In the wake of COVID-19, the restaurant industry is struggling to cope up with sharp fall in sales. Having a tighter grip over inventory control has become the need of the hour, as you cannot afford to bear the losses caused by wastage of resources.
As per the survey conducted by Peerless Research Group, 69% of respondents said improving inventory control was an action taken to adjust operations since pandemic, ranking only behind adjusting warehousing processes as the top area of adjustment.
5 Tips to manage your restaurant inventory
Let’s delve deep into how you can manage restaurant inventory effectively.
Implement a restaurant POS system:
A modern day restaurant Point of Sale (POS) system not only takes care of inventory management but also helps you manage billing, customer data, loyalty programs, marketing and a lot of other functions on a single platform. India’s leading cloud based platforms such as inresto SCM have made real-time inventory tracking possible from anywhere, anytime. Alerts on minimum threshold quantities reminds you about stock replenishment, and there is no need to worry about running short of stock anymore. It lets optimum use of kitchen resources and brings down wastage and pilferage to the minimum.
An effective method of cutting down food and inventory costs is by placing orders for fresh stock wisely. Though the POS system provides valuable insights on reorder levels, you need to have a clear idea about the materials to be ordered and the respective quantities. Choose your vendors carefully that helps in sourcing the raw materials at competitive prices. Eliminating the middlemen and directly approaching the vendors adds to your cost savings. Also monitor the market price fluctuations daily, so that you don’t fall prey to excessive pricing by vendors. With the help of Inresto, you can manage procurement effortlessly and get better cost margins. The highlight of the system is that purchase orders are sent to relevant vendors from the central kitchen. It helps to bring down costs drastically.
Analyse your inventory:
When you don’t perform inventory audit on a regular basis, it leads to manipulations and irregularities. Based on your preference and the type of restaurant you operate, you can choose to audit inventory on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. The best way to start inventory audit is with ABC Analysis or begin by reconciling the most valuable purchase items in your inventory.
Under the ABC analysis, the inventory is divided into three categories. Items with very tight control and accurate records fall under A, the less tightly controlled and good records under B and C belong to those items with the simplest controls possible and minimal records. Most of the restaurants take inventory at the beginning or end of the day for some items and then reconcile the entire inventory for all the items on a weekly basis. Maintain consistency in the pattern you are choosing to analyse your inventory.
Follow the FIFO approach:
First in First out (FIFO) approach means that you first the food material that first arrived in your inventory. This approach ensures that there is no need to worry about food spoilage. It also aids in optimising the purchase and usage of raw materials at your restaurant. Some food materials have a shorter expiry date, and you should use those materials first.
Train your staff members well:
Make sure to deliver adequate training to your employees who are in charge of inventory management. Implement standardised processes and conduct periodic checks to ensure that your staff is following the guidelines. As per the survey by National Retailers Federation, shrink- a loss of inventory related to theft, error or fraud costs retailers about 1.33% of sales. Instead of appointing a single person to manage inventory, it’s always better to train multiple people. It helps to keep mistakes, theft, and manipulations at bay.
The 5 tips discussed above will come handy in handling inventory management effortlessly. As the restaurant industry is already operating on wafer thin margins, cost cutting has become an imperative for survival. The modern day, digital restaurant POS systems will help you cut down unnecessary expenses and have better grip over inventory management.