It’s not always easy to run a profitable restaurant or bar. There is an endless list of things to remember, rules to follow and customers to please. Many restauranteur and publicans have many different priorities. However, the one always on top of the list is keeping costs down.
Taking inventory is an unpopular task at most restaurants and bars, but one that is essential for controlling costs, quality and improving profitability. However, this task is always put off or even forgotten about, to the detriment of the business. According to QSR magazine, only 25 percent of businesses are flourishing because they take inventory regularly where as 75 percent struggle to make profits because of food costs.
Out with the old, in with the new, start over and give yourself, your business and your staff a fresh start to getting control of your inventory and staying on top of it!
This blog hopes to lay out several easy steps to help you try and get your inventory in order with the least amount of stress and drama.
Try implementing these top 5 tips for successful management of your inventory:
1: Develop a System, Keep it Simple!
Develop a plan and set standard operating producers for you and your staff to follow. Such as; who conducts the stock checks, what they are checking, when these checks are conducted, where they are checking, why they are being checked and how are they conducting them. If everybody is singing off the same hymn sheet in this regards, things should not fall between the cracks by ensuring that a coherent and consistent systems is in place.
2: Train Your Staff
Don’t spend all your valuable time on coming up with a system to then be the only one who knows what's going on. Ensure the people who will be using it on a day to day basis are kept in the loop as they will be the people who determine the success or failure of the new system. Get them on board with a plan and show them the new system that is also there to help. Also, where practical, use the same staff to take inventory. Not only will they get faster at it, but they will tend to be more consistent & reliable.
3: Create Section
Clean out and organize your stock areas before taking inventory. Organizing your storage space not only simplifies inventory, but it makes it easier when a staff member needs to quickly grab something. Having designated areas for specific goods, correct shelving and labeling goes a long way. If you add labels on the shelves, employees won’t have to tear into random boxes just to figure out what’s inside. It will also help with a quicker and more accurate stock check.
4: FIFO (First In, First Out)
When taking inventory, make part of the practice ensuring that items are being used on a First In, First Out (FIFO) basis. Older goods should be rotated to the front of shelves so they are used first. Not just allowing new products to be piled in front of existing stock, pushing it to the back where it will be forgotten. Additionally, try to keep the amount of items you have on hand as low as possible to reduce theft and spoilage
5: Let Technology Help You
Welcome to 2018 for anyone who is not here yet. You will be surprised and pleased with the help technology can offer you and your staff in regards to modern day stock taking. This technology can be integrated with your Point-of-Sale (POS) and your online E-commerce. Allowing you keep track of what has been purchased, keeping a running total of your inventory. It will also allow you to set alerts for when you drop below a specific number of items on hand and even produce automatic purchase orders to replenish your rapidly depleting inventory.
With modern POS you can also add reporting features to allow you to dig deeper into your inventory, telling you what the biggest sellers are, on what days and even what times, allowing you and your staff get ready for the rush!
If you manage to follow some of the basic steps listed above, you will go a long way with eliminating the headache of inventory management and getting on top of how many items you have in house. The main thing to remember is make a plan, get your staff on board and stick to it. Reach out to your favorite fintech company, Payscape. We are more than happy to help you and your business. As mentioned, make your technology work for you. We can organize an online demo of our POS and E-Commerce solutions which will help you with this on a day to day basis, through our inventory control and reporting features.
While successfully managing inventory, check out these 4 amazing tips for building customer loyalty for your restaurant.