Contact Us

Tips for reviewing and choosing hospitality procurement software

As a restaurant operator, you’ve likely experienced frustration over the time-consuming and costly nature of procurement - and you may be looking to invest in purchase-to-pay software to automate your processes, claim back costs and regain resources, to be allocated elsewhere.  

But with so many available software options for hospitality businesses in the UK, each with their strengths and weaknesses, it can be understandably hard to decide which one is right for you.  

10 mins

Written by Jen Grenside

This important decision will likely revolve around what it is you want to achieve:  

  • Are you looking to save costs by analysing your spending patterns? 
  • Are you hoping to avoid common issues such as overstocking or running out of essentials?  
  • Are you searching for a more effective way to identify and manage your suppliers?  
  • Or do you need all of the above?  

Here at Access Hospitality, we talk to customers every day about how to use hospitality procurement software to streamline processes and reduce their current spend in procurement.  

In this article, we’ll give you all the information you need to decide whether or not purchase-to-pay software is right for your business and explore the various features and factors that you should be mindful of while looking for a software supplier.  

Is purchase-to-pay software right for me? 

Purchase-to-pay software is perfect for larger, multi-site venues. With so many employees and sites, managing the various suppliers you work with can be time consuming and complicated. Between keeping track of contracts, overseeing orders, and managing payments, it can take up a significant amount of your time, and mistakes can be costly.  

Purchase-to-pay software streamlines the entire process, removing human error by automating your payments, your orders, and everything that’s tied to them. It offers one localised place to manage and review every stage of the procurement process. Businesses that provide a range of services, such as cinemas and hotels, will benefit greatly from not having to deal with a range of different programs and hubs for their orders.  

Alongside clarity, purchase-to-pay software can also give you confidence and strengthen your relationships with your suppliers. When purchasing goods or services, you need to be able to look over your outgoings and contracts with ease, so that you can quickly review what’s working, and where there’s room for improvement.  

Procurement software for hospitality offers significant benefits for restaurant chains who regularly make large orders across three or more sites. In addition to being able to manage everything in one place, it helps you identify inefficiencies in your spending, and allows you to compare the best deals from a range of suppliers. 

For smaller businesses, purchase-to-pay software may not be a worthwhile investment. While it will likely increase efficiency, the savings may be outweighed by the costs incurred for operators with only one or two sites.  

Ultimately, it’s about making the choice that makes sense for your needs, and that involves understanding the available options, and what they can do for you. 

Read more about a hospitality purchasing system cost >  

What should I look for in a hospitality procurement system? 

So, if the deciding factor for choosing hospitality procurement software is finding one that has all the features that meet the needs and requirements of your business, then the question remains, what are they?  

Let’s look at some of the key features found in various procurement software packages.  

Streamlined ordering and purchasing 

The main feature of procurement software is that it encapsulates the entire ordering process from start to finish. Ordering through purchase-to-pay software reduces the hassle that comes with managing suppliers and allows for simple and efficient ordering.  

On top of automated orders on the back of stock tracking (which we’ll get to in a moment), procurement software allows you to quickly bump your stock levels as and when needed with individual purchase orders.  

The system will automatically match any received supplier invoices with purchase orders and make payments autonomously when linked with your account software. In the case of a discrepancy, the issue will be highlighted for you, allowing you to get on with other responsibilities, and only step in when necessary. You can be as hands-on, or off, as you choose to be, and set approval policies for every employee who has access to your system.  

Stock tracking 

As mentioned, purchase-to-pay software can be set up to monitor and even manage your stock levels. By integrating your new procurement software with other systems such as the EPoS or Kitchen Management software, stock tracking becomes easier than ever. With every dish served, the procurement software can accurately track your stock depletion levels and can automatically process orders once your stock hits a certain threshold. This allows you to run more efficiently, and no longer be plagued by the problems of running out of essential items. With automatic management of your stock levels, it also means you can avoid overstocking and food wastage.  

Alongside the automatic orders, this also allows operators to take a quick and easy inventory of everything they have on site. This information can be paired with KPIs to help you understand whether you’re making the smartest financial decisions when it comes to procurement and your business.  

Food waste management

Food waste management software is a great addition to stock tracking, as it allows you to actively track any and all food being thrown away.  

You can compare the wastage against different menus, categories and units to identify what causes the most food waste and put plans in place to eliminate the problem.  

Find out more about reducing food waste >

Manage suppliers and contracts 

The bigger your business, the more suppliers you need. 

Procurement software gives you access to thousands of suppliers and allows you to see an overview of recent purchases, price changes and feedback.  

With such an array of suppliers at your disposal, you can easily shop around for the best deals, comparing prices between items and looking for appropriate vendors that have better-priced alternatives.  

