Restaurant inventory is one of the most basic requirements for running a restaurant smoothly. Taking restaurant inventory is a hassle. However, it must be done…and well! At the end of the day, each business will have a strategy for inventory tracking that works for them. If it doesn’t work, the restaurant staff and owner will be forced to adapt the process of taking restaurant inventory, until it is efficient enough for running a restaurant. The guidelines below give some tips to think about when planning the task of taking restaurant inventory.
The first step to effective restaurant inventory is a comprehensive list of all the products that may be needed, separated by type of product and supplier. Restaurant inventory software is a great way to start getting organized, though, with a bit more initial time investment and knowledge of programs such as Excel, similar results can be achieved. Restaurant inventory lists should include every restaurant kitchen, bar, restroom, and dining area item that needs to be replaced or replenished periodically. For example, for fast casuals and restaurants with take-out options, there must be a special inventory list for disposables. For all venues, thinking through all the required products will help cover the less obvious types of restaurant inventory, such as cleaning products, toilet paper, and other janitorial supplies, which are crucial to running a restaurant. Make sure to include empty slots on inventory lists to add special, in-season, products that are not typically ordered and that the chef may want to use. Once restaurant supplies are received, a receipt with specific prices for each product should be attached to the inventory list to make it easier to calculate profits and expenses. Accurate and detailed lists are extremely helpful for the person covering the task of taking restaurant inventory.
The Restaurant Staff
The head of shift in a restaurant kitchen should be responsible for taking restaurant inventory. The restaurant manager or business owner should be confident that this person is responsible, thorough, and organized, so that the inventory lists can meet the needs of the restaurant kitchen. It is preferable to give the task to someone who has been working at the venue for a while, and therefore knows how many restaurant supplies are typically used in a certain period of time, in order to avoid food waste from over-ordering. All restaurant staff should know who is taking inventory, in order to inform him/her about any products they notice a shortage of. Restaurant inventory tracking can be time consuming, but it is crucial to running a restaurant and commercial kitchen smoothly.
Fitting Time for Inventory Into Running a Restaurant
Inventory is a priority. In some businesses, inventory tracking takes second place after quick service for their customers. However, restaurant staff should be reminded that, without inventory, there can be no service. Though it is important to try to find a balance between service and other aspects of running a restaurant, such as restaurant inventory tracking, at the end of the day restaurant inventory must be done on time, and well.
Even the best planning restaurant inventory software can not erase the heavy responsibility and urgent-ness of restaurant inventory tracking. By making sure that the system is as organized and clear to employees as possible, running a restaurant can be a bit easier, since there will be less chance of missing restaurant supplies during service.