Reducing Waste to Control Restaurant Food Cost

Do you know how many thousands of dollars your business throws away each year? 

Restaurant-Stock-ControlA pound of hamburger or head of lettuce may not seem like that much in the short term; however, each month they can add up to a very large amount of money.

Overstocking, spoilage, waste and theft are all food costs that you may not even be aware of that are likely impacting your cash flow significantly.

With proper inventory management of your restaurant, you can not only uncover food waste costs, but also reduce them in order to maximize the dollars that are spent on the products.

A sizable portion of your restaurants operational costs are used for products that are purchased. When you manage your inventory, you can maximize each dollar that is spent, since it helps to reduce the overstocking, spoilage and waste.

Additionally, a system that implements a smart checks and balances system will also eliminate the ability for employee theft.

Some tips to effectively reduce the food waste at your restaurant are highlighted here.

1) Create a Team

You need to appoint specific people that will be responsible for the inventory process, which should include the way that products are organized and received. Try to choose trustworthy individuals that are analytical, rather than those that may be intimidated by math.

2) Ensure the Team are Properly Trained

Be sure that the team members fully understand the inventory method that you are going to use. They should know the various categories, food inventory list, issue units, purchase units and more. You should also make it known to the other staff members that a well-managed food list is crucial for your operation.

3) Create a Routine

Create a specific frequency for the inventory count, whether it be monthly, weekly or in some cases at the end of each business day. The more often that you inventory your food, the easier it will be to correct and identify any issues.

4) Simplify the Process

Use inventory sheets that will align with the location of specific products on the shelves. This will ensure that the inventory-taker will not have to spend more time than necessary on the process. Two people may even simplify the process more by one counting and one recording the information.

5) Create Par Levels for Inventory

The par level should be the minimum amount of an item that you need to have on hand to make it until the next delivery. If the on-hand amount is less than par level, you should order what you need to bring it back to par. Cycle menus will make it much easier to establish the appropriate par levels.

6) Be Aware of the Menu

When you monitor the inventory it will help you focus on the efficiencies and opportunities for cross-utilization. If you find out that a particular ingredient is spoiling or being wasted because not enough is used, you can find out ways to use it in other dishes. Cross utilization will minimize the number of inventory items that you have. You should also refer to the inventory data when you are changing the menu in order to minimize waste further. 

7) Utilize Inventory Management Software

This can make every aspect of your inventory process much simpler. You should find a solution that is compatible with your invoice, recipe and ordering systems so that you are able to easily monitor you costs of goods sold, inventory trends and inventory valuation.

Reducing the amount of food waste that you experience will help to lower your operational costs in regards to spoilage, overstock and theft and is something that all restaurants should invest in.

Now it’s your turn. Any more tips? How do you reduce wastage in your restaurant? Share with us below.

Food Cost too High? Find out more how we can help you control your inventory and reduce your food cost IdealStockControl


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