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Restaurant Inventory Management: A Love Hate Relationship

October 22, 2020 by FoodBAM Admin

Let’s face it, you love cooking for your customers but hate taking inventory of the ingredients.

Think about it. What chef or restaurant owner wakes up every day and says, “Today I feel like taking inventory!”. We’re pretty sure the answer is none of you.

There are many steps to the inventory process and ways going digital can save you time and money. Having a strong inventory system and well-designed prep system is key to keeping the right amount of product on hand while ensuring proper product rotation.

Whether you’re experienced in the inventory process or a newbie in training, restaurant inventory software can streamline each step and help you take accurate inventory.

It All Starts with Organizing Your Restaurant Inventory

It’s easy to lose track of what’s going on in a busy restaurant kitchen. You want to make sure that your ingredients are fresh, but at the same time, you don’t want anything to go to waste.

Organize the inventory in your walk-in and kitchen space using the First in, First Out method (FIFO). That means newer ingredients go in the back of the shelf, pushing the ingredients you already had on-hand to the front, ensuring they get used first.

Labeling your shelves can ensure your staff knows where to find the inventory they need. Don’t forget to include the expiration and sell by dates! By doing this, employees will easily be able to identify when something is about to expire and prevents them from using ingredients that have gone bad.

Take Advantage of Restaurant Inventory Reports

Reports provide a look into how much of your inventory is used in any given time. Are you pulling your inventory reports manually? It probably seems like you’re drowning in spreadsheets and can never get an accurate view of what’s been used and what hasn’t. It’s time to give up the spreadsheets and go digital.

Staying on top of variances with ingredient usage reports protects your bottom line and reduces theft. Put your reports to work and start making profitable decisions about running your restaurant. Taking a good look at your COGS and usage reports can reveal many other ways to clean up your inventory and bottom line. For example, your new line cook could be wasting ingredients or even taking an ingredient or two with them before they leave for the night.

Aside from usage reports, there are others that can give you more visibility into the sales performance of your menu items and the prices you are paying for each product. As a restaurant owner or chef, you want to know what your top selling menu items are. “Selling like hotcakes” is really not an effective way to measure the success of your dishes. For a more efficient view into what’s hot and what’s not, take advantage of the hard data that restaurant inventory reporting provides you.

Restaurant Inventory Software to the Rescue

Once you’ve automated your inventory process, you can dedicate more time to other things like refocusing your menu, supporting your staff and getting to know your suppliers. With the advancement of technology, restaurant staff can spend more time tending to guests and less time taking inventory.

Restaurant inventory software can help you optimize your stock levels, reduce waste, and boost profits. Inventory levels are tracked automatically in real-time to reduce errors and simplify your operations. Having streamlined visibility into your inventory with restaurant inventory software can give you a more accurate picture into what you have plenty of, what you’re running low on, and even cost comparisons to ensure you get the best price on all your products.

Using Restaurant Inventory software not only saves you money on the products you are tracking, but also saves you money on labor. Labor cost is often one of the biggest expenses for restaurant owners and chefs. It is also one of the most difficult expenses to control. To help reduce labor costs, restaurant inventory software can help automate the entire process from tracking, pricing updates, stock counts, and adjusting inventory based on sales.

Keeping a good handle on your inventory can result in new opportunities for your restaurant operation to save money. With restaurant inventory software solutions like Foodbam, you can easily count your inventory right from your mobile device. Work smarter not harder and save time and money with Foodbam’s complete back-of-house technology solution for your restaurant.

Interested in learning more about Foodbam? Request a demo! Our team is dedicated to making the inventory and food cost management process easy, so you have more time to run your restaurant. We’d love to meet you!


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