inventory management

Making the most of your inventory management

These days, amid labour shortages, inflation, and supply chain disruptions, it’s more important than ever to get a handle on the things you can control, like inventory management. Managing your restaurant’s inventory efficiently could have a major effect on your bottom line.

Effectively managing your inventory means streamlining purchasing, monitoring storage, and efficiently using your goods.

Maybe you already have a manual list, an online program, or even a cloud-based app, but once you decide to zero in on your inventory management, there are a few things you can do to maximize the effects.

Get organized

For accurate counts, you need to compare what’s actually on your shelves to what’s on your sheets or in your computer system, including dry goods, freezers, and more. This requires everything to be located where it’s supposed to be for a faster, more accurate comparison.

To make it even easier, you might consider arranging your inventory in the same order as your list, so you can save time when matching them up.

Set up a schedule

Creating a set inventory schedule will help you stay current and consistent. Take inventory on the same day each month at times when you aren’t receiving deliveries or a rush in service. Also, consider conducting flash counts of your most popular ingredients so you can really stay on top of your numbers.   

Practice the FEFO method

The FEFO method (first expired, first out) means using up your soonest-expiring ingredients first. While this may seem like common sense, prioritizing this practice can reduce waste, save money, and provide an opportunity for you to get creative with your menu, all while getting a better handle on your inventory management.  

Involve your team

Chances are that you are not the only person who will ever place orders or count inventory, so it’s important to train your staff in all aspects of inventory management for a consistent approach. You could even make it fun by issuing a challenge for the team member who betters the system or saves the most waste.

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Excelling at inventory management will allow you to master portion control, reduce waste, save time, and increase your profit margins, so you can focus on what’s most important: running your restaurant.