Managing Your Restaurant’s Inventory
Maintaining effective and efficient control over inventory is a challenge for every restaurant. The following are best practices to address inventory issues such as theft, high costs, excessive waste, etc.:
- Perpetually track your inventory and perform periodic physical counts (food should be counted monthly and liquor weekly). The results of the physical counts should be compared to your general ledger balance. Significant variances should be investigated
- Utilize a point of sale (POS) system that is compatible with your inventory management system. Compatible POS and inventory management systems can generate reports that project inventory levels based on sales. Inventory balances should be compared to the projected inventory levels. Again, significant variances should be investigated.
- Keep inventory at low levels.
- Employees are less likely to steal inventory when levels are kept low.
- Lowering your inventory can lead to lower storage costs and less waste due to spoilage.
- Utilize portion controls to ensure that inventory is used efficiently.
- Place cameras in the storeroom and near the garbage disposal areas.
- Competitively bid your suppliers. Higher cost items (meat and fish) can be bid on a weekly basis. Other items (dairy, bakery, etc.) can be bid every 90-180 days.
- Double-check your suppliers’ deliveries:
- Not so fresh produce – Sometimes suppliers cover up older vegetables and fruits by placing fresher items on the top of the box. Check the package to make sure that the product quality is fresh and consistent.
- Verify that the items listed on the invoice were completely received. Mistakes are commonplace.
- Check the expiration dates. Sometimes suppliers deliver products with shorter expiration dates. Make sure that the products’ expiration dates meet the minimum product lives you are willing to accept.
The above represents a small taste of inventory management practices. ORBA’s Restaurant Group can work with you to customize a plan that will best meet your restaurant’s needs.