system that you can't upgrade and will cost you an arm and a leg to have someone reverse engineer if it breaks. This particular problem has happened to me 4 separate times.

I've found that support is better with the big boys. They've generally seen all the bugs and can diagnose very quickly (often over the phone). Small time guys have to come in for hours (or log in remotely for long periods) just to try and figure out what the issue is.


Edited by BadRabbit (log)

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