Guess what? you are not the only restaurant owner who is confused about doing inventory! In fact, one of the most difficult tasks for restaurant managers is often figuring out how to do inventory the best way.
Without knowing about the fate of your inventory the money that is spent on them can be greatly wasted, since you won’t be able to track your spending mistakes nor possible theft and unnecessary waste.
When it comes to inventory, there is a lot to consider, including:
1) Sitting Inventory: What products are needed for your food services, which should be measured in either units of the amount of a product by lbs or by the dollar. Whichever you choose to take your measurements with, you would need to make sure that you always use the same units, so that mistakes are avoided.
2) Usage: which is calculated using your sales reporting data from your POS
3) Depletion (hidden Inventory): which is the amount of food that is wasted and not used to serve customers, therefor not producing any profit for your restaurant. This count is usually the hardest to track as there are many possibilities that might decrease or increase your weekly depletion.
Depletion(hidden Inventory) Causes:
Other than accounting for the obvious, some of the other ways why you might spot surprisingly missing/lost inventory in your calculations can be a cause of the following:
1) Employee mistakes
2) Customer complaints
5) Staff meals
The above are unpredictable, but there are a few ways you can try to remind yourself of being cautious and remembering of the ‘hidden’ inventory measures, which I have listed below.
Train Your Staff:
Make it a part of your staff’s duty to ensure that they mark down the spillages, the unsatisfied customers, and the staff meals. You can indeed train your staff to add or check items off your inventory tracking list, making your tracking easier and faster. Inventory management can not possibly be done accurately by a single person and just as any other system there is more than one part that needs to be active for the system to work properly.Good restaurants succeed through teamwork and good leadership. It is your job to train your staff and make sure that they know the importance of inventory tracking.
Use Daily Inventory Trackers:
I know a lot of people would prefer to avoid doing an inventory check on a daily basis. However, doing it daily would not only make your tracking easier, but also more accurate since a lot of the depletion can be simply forgotten about after a few hours. Also, doing your inventory daily can give you an earlier heads up on your upcoming bills, since you will notice your depletion inventory a lot sooner than a week or a month has passed. My advice is to create a simple inventory tracker list, which is printed or easily accessible to your staff in order for them to track and adjust the list.