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5 Tips to Manage Restaurant Inventory

Restaurant management can be hard to master and requires extensive experience in the industry, you must manage restaurant inventory. If you aren’t aware of the tips and tricks that is. For many, the mismatch between expected sales and resources needed to meet demand is not uncommon. Inventory management too in this regard is a crucial and sensitive aspect of your restaurant management.

If you’re finding it difficult to keep track of your restaurant’s inventory, then you can sit back and relax. Take a deep breath and keep reading. After having the right tips and tricks up your sleeves when you’re done reading, you’ll be sure to have a sustainable and efficiently managed inventory in no time.

But first, let’s understand why restaurant inventory management is important? Well, if you don’t know what all you are losing, you don’t know what all you could be potentially earning. Inventory management plays a big role in evaluating profits and ensuring efficiency and optimization. You definitely want this for your restaurant management if you want to expand and grow in the long run. So, follow the tips given here and observe the difference first hand. You’ll be glad you started on it right away!

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1. Make Use of a POS System

Make Use of a POS System

A Point of Sales system for restaurant inventory management is a game-changer. It tracks and monitors customers sales and ingredient stock levels. It provides you with basic reports and alerts you when any ingredient needs to be re-ordered and is low in stock. You definitely want to invest in this if you want to cut down on unnecessary costs or hiring extra employees to track restaurant inventory. It’s an investment that has a high rate of return.

However, this management system does not take into account food spoilage or any ingredients that may have been used incorrectly for a recipe. For this, you will have to make sure your staff keeps an eye on other ingredients when going for an inventory run to pick up what is needed. 

2. Use The FIFO Method For Food Spoilage

The First In First Out method can help save you a lot of costs and dodge a lot of bullets. By arranging your inventory according to specific dates and using ingredients that were bought first, you can not only prevent food from getting spoilt but ensure your health and food safety standards are also met.

You can even keep track of food spoilage by using containers and equipment that are made specifically for FIFO. Not only this, but make sure the area where you stock up on your inventory is dry and well ventilated. This will help your inventory stay fresh for longer. Even for perishable ingredients such as dairy, regularly check up on refrigeration and temperature levels. 

3. Make Use of Surplus Ingredients

Make the most of your inventory stock by utilizing it for new meals. Add in a specials menu at the end of every month to utilize any leftover stock or surplus ingredients. You’ll avoid food wastage in this way and give your customers a variety of new options to pick from. Being sustainable in your restaurant management should be a goal you should strive towards!

4. Track Changes to Predict Future Orders

By observing and analysing which ingredients were in surplus or deficit, you’ll be able to forecast the inventory stock for the following month efficiently. You can do this on a weekly or bi-weekly basis, allowing you to project and forecast better.

It’s also important to remember to keep at least two produce distributors on your speed dial. This is in case one isn’t able to provide you with a specific ingredient on an urgent basis. Thus, leaving you with another option at hand to order from. Pick those which are nearby and have the shortest delivery time.

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5. Keep the Same Employees in Charge of Inventory

Keep the Same Employees in Charge of Inventory

To prevent any confusion or overriding of inventory stock, keep the same employees in charge. Streamline the communication and management process. For instance, create a hierarchy and division where each staff member is given a specific task to carry out which is in coordination with the others. By doing so, you will avoid miscommunication and errors when it comes to reordering or clearing out any spoiled food items. This will also help prevent any theft or item misplacement.

The Bottom Line

So, now that you are aware of how to manage your restaurant inventory effectively, you can start on it today and see the difference it makes in your restaurant management. Inventory plays a big role in reflecting how effective your restaurant management system is.

Invest in the right technology, methods and train your staff to keep a track of inventory on a regular basis. With your produce and ingredients fresh and flavourful round the clock, you’re sure to give your customers the experience they desire. Turning them away because your restaurant inventory ran out of a particular ingredient will no longer be a sight in your restaurant, that’s for sure!

To learn more about revamping your restaurant management structure and staying up to date with the latest restaurant marketing trends, visit our website. You’ll be sure to find various guides via blogs, videos and even personal consultancy services to make your restaurant management effortless and effective.

For more information, you can call us at 0203-916-5199 or drop an email at [email protected]. We will get back to you as soon as we can.

New eBook Reveals How To Successfully Open A Restaurant… Free E-Book!


About the Author

Massimo’s career has grown up through the restaurant world, starting as a waiter through to high-end restaurant openings within an operational management capacity. This depth of experience has allowed him to understand the business from both a guest’s needs to what a team needs, giving him the benefit of an all-rounded view and approach to problem solving.