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3 Reasons Chefs Hate Taking Inventory

Posted on January 7th, 2019 by admin - Blog

Raise your hand if you’ve ever been personally victimized by inventory

Modern chefs are in a tough spot.  They originally pursued a career in the kitchen because they love the food, the late nights, the comradery and the ability to make people happy.  However now, to advance their career, chefs are also often required to be businesspeople as well: ordering food and supplies, keeping track of receiving inventory, maintaining budgets and analyzing profitability metrics.  If there’s one thing that chefs hate above all else, it’s taking inventory.  Let’s take a look at why (and how FoodBAM’s inventory feature helps to alleviate the pain) …

Top 3 Reasons Chefs hate inventory:

  • It takes a ton of time

Chefs are the ultimate multi-taskers.  They like to work quickly and efficiently, and they thrive off the rush of being busy.  When the orders slow down and the kitchen crew gets a second to breathe, they waste no time in getting to work on cleaning and prepping the kitchen for the next shift or the next day.  The last thing a chef wants to after being on their feet cooking for 12 hours is to stay in the restaurant 3 more hours to take inventory of the items that are in the walk-in, freezer and storage.

Taking inventory every few days saves chefs a ton of time in the long run.  The chef is already in the walk-in, freezer or storage space to place their orders, it doesn’t take much more work to take a quick count of what’s in stock and input into the FoodBAM app.  Plus, FoodBAM does all the work for them: tying inventory levels, par levels and order quantities together, integrating directly with accounting software, performing food cost calculations and more.  All this can easily be accomplished on the chef’s own time, before shifts, between service, or at the end of the night.

  • They don’t WANT to know

If an inventory is conducted thoroughly, it will often uncover receiving issues, portioning issues, theft, waste, spoilage and other restaurant horrors.  Bringing these issues to light adds even more jobs to a chef’s to-do list.  Now, the chef is not only responsible for scheduling, ordering, prepping, and menu development, but also tracking down which delivery driver skimmed off a case of tomatoes and which line cook has been throwing away perfectly good pieces of chicken.  Add to this the fact that by the time the inventory is taken, it can be nearly impossible to go back and do this detective work and the tasks get exponentially more difficult.

By following FoodBAM’s inventory guidelines, chefs will identify issues at the source and have a great finger on the pulse of their operation.  They’ll come to see that’s they are better off knowing the issues and solving them while their easy, instead of waiting until they become more difficult to fix.

  • Inventory exposes issues and increases accountability

This is a tricky one!  By conducting a monthly or quarterly inventory, chefs may expose their own faults in purchasing, staffing, training or management.  The chef would then be responsible for reporting their findings to key managers and may be held accountable for certain faults or issues.

FoodBAM alleviates this issue by encouraging chefs to take inventory on an ongoing basis.  A chef who pays attention to inventory as they go will uncover problems areas in their operations early enough to make corrections before issues become exacerbated by time and other compounding factors.