Managing restaurant inventory can be a total nightmare if no plan is put in place. Effectively managing your inventory allows you to know exactly what you have, giving you insight on what sells, what doesn’t sell and what you need to stock up on. Here are 3 best practices to follow to maximize the potential of inventory control, allowing you to save time and make informed purchases while avoiding wastage!
Keep inventory clean and properly stored
Before we get into taking inventory, an efficient food storage plan should be in place. Arrange your ingredients in an organized manner by putting them in the right storage areas. Ensure that all your groceries are stored at the optimum temperature to avoid spoilage, which is the biggest “hidden” inventory cost! Put perishable items in airtight containers, labelling and dating them once they arrive. Not only does this help you keep your shelves organized, it also allows restaurant staff to quickly glance and check what is running low or what needs to be used up quick! Storing these containers neatly makes it easy for team members to find and reconcile.
Digitize and automate your management system
Instantly update your inventory levels by investing in digital inventory management software. Being able to know exactly what is in stock without the manual process of counting each item by hand allows you to focus your time on other tasks. Some POS systems are equipped with inventory control functions linking right to your kitchen display systems. Look for automated systems that are easy to use and allow you to program your recipes. They can keep track of each ingredient, automatically updating inventory levels according to each menu item ordered. Having a POS system that can help you keep track of inventory is crucial to streamlining operations. Having automatic digital warnings and notifications sent to managers and even back of house staff when product levels drop below your desired levels can save you from a possible panic attack!
Train all staff to reconcile regularly
Don’t treat inventory like a chore! Taking inventory is a crucial part of your restaurant’s operations and future strategy. Be proactive and don’t wait until something has completely run out before you take action. This is not a one-person project so train all your staff members for this taskso that anyone can jump in when needed. If your team can reconcile after each night, it will make the process much faster and as accurate and reliable as possible. To speed up the process, put together an inventory management checklist to ensure a quick and easy process. If the daily checklist does not seem sufficient enough, try setting aside a day where a detailed count of each item can be performed.