The Complete Guide To Restaurant Inventory

It’s not always easy to run a profitable restaurant.

There are always dozens of things on your mind – and maintaining your food costs might fall by the wayside.

That’s why last year, we created the Complete Guide to Inventory.

And why this year, we’ve made it even better.

We’ve read, listened, and discovered. We’ve written, re-written, and then ripped it up and started over.

All to provide you with the Complete Guide to Inventory. 

Download it here.

Here’s a sample from our section on “Inventory Best Practices” discussing how to best organize your stockroom to take inventory. You’ll find this and more by downloading the free eBook:Close your eyes and picture your stockroom.

Oh, wait. Now you can’t read this. Open them again.

Anyway, how does that stockroom look? Are things in their place, or on the door? Are there stacks for organization purposes, or because everyone’s just too lazy to put things where they belong?

We get it – running a restaurant is time- consuming, chaotic, and unpredictable. But that shouldn’t be an excuse to allow your stockroom to fall apart.

Having a clean stockroom (and fridge and freezer and…) can shave hours off your inventory taking. Plus, it helps you get a more accurate count, so you can reduce waste and save money.

One tip? Have your staff follow the First In, First Out (FIFO) rule. Old products are moved to the front of the shelf, and new products placed behind them. That way, you can ensure you’re using an old product before it goes bad.

We’ve got a few more ways to break it down…

Get Rid of Expired Ingredients

You cut that curry chicken special a year ago… So why do you still have curry powder sitting in the stockroom?

Also, that Paneer went bad ages ago. Might explain the stench…

Expired and unused ingredients simply take up space. While we preach throwing out as little food as possible, sometimes things just gotta go.

Out with the old, and in with the fresh.

Install Proper Shelving

We know you found a steal on those small plastic shelves, but if they can’t hold your bags of our, they belong in the trash, not the stockroom.

Investing in sturdy – even pricey – shelving may seem annoying now, but it makes a world of difference as you dive into storage organization. Otherwise, you’ll just end up with piles on the floor, or shelving that doesn’t have enough room for all your ingredients.

Plan ahead, and reap the bene ts later.

Clean Existing Shelving

Maybe you already have some great shelves, though.

But, why aren’t you taking care of them?

Grab the duster and the Lysol and squirt out some elbow grease. Not only will it give you a clean slate for organization, but it may come in handy next time the FDA swings by.

Create Sections

Is your rice sitting next to the peppers?

If your produce and dry goods are stacked side-by-side, inventory may get confusing.

Organizing your storage space not only simplifies inventory, but it makes it easier when a staff member needs to quickly grab an ingredient.

You can finally throw away that stockroom treasure map. Simply point out the section and voilà! All done.

Group Like Items Together and Create Labels

Counting an entire box of cups sounds way simpler than counting individual stacks, no?

But your waitress working a double who needs a quick jolt of coffee isn’t going to think of an inventory check before she pops open a new box. She’s sure as hell not going to poke around to see if there are open sleeves first.

However, if you ensure all similar items are in the same place, you can avoid that issue – and have your inventory process go much more smoothly.

Plus, if you add labels on the shelves, employees won’t have to tear into random boxes just to figure out what’s inside.

Download the Complete Guide to Inventory.



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