Using Purchase-to-pay software, you can easily request new suppliers, terminate contracts with old ones, and monitor any orders currently in process, all in one place. These relationships can take place entirely within the software, allowing you to set specific delivery times, or have your system wait until it can meet a supplier’s minimum order charge.  

Having one place to create, track and renew contracts is also a must-have for procurement systems, as it allows you to easily oversee your contracts, ensuring they’re correct, up-to-date and compliant with your company's policies.  

Chef in a kitchen looking at a clipboard of information

Product insights 

Not only can procurement software give you an insightful overview of the range of suppliers at your disposal, but it can also delve into additional, highly important information about the products themselves, like allergen and nutritional information.  

This allows you to make even more informed decisions about the stock you’re ordering for your venue and remain in compliance with Natasha’s Law legislation.  

Menu engineering 

Menu engineering and costing software allows you to adapt your menu and recipes in different ways that will help you utilise stock more effectively and increase revenue, whether that’s through creating batch recipes or making adjustments to your existing menus.  


Having cloud capability takes away some of the pressure of managing your purchase-to-pay software. The connectivity allows you to benefit from regular updates and stay on the latest version of the software, while its location means that it’s up to the vendor to maintain the system and avoid any outages.  

This is also beneficial if you have a malfunction. If your computers go down, you can be content with the knowledge that your procurement software is still operating safely.  

Making sure the procurement software is the best fit for your hospitality business 

Key features aside, there are several other things you must consider before you commit to a particular procurement software.  


One of the main things you should consider when deciding on procurement software is how easy you and your team will find it to use. A little complexity is acceptable if the software is advanced, but for you and your team, is there a cut-off for how complex it can be before it’s no longer worthwhile?  

If, for instance, a lot of your team are capable but not especially technically savvy, you’ll want something on the simpler side, otherwise, you’ll have to invest in extra training to bring everyone up to speed.  

If you only need your management team to use the software, training might not be too big of a commitment, but if you want the majority of your employees involved, those extra costs could rack up quickly.  


Cost, in and of itself, is another huge factor to consider.  

Some procurement software may come with a hefty one-off payment, while others require an ongoing subscription. It may be tempting to opt for the cheapest option, but generally speaking, the cheaper the software, the fewer features it will have, which you may come to regret down the line. 

Fortunately, there are alternatives. Access Hospitality’s Purchase-to-Pay software, Procurement Wizard, is built modularly, so you can pick and choose the features you need, without paying for features you won’t use.  

When it comes you ensuring you have access to the functionality you need, such as allergens and nutrition management software, or a menu management system - your package is catered to you.  

Customer support 

Software solutions should be robust, especially when you’re paying high prices for a subscription. But even with the most robust software, there will likely come a time when you’ll need to get in touch with the company for support.  

When a system fails, or a mistake is made, your stress levels are high enough without then finding out that your software provider’s customer support is lacking.  

That’s why it’s important to seek out reviews and read feedback to see if this is definitely a company you want to be working with when times are hard. Because if not, even if they offer an unbeatable price, it just may not be worth it.  

Onboarding times 

Finally, you should look at the company’s onboarding process.  

While a company may look great on paper, if they have a slow onboarding process it could leave your business in a very difficult position when you make the switch over to your new system.  

This also ties back into the issue of ease of use. As well as checking for onboarding materials and quick data onboarding processes to make sure you’re avoiding downtime, you should also check to see how long training for the new system takes.  

Once again, with all of these factors, you should keep reviews in mind. Are former customers satisfied, or are they coming up with complaints you hadn’t even considered?  

Ready to streamline your  procurement processes? 

It’s clear that purchase-to-pay software offers a wide range of features that can improve the efficiency of your hospitality business and help your venues streamline procurement processes. From the automation of stock checking and purchases, to collating and reviewing important analytics, procurement software allows you to focus on running your business, with the peace of mind that these important processes are being taken care of.  

In this article, we’ve explored the why, how, and what procurement software can do for you. Now all that’s left is for you to decide which procurement software aligns most closely with your needs.  

Access Procure Wizard, our hospitality procurement software, offers many of the features we’ve explained above, and its modular nature means you only have to pay for the features you’ll actually benefit from, lowering the overall cost significantly. Download the Access Procure Wizard brochure or see our software in action in our 7 min demo video. 

If you would like to start your journey towards a leaner, more efficient procurement process, Access Hospitality has several decades' worth of experience supplying software solutions to hospitality venues and has an in-depth understanding of the best way to help hospitality businesses. Procure Wizard is built with all of this in mind and is sure to not only make procurement simpler but also boost revenue and help you get the most out of your business. For more information, or to discuss the implementation of this software, get in touch with Access Hospitality.