Managing a restaurant is not easy, it has its own challenges and if you’re ignoring certain areas that need attention such as inventory then, you might be losing lot of money every day. A pound of burger, a bread loaf or a head of lettuce might seem small but it adds up to the running costs every year and it’s a big pile of dollar bills.
Manage your Restaurant's inventory to reduce wastage of food
Most of the restaurants face overstocking and food wastage problems because of the lack of proper inventory management and forecasting system. Since, profitability in a restaurant business depends on the sale of food items, wastage of food cannot be ignored and a proper inventory control system has to be implemented.
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Here are the necessary steps that will guide you in implementing a robust inventory control process at your restaurant, so you can reduce wastage of food and save money:
- First things first. In order to start with the process of inventory control you have to start by counting your inventory manually. Whether you are the owner, manager or the kitchen head, if you are serious about controlling costs then doing this initial check by manually counting your inventory on the shelves and in the refrigerator will make a huge difference. You’ll have a clear picture of how much inventory you have in hand and what you need for the day. Isn’t it worth doing it yourself?
- Assign the counting task to a team.Since, you cannot take control of the inventory yourself on a daily basis, assign the task to someone from the kitchen staff who is a little analytical in nature and assign 2 or 3 members under him/her to build a robust inventory control process. Make sure that this team receives, counts and arranges the inventory on the shelves and the refrigerator and also maintains a daily record of the received items as well as items to be ordered for the next day.
- Implement strict inventory control policies. Inventory control is only possible if you have strict policies that support no wastage of the food items. Each team member of the kitchen staff, service department and other members at your restaurant must be aware that you take inventory control seriously and you are against food wastage, overstocking and spoilage. You must document inventory control procedures and distribute it among your staff members.
- Setup/upgrade your Restaurant Inventory management software.A fully integrated restaurant management software will not only automate your entire restaurant operations but also provide you a 360 degree view of your inventory. Restaurant Management software such as Odoo Restaurant Management also provides inventory forecasting feature that provides you insights about your future inventory requirements. Since, it is fully integrated with other modules such as: POS (point of sale), kitchen and bar order handling and billing, it keeps recording the items that have been used and what needs to be ordered. Since, inventory variances occur most of the times in a restaurant business, Odoo Restaurant Management software provides insights about the inventory trends and the pattern that you can follow to prevent wastage.
- Train your team/staff well.Training your staff is important, so that they are fully aware, understand and execute the inventory control process as described in your restaurant policies and guidelines. Remember that your inventory control measures are only as good as your people who execute them on a daily basis. Even if you don’t intend to train them, do it as it will have a positive impact on your cost saving efforts.
- Follow a strict Routine.An exercise will only show results if it is done following a strict routine. Inventory control is also an exercise that has to be carried out every day until it becomes a daily routine for your staff members. It will not only help you in identifying and fixing problems related to the inventory but also make the job easier for your staff members. A messed up kitchen, shelves full of unused items and a stinking refrigerator will only have negative impact on your business and your staff’s health. Make your staff understand the value of following a strict routine and its benefits.
If you are serious about saving time, money and becoming profitable by making simple changes to your internal restaurant processes then you must start analysing and fixing your inventory related problems. It will help you in saving a lot of money and bring prosperity to your business.
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