Managing your restaurant’s inventory well is an integral part of running a successful business. It involves different processes to keep track of your restaurant’s supplies, food items, and other miscellaneous things in storage at all times. When you know what’s in your inventory at any given moment and have a solid system to keep it in check, it helps you make better decisions. Whether it comes to making future orders, deciding how much stock to keep in store, the number of items in backup…all these decisions can be made in a much more informed way. In the long run, these decisions can bring about higher profits for your business.
In this article, we’re going to cover a few different ways in which you can tackle restaurant inventory management in the most effective manner possible.Organize a team to keep inventory management in check
Setting up a team of employees whose goal is to ensure that your restaurant inventory is managed efficiently can do wonders in improving restaurant performance, and subsequently in increasing profits. You need to train your employees to be able to use the POS system easily. Apart from this, make sure that they’re encouraged to come up to you with ideas for changes to improve the system too.
Organize your pantry better
Most successful restaurants follow the FIFO method- First In, First Out. What this means is organizing the different zones in your pantry according to how long things have been in storage. Let’s say you have a shelf of ketchup bottles in the pantry. The ones right in the front of the shelf should be the ones that were purchased the earliest. This way of rotating items on your shelves leads to minimum spoilage. You can use this approach for all kinds of items in your pantry, fridge, and store of cleaning supplies. Having a clean and organized pantry saves a lot of time as well as money.
Take decisions about orders in the future using past data
Every month, take some time out to review your performance. Use your POS system to analyze how you’ve managed your inventory. Did you fare better than the previous month? Were there higher profits or losses? Studying this data can be helpful when it comes to making decisions for the future. It ensures that you don’t make the same errors again and ultimately implement a solid inventory management system.
Invest in the right POS system for you
A POS system can help you improve your inventory management by leaps and bounds. Tracking food wastage, current inventory levels, alerting you when a certain food item is running low…the perks go on and on! You also get to access all the data related to inventory with just a few clicks. This is particularly helpful when you’re trying to analyze your performance and making decisions about implementing changes at work.
Try to keep food wastage at a minimum
In order to inculcate a spirit of minimum wastage at work, put up posters and notes in your kitchen to remind your employees to be mindful of their choices. These constant reminders in their workplace can help in changing habits and bringing about a sense of discipline when it comes to food wastage.
Be mindful with your menu
Making the most of your food supplies works best to keep your costs in check. And one way to make the most of your supplies is to design your menu effectively. Stay away from individual menu items relying on ingredients that can’t be used up in any other dishes. This is bound to lead to wastage. Instead, find dishes that use common ingredients. You can also use leftover scrap to make dips and sauces. An economical no-waste approach leads to higher rewards.
Analyze food wastage
When you’re looking into inventory levels regularly and keeping in check everything that comes in and goes out, you’re going to end up with a better idea of how much food wastage is happening. Once you’re aware of this, you can look into the matter and approach it differently. For instance, if there’s a particular item that is constantly not being used optimally, try to figure out why this is the case and what you can do to tackle it. You can decide to eliminate certain items, vary portion sizes, introduce more dishes using the same ingredients, reduce order size in the future, and so on.
Set up an effective system in place
Scheduling regular pantry checks for all your items is a foolproof way of never running out of ingredients when you need them. Depending on the perishability of different products as well as how frequently they are used, you can set up daily, biweekly, weekly, or even monthly checks on quantity. You can experiment a little before you make any final decisions.
Talk to your employees about the importance of effective inventory management
Honest communication is often the best way to tackle most things. Take the time out to talk to your employees about how food inventory management is an extremely important part of running a successful business. Make sure that they’re aware that it can lead to higher profits and ultimately be rewarding for them too. Encourage them to take initiative to make the system better.
Figure out optimum reorder levels
Once you’ve evaluated your inventory levels, it can be beneficial to come up with a specific reorder level for every item in storage. You need to decide the exact number a certain product needs to be at in order for you to make the next order. This helps you save space in your pantry and also leads to a lower probability of items reaching their expiry date before you got a chance to use them.
While managing your inventory can be a little difficult initially, it can be extremely rewarding in the long run…especially if you do it right! The tips we’ve given you in this article are sure to help you in creating a smart system that works for your restaurant.