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10 Best Practices of Inventory Management

Roughly three-quarters of all restaurant operators reported food costs as a challenge in 2014. Among those: 78 percent of casual-dining restaurants increased food waste tracking. The rest of the industry noticed. According to the National Restaurant Association , 74 percent of fine-dining operators, 70 percent of quick-service operators; 68 percent of fast-casual operators; and 64 […]

Roughly three-quarters of all restaurant operators reported food costs as a challenge in 2014. Among those: 78 percent of casual-dining restaurants increased food waste tracking. The rest of the industry noticed. According to the National Restaurant Association , 74 percent of fine-dining operators, 70 percent of quick-service operators; 68 percent of fast-casual operators; and 64 percent of family-dining establishments also increased their food waste tracking.

Of course, tracking food waste is one way to tackle the problem. Making sure you’re inventory management processes are also in-check can prevent unnecessary food waste. Take stock of these best practices when managing inventory in your restaurant.

Establish a consistent inventory frequency. Designate the inventory task to specific employees and continue to use the same people. Organize your items by location and sub-location. Standardize units of counting for each item or item category. Take inventory before the restaurant opens or after it closes. Never take inventory at the same time as deliveries. Count high-cost / high-loss items more frequently. Use inventory counting applications to automate counting and reduce errors associated with spreadsheet counting Have “in-dates” and “out-dates” as well as PAR levels on hand to prevent spoilage or theft. Do random spot checks to ensure staff isn’t “stealing you blind.” Develop standards or internal rules to avoid overpouring or unauthorized menu comps.

Inventory management is not a waste of time. But not doing is most certainly a waste of your money.

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