Restaurant owners and kitchen staff understand how important it is to properly manage their inventory. Stock control is one of the most significant factors in a restaurant’s success, determining food costs, food waste, and even menu availabilities.
Managing inventory means striking a delicate balance between being well-stocked without being under or overstocked. Missing the mark can be costly, so let’s look at some tips on setting and maintaining a successful inventory system.
Set an inventory schedule
The best way to understand how your kitchen consumes inventory is to set a schedule. Depending on the ingredients your kitchen uses most often, you might check your most popular or perishable products daily. On the other hand, you might check bulk items once or twice per week. Identify patterns and adjust as necessary.
You might also work your inventory system around delivery days. It makes sense to take a record of stock you have on hand as you bring in new items. Delivery day also provides an excellent time to verify expiration dates and the freshness and quality of products you have on hand. Follow the FIFO method – the first products in should be the first out.
Assign the right roles
Assuming that each staff member will properly update inventory isn’t the best idea. Assign the task to a few key team members, such as managers, senior line cooks and chefs. If the same people consistently take inventory, they will recognize patterns and unique nuances in your kitchen. You might consider offering bonuses for inventory savings.
The full responsibility shouldn’t fall on one person. As we’ve stated, inventory management is one of the most pivotal factors in determining a restaurant’s success. Should a person fall ill or otherwise not be available, the rest of the kitchen staff should have a detailed record and understanding of the kitchen’s stock.
Proper labelling is critical for a variety of reasons. It keeps your customers safe by preventing expired ingredients from making it to their plates. It clarifies the inventory in a kitchen and helps staff order products and plan menus and daily specials. Proper labelling cuts down on food waste and helps kitchen staff anticipate shortages.
For more tips on cutting food waste, check out our blog post on that very topic.
Automate your labelling system
As you know, managing inventory takes a lot of time, but there are ways you can reduce the time it takes. Automating your labelling system can help immensely. And for that, there’s the DateCodeGenie®.
Using the DateCodeGenie, kitchen staff can create, modify and print food prep labels that include a range of information—such as who prepared the ingredients, the prep date and the expiration date. Thanks to its intuitive design and familiar touchscreen, the DateCodeGenie takes little effort or training to get a feel for. This ease of use means staff can spend their time doing their jobs rather than puzzling over confusing tech.
Plus, the DateCodeGenie prints more than prep and inventory labels. Whether you need a customized sticker for a grab-and-go item or a branded tamper-evident label for securing a delivery order, the DateCodeGenie allows you to design and print the label you need.
So, it’s more than just a tool for inventory management. It’s your one automated solution for every labelling need.
For more information or to request a virtual product demonstration, visit ncco.eu/date-code-genie.