Even the most popular restaurants, if not operating efficiently with specific protocol for their inventory, can experience failure. Inventory management is extremely important and there are certain ways to handle this that will make your life easier and give you accurate results. The restaurant industry has come a long way from pen and paper inventory tracking thanks to technology. So where are restaurants going wrong and how can you do better for your business?
How you store your inventory is a huge part in reducing waste and keeping your customers safe. Not only that, but it improves the quality of your food and makes you more likely to abide by the food code with health inspectors. So how can you be sure you are doing all you can to avoid improper storage? Here are a few great places to start:
-Staff training: Thoroughly train all staff on the best practices. They should be aware of what inventory is older and should be used first.
-Organization: Have a system for everything. This makes it easier when you are training and is helpful in ensuring food does not go to waste.
-Avoid Temperature Danger Zones: When food is not kept at the right temperature, it could cause bacteria to grow and become dangerous to customers. Be sure to consistently monitor temperatures and when something seems off, take action immediately.
-Always Label and Date: This is the safest way to ensure you are not keeping food longer than its shelf life.
There are many ways restaurants can experience food waste. It may spoil before it gets used, a waiter drops a tray on the way to deliver food, a customer sends an order back because something didn’t meet their satisfaction, or whoever was plating the food was overly generous with the portions. You get the idea! You might be thinking that these mistakes are bound to happen and there is not much you can do, but there is good news. You can actually track your waste to see where some of it is coming from and then take action to prevent it to the best of your ability.
Use Automation Software
This will allow you more accuracy and save you time and money. By integrating your POS System with your inventory management solution you are able to better manage your restaurant, lower food cost and have access to daily reports that tell you where you stand with food waste and get analysis over actual usage vs ideal costs.
This is another area that can cost your restaurant a lot of money if it is not done correctly. Overbuying can lead to theft, plating misportions, and waste. When you track daily sales trends and look at data from previous years, you will be able to order with more accuracy.
So as you can see, inventory management is a crucial part of running a restaurant. It seems daunting, but it will help your restaurant find success and is actually not as complicated as you might think. With today’s advanced restaurant management technology, reports are generated for you and counts are entered online. Take the time to set up good systems with staff training and organization on the back-end and the rest will begin to fall into place.