How restaurant inventory control benefits cash flow & increase profit?

Restaurant Inventory Control

What is restaurant inventory, and how to control it?

A restaurant, or retail food store, consists of inventory. The inventory is a detailed list of all the resources, property, and merchandise connected to the business. Even though it’s suggested to monitor everything, generally, restaurants frequently center on food items, goods, or perishable products because the stock constantly fluctuates based on ingestion speed. Quite simply, restaurant food inventory comprises all the supplies that enter the Restaurant for managing the food or beverages for your clients.

The sooner you understand the best and worst-selling dishes in your Restaurant, the sooner you start controlling the inventory list. Are you making informed purchase choices for your Restaurant? Does your kitchen often have way too much or less inventory? All these replies lead us to something: the significance of restaurant inventory management.

Suppose you are not devoting sufficient attention to your Restaurant’s inventory management. In that case, you may be losing a great deal of cash. And that is a frightening position for any restaurant enterprise.

How do food businesses and restaurants maintain inventory?

Restaurant inventory management involves:

  • Keeping a listing of raw and processed goods to plan to buy.
  • Understanding food costs.
  • Avoiding any wastage of material.

While some restaurants still rely on the old pencil-and-paper method, digital methods have caught on.

  • Spreadsheets better-Called par inventory sheets.
  • Automated inventory management (using software)
  • Par Inventory Sheets
  • Restaurant managers set levels of how much of an item they need in-house. That is known as the par level.

The level inventory sheets guide what and how much should be ordered according to what’s sitting on your stock already. It also aids in identifying any occasion where you might call for additional stock or any items which will waste because of under-utilization.

Inventory Management System

While the level way is a great starting point, using a system that ties up with your POS to automate inventory management is advised. It automatically tracks the substance usage by matching:

  • Orders entered on your POS.
  • Recipes are entered on your stock computer software.

At any point in the daytime, managers or owners can look at the inventory system and create reports. This aids in identifying how much of this substance is utilized. What’s left, and what will be needed for the coming days? All in real-time.

So while pen and paper methods can still do the job, relying upon them could put your business in danger of loss. With an automated inventory management system, you can not just maintain stock but stopover and underutilization.

How to Figure Food inventory?

The shelf-to-sheet/system method of taking inventory is considered the ideal restaurant industry.

That is what it looks like in real:

  1. Check what’s on your storage.
  2. Match it with your stock-taking system. This way, you count every item on each shelf and double-check.
  3. Account for any write-in’ things as well.

Tips for practical restaurant stock calculation

Conduct regular audits

It reveals an accurate picture of your stock and helps identify any wastage or theft.

Use the info from the audit to go to the heart of your mistake patterns and the motives behind them. Auditing isn’t only for repairs but also for improving your procedures.

Use the FIFO approach.

FIFO (first-in, first-out) approach implies that you first use the food that arrived first in your inventory so that nothing is spoiled. Additionally, it helps simplify the usage and purchase of raw materials for the kitchen. Utilize the meals with a possibility of spoilage or expiration before, and always keep tabs on what’s exercising or available in the kitchen. Tag all your food with the date you received it and the date it expires.

Staff training 

Finally, these are the people who will deal with your stock work all of the time. Make sure that you implement standardized processes and supply them with practical training for the same. It is always helpful to keep more than one person liable for the inventory management work so mistakes can be assessed and avoided.

Have a Dedicated Instrument

While spreadsheets are also a means of maintaining stock, they can get tiresome and much more affected by human error than a committed application. An inventory management software simplifies many of your manual procedures, saving time and money you can potentially lose due to errors. In addition, several of these software can integrate with your POS platform to streamline the whole operation.

Terms you should know for restaurant inventory control & stock management.

To manage your restaurant inventory nicely, these are a few terms and procedures that you need to know and certainly keep a check :


COGS is the Cost to create the food you will promote to guests. To calculate COGS, you want to record inventory levels at the start and end of a given interval and consider any extra inventory purchases.


Variance is the difference between theoretical usage and recorded usage. By way of example, you sold 1000 rupees worth of food, but your inventory says that 1200 rupees value has been invested. Restaurants, on average, have a 2-5percent variance.

Food Cost Percentage

That is the percentage of your food’s sale cost, which makes up the Cost of the ingredients used. Restaurants must maintain that percentage considering the constant fluctuations from the supply side of these ingredients.

Base Kitchen

For large franchises, it acts as a connection between the warehouses and the outlets. The base kitchen is vital in maintaining the same taste and consistency. Most sauces, marinades, and butchery work is a cone in a central production unit and then sent to individual locations. At the location, they receive it either ready to sell ( Like Pastries, Desserts) or semi-finished products which require further processing.

Sitting inventory

That is the sum of the product (or the cash it is worth) you now have in-house. Always ensure you’re consistent everywhere in the measurement you’re using to indicate this figure.


Any food wasted before it’s served to the clients comes under this category. All restaurants wish to avoid the unnecessary loss it generates. It might include spoiled food or not adequately prepared food.

So if the guest leaves some food on the plate after eating, it can’t be considered a waste. However, if it is a frequent incident for a particular dish, the chef and manager must reconsider the portion size and overall quality.

Cost of Goods Depleted

It’s the Cost of the depletion of goods during a definite period.

Recipe Management & Costing

For effective inventory management, it is essential to have standardized recipes. Your stock can be spent and managed according to those. Consult your chef to prepare these for you using the specific amount and material required and update these with the upgrades from the menu items. Having computer software helps track how stock moves throughout your Restaurant — from procurement to being implemented in total.

A restaurant inventory program will help bring all working parts of your inventory — be it materials, sellers, recipes, and even taxation under one system. Here are these parts explained:

Substance and Recipe Management

This component can help handle the substances, set par amounts, and declares recipes for processed and finished things.

Vendor and Tax Administration

This component includes declaring numerous vendors and what you are procuring from whom. Additionally, some applications also provide to declare tax here.

Multiple Outlet Management

When running multiple outlets or base kitchens, obtaining software to handle launching, closing stocks, and transfers between locations is essential to prevent any mistakes.

Audit and Waste Tracking

Inventory software connects with your POS and upgrades in real time. In addition, many programs offer you the audit center and manual reconciliation feature to upgrade something from your end.

What are the Benefits of Restaurant Inventory Management?

Inventory management may seem dull to a lot of restaurant owners. However, the restaurants which realize its worth get Substantial benefits in the:

Managing Food Costs

With all the information at your fingertips that successful stock management supplies, you’ve got the flexibility to adjust your menu planning and expenses and have a much better view of how each arrangement impacts the general profitability of your business.

Never Over-Ordering Again

Over or order is not a perfect situation for any restaurant. Inventory management powers one to determine and audit your current inventory status to plan your purchases accordingly.

Catching Theft and Pilferage

Do you want your hard-earned cash to go into the drains? Theft and pilferage are two grave concerns in almost any kitchen. Stock management helps capture any discrepancies from the inventory once an audit operation is conducted for food costs and the inventory available at the end of a specific period. This way, the staff stays accountable and avoids any wastage.

Time to Get Organized!

How your restaurant inventory is handled affects all other processes at your Restaurant, from serving the clients to revenue creation. I hope this site was helpful in that you understand the various aspects of restaurant stock management.


There are a couple of terms worth discussing first. The worth of sitting stock is usually evaluated in dollars or accurate measurements of the products. The key to having an accurate inventory count is to assign either bucks or dimensions to all inventory across the board. However, don’t use dollars on some and measurements in different regions. For instance, your inventory represents 25 pounds of pasta used yesterday, but your POS accounts for only 24 lbs of pasta utilized. The difference is 1 pound, which computes into a 4 percent variance. Most restaurants consider a 3-5% variance inside the stock and utilization of a normal range.

Depletion: The amount of time it requires to use a product.

Utilization: Usage lets you know how long your sitting inventory should continue. When you’ve got a depletion time for a product, you can calculate the length of time your sitting inventory should last.

First In/First Out – Quite simply, rotate your inventory. It is a principle of constantly putting the newest inventory behind the older stock. It’s the best prevention for lost profits due to outdated or spoiled stock.

The Significance of Inventory Management in the Restaurant and Food Industry

A restaurant’s inventory management is the procedure for tracking and updating the stock regularly. An accurate inventory is essential to maintaining the appropriate balance of essential components to earn a restaurant’s work.

Your inventory not only allows you to see when things are running low and need reordering, but it can also help you prevent excessive inventory that may cause waste.

Restaurant direction is frequently a despised task amongst the staff. However, it’s essential, as this task allows a restaurant to compute accurate Costs and determine if it is generating again.

With any restaurant, the stock is constantly coming in and going out. So, inventory management helps you know how much stock you have. In addition, knowing inventory levels can help lower Costs rather than purchasing unnecessary things and avoid fraud from missing stock.

On the flip side, not tackling inventory is similar to throwing cash from the window. A typical restaurant attempts to keep food costs at 33 percent of its entire revenue. Maintaining a firm grip on inventory is essential to the daily running of this Restaurant. Nothing is worse than running from the particular during the dinner rush. A consistent inventory process can easily prevent it.

Taking Charge of Your Inventory

Without the ideal way or wrong approach to take inventory, any method will get the task finished.

Sure, you may use an old-school strategy and print out spreadsheets until you feel you’re drowning in paperwork or upgrading your practices.

A key component in effective kitchen direction is stock control. By being aware of what supplies are available at a given time, the manager will organize food orders, calculate food costs from the previous inventory, and make menu item changes if needed.

Managing inventory is similar to checking a bank account. Just as you’re considering how much money you’ve got in the bank and if that cash is paying enough interest, the manager should be interested in the value of their supplies from the storeroom and the kitchen.

An inventory is everything that is found inside your establishment. Creating dry stores, pots, pans, pastries, spirits, linens, or whatever costs money to the business should be counted as part of the stock—Count Kitchen inventory separately from the front of the house and pub inventory, and so forth.

Irrespective of your performance’s size, the inventory control principles will be the same. There’ll be many more people in more extensive operations and sometimes even whole groups involved with the several steps. In a bit of operation, all responsibility for handling the inventory may fall on several essential people.

How do you Control Inventory in a Restaurant?

Successful inventory control can be achievable through some essential steps:

  1. Establish systems to track and record stock
  2. Develop specifications and processes for ordering and purchasing
  3. Develop standards and procedures to receive deliveries effectively
  4. Determine the frequency and methods for reconciling inventories.
  5. Analyze inventory data and determine any areas for improvement

One of the reasons you take stock would be to ascertain food costs and work out cost percentages. Numerous procedures simplify finding the worth of products in storage. 

The temptation in small operations is to take care of inventory management lightly. Maybe you will find only one or two people doing the purchasing, and they’re usually aware of the supplies that are on hand. However, that will not eliminate the requirement to track purchases against earnings to see if you are handling your costs too as possible.

Virtually all stock control processes are time-consuming. Moreover, such documents must be kept up-to-date and performed correctly. Therefore, attempting to save a few hours by decreasing the time required to keep inventory records might be money poorly saved.

The simplest method for monitoring inventory is using a spreadsheet. For example, a simple spreadsheet might record all the products frequently bought, with the current rates and the numbers on hand in the last inventory count.

The programs need to be sophisticated in massive operations as more people are involved. A separate section may draw up purchases. A storeroom clerk may keep stock records. The tracking and counting of inventory may be tied to a system using scanners and barcodes linked with your revenue system. There is always a record of everything that should be in stock.

Whatever the depth of detail used, having a method to track inventory gives supervisors a great notion of equipment and a tool to manage costs.

Incoming Inventory

The main reason for establishing a more consistent method for accepting ordered goods is to ensure the establishment receives precisely what’s been arranged. Errors frequently occur. Significant losses can occur unless the amount and quality of the items delivered are carefully checked against what was ordered. When procedures are carefully done, mistakes that could cost the restaurant time and cash are averted. Additionally, an effective receiving system promotes honesty on the part of suppliers and delivery individuals.


Your invoice is the most vital record in determining whether the products received are the merchandise ordered. An invoice is an itemized listing of products delivered to a food prep premise. A statement shows the quantity, quality, price per kilogram or unit, and, in some cases, the comprehensive extension of this Cost chargeable. Only by carefully assessing and assessing can you be confident that the information on the invoice tallies with the products obtained. This comparison may require that items be weighed and counted.

That will ensure that the amount and Cost of the merchandise sent match those recorded on the order form. However, suppose the invoice is not assessed against the purchase order once the goods arrive. In that case, there’s the potential you will be missing products you need or receive products that were not ordered or are in incorrect quantities.

In addition, the quality check is essential for the goods before accepting. For instance, containers of fresh produce and frozen foods should be opened and inspected to ensure quality.

When you are satisfied that the delivery is so, sign the invoice. In most cases, the bill remains duplicated or triplicate: you maintain the original. The delivery driver keeps the other copy or copies. Once you’ve signed, you’ve relieved the delivery company of its responsibilities, and the supplies now belong to your organization. You might become accountable for discrepancies between what is on the invoice and what’s been delivered. It’s good practice to deliver any discrepancies or errors to the driver’s attention and have them acknowledge the error by signing the bill. If a credit note is issued, that should also be marked on the bill by the driver.

Note: Don’t sign the invoice until you’re sure all discrepancies are taken care of and recorded on the bill.

Take the signed bill and provide it to whoever is responsible for collecting bills for the provider.

Delivering can be time-consuming for both the food establishment and the shipping services. Often the delivery folks (especially if they’re not the provider ) will not wish to wait while these tests are complete. In this case, your firm must understand the supplier that faults discovered after the shipping service has left the supplier’s problems none.

After the invoices are signed, place the delivered products at the proper locations. If you are required to track incoming inventory, do so simultaneously.

Outgoing Inventory

When a distribution leaves the storeroom or cooler, a record must be available to track where it’s gone. In most small operations, the supplies go to the kitchen used to produce the menu items. In a perfect world, accurate records of incoming and outgoing supplies are retained, so understanding what is available is a simple matter of subtraction. Unfortunately, systems are not necessarily that simple.

In a small restaurant or café, knowing what has arrived and getting used daily can easily be reconciled by performing a regular inventory count. However, in more extensive operations and resorts, the storage rooms and coolers might be on a different floor than the kitchen. So a system is needed that requires each section and the kitchens to requisition food from the storeroom or buying department like a small restaurant could do straight from the provider. In this version, the resort would purchase all the meals and keep them in a central storage area. Individual departments would then “order” their food from the storerooms.


To control inventory and ascertain daily menu costs in a more extensive operation, it’s essential to set up a requisition procedure where anything moved from storage into the kitchen is done by a request in writing. The requisition form should include the name and quantity of the items needed by the kitchen.

Different requisition forms should be employed efficiently by serving personnel to replace table supplies such as salt, sugar, and pepper. But frequently, personnel resist requisition forms since they find it much easier and quicker to enter the storage room and grab what’s required. Still, this practice leaves no documents and also makes accurate record-keeping hopeless. Therefore, the storage area should have some staff with the right to get into the chambers, freezers, or storage grills.

Managing your inventory is not a one-time task. To keep a steady bottom line, inventory ought to be tracked daily. First, remove all expired or spoiled food.

Take stock regularly: Keep a list schedule choosing a particular time. That can help you understand the criteria for the week. While all stock should be considered daily, some items may need actual counting once or twice a week.

Take stock before opening or after closing – Since a restaurant always has inventory moving — coming into and moving out, it might feel nearly impossible to execute a precise inventory while available. Therefore, it’s best to take inventory before or after the Restaurant closes for the day.

Take inventory when new stock arrives. Constantly keep an eye on new inventory as soon as it arrives. Not only can this give you an accurate count, but it will also help spot any delivery errors making it easier to rectify before it becomes an issue. In addition, coaching two individuals to work together should decrease mistakes and oversights. And as they gain experience with the inventory, they will develop time-saving techniques, maintaining the Restaurant operating smoothly.

The Cost of products, also known as the Cost of Revenue, refers to accurate and direct costs of manufacturing and goods offered in companies and companies. This sum includes the Cost of materials used in creating the products (in this case, food and components ) and the money spent on labor costs. This procedure excludes indirect expenses, supply costs, and sales force costs.

Food cost in Inventory Control

Food cost plays a significant role regarding any inventory system. However, if considered and managed correctly, this benefits understanding your stock process and keeps you on the right path with your money gain, loss, and overhead.

Take a good look at the beginning inventory – What’s left from the previous period between inventory days is leftover. It is the start of the food stock procedure.

Suppose you choose to take inventory of meals bi-weekly. In that case, the ideal way to determine the time for this course of action is to dedicate a particular day as stock day. For example, let us say that Monday is the inventory day, and you have $3,500 worth of meals on each of your shelves. That would be the starting quantity of the procedure.

Consider your purchased stock: The purchased inventory is the general amount of food purchases you’ve come up with within the next week. You would buy any product for your business, food, utensils. For example, fountain drink refill concentrates, condiments, napkins, cups, whatever!

Take note of the ending inventory: The Ending Inventory is established as soon as you have reached the window’s conclusion involving inventory logs and are about to start the process. Then, you figure out the dollar amount of stock you have left to sell.

Whatever product you have left over, the food for the week could be calculated to some dollar amount. For this example, let’s say your ending inventory amount is $2,500. That is your ending inventory number that we’ll use in the upcoming method.

But How Can This Help in Inventory Control for your Restaurant?

When doing inventory, we can even venture into other ideas about the Cost of products and food. So let us see how we could do more.

Take another look at how many we just needed. After calculating the Cost of the products and food we sold, let’s take a further step and determine what we could do. Most say that the ideal Cost of goods percentage is approximately 28 – 35 percent. Some food items can have a more significant percentage in Cost of goods and more profit.

But let’s take hold of that $5 and charge the customer about $15. It turns into a profit of $10 plus a percentage of 66.6% for different costs and 33.3% for Cost of Goods, which can be a traditional figuration.

But let us look at a more significant percentage in Cost, including a more fantastic turnaround. You invested $25 in stock, but now you can turn this around to make a total of $50. That can be a $25 profit plus a percentage of 50% for the Cost of products and 50 percent for other costs. That will still give you more money at the end of the day to work with on the rest of the expenses and profit.

Suppose you discover that your Cost of Revenue may not be where you would want them to be. In that case, you can compare with other vendors with products that are listed in the stock system, purchase more bulk (if possible) and compare prices and values in the system, keep at the top of products that are wasted, and finally, stay as accurate as you can. Stay on top of your restaurant inventories.