Tracking inventory is more of an art than anything. It takes careful selection, forecasting, and elaborate planning to ensure that the right amounts are ordered, and the inventory of these items are properly tracked. Without a proper inventory tracking system in place, there are just too many opportunities for miscounts in storage, along with