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5 Ways You Can Improve Your Restaurant’s Inventory and Reduce Food Waste

Do you know how much money your restaurant might waste on a daily basis?

You might think that you’re doing everything you can to ensure that your restaurant is running as efficiently as possible. Before you scramble to find expert help or entertain the thought of laying off some workers, think about how much your business disposes of food. While a head of lettuce or a pound of hamburger might not seem like very much at all, it definitely adds up to a big pile of money that you’ve wasted every month thanks to waste, spoilage, and overstocking.

What can you do to avoid the “hidden” food costs that impede your cash flow? Follow these 5 tips below to make the most out of your food!

Put Together a Team – One person can’t manage the food alone. Construct a team of trustworthy people who will be responsible for taking care of the entire inventory process, including how your food is organized and received. Make sure that these individuals are honest, have good attention to detail, and aren’t too afraid of a bit of basic math.

Train Your Team – Once you have the individuals picked out for your inventory team, make sure that they understand what their responsibilities are and that they are prepared to take it on. They will need to know your inventory categories, purchase units, issue units, food inventory list, and more in order to do their job successfully.

Turn It Into a Routine – Next, let your team know how often they will need to check the inventory. There is no set rule to this, so however often you like will work, whether it’s daily, weekly, monthly, or even annually. Just remember that the more often you take inventory, the easier it will be for you to identify and correct any issues that crop up.

Simplify the Process – Once you have a routine established, organize inventory sheets to match up with the products’ locations so that your team won’t have to run back and forth between locations and from item to item. To make it even easier, have one person count and have the other record the information the inventory sheet. Make sure you set a par level for the number of items you need in your inventory as well.

Match the Menu – As the inventory is monitored, you should take a look at your menu – is it matching the ingredients you’re getting into the restaurant? Maybe you’ll discover that a few ingredients have been wasted or spoiled because it wasn’t used enough in the menu. Take the time to go through and make sure that your menu matches up with your inventory. That step in itself is an incredibly efficient way to help you save money and headaches later on.

How does your restaurant control inventory and reduce waste? Do you have any other tips that can help others avoid food waste? Feel free to share your tips and tricks in the comments below or on our Facebook page! We’d be happy to hear from you!

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