You own a restaurant, that’s wonderful! But if you need to succeed in your restaurant business, you need to learn how to constantly take inventory of what is in your restaurant. It will help you to determine whether you are making profit or loss. Having a clear idea of your inventory of all products will boost your income and also help in the progress of your restaurant.
Keep in mind, taking inventory of all the things that are in your restaurant is not an easy work. It is tedious work as it requires a high level of carefulness. You need to be watchful of what you take and what gets used simultaneously if you want to be accurate in your inventory. Now, let us look at some of the common myths you would face when taking inventory of all the things that are in your restaurant:
It’s not easy training staff: This is one of the challenges that restaurant owners come up with before taking restaurant inventory.. Taking inventory is not something that everybody are good at. Some may have memory issues and others have trouble organizing goods, asking such people to take inventory may be a difficult task for them. But training select staff who are capable of learning fast and keeping morale high by allocating 2-3 people together at a specific time during a specific period makes the task easier, more accurate and there is less opportunity for theft or wastage.
Inventory taking is cost consuming: Taking inventory is not really a difficult task. There are some ware houses or restaurants that are very large and taking inventory of all the things that are in those places may undoable. Assign certain shelving areas or sections to certain members of your staff. Keep marking record sheets. Allocate a time and limit time to certain minutes every day to complete track of all inventory. With time, experience and practice, inventory taking will be a piece of cake.
Ok, we can do it when we have time: Sometimes it’s convenient for a restaurant owner to utilize wait staff to do inventory work when it’s slow time. Beware, you might get fortunate enough for a long time to have no slow times, which is not good for your restaurant but no so much for the inventory task. A lot of restaurants have gone out of business for this one reason: they could not manage their inventory right. Schedule staff at regular intervals, preferable the same day of the week and same time of the day and keep a sharp eye on what comes in, what gets used and what gets thrown away.
The cost of inventory software is too much: Yes, software don’t come cheap. Although there are a few on the market that a few smaller restaurants can absolutely do with. A lot of accounting software already are equipped with inventory section. Take QuickBooks for example, if you can manage taking inventory on QuickBooks, you don’t have to invest in a separate software.
But there are so many software out there that are tailor made just for restaurant inventory. And the cost of such software is high which makes it less affordable to people. But if you can simultaneously track food costing, recipe costing and menu cost, these software can calculate profit margins based on current costs and automatically update recipe costs with any new ingredient pricing. It would probably even show you that your most popular menu item has been the money guzzler and loss maker that you did not realize.
I don’t have to track waste: I’ve seen restaurants where they keep an accurate track of what they buy and what they use, but never track waste. This is one huge mistake as you might as well not buy a lot of what you are wasting. When you track what goes into the waste bin, it’s easy to laser point on items that go bad because of overstocking. Now, it’s important to say, keep an eye on what goes into the bin. It might be a good idea to install surveillance cameras near your dumpsters, because for you know, good food could be going into the waste bin for thieving employees to pick up at a later point from the dumpster.
In general your cost of operations could be high or low depending on how well you manage your inventory. One look at all your collective log entries, you should be able to tell where you are over spending or wasting money and cut costs accordingly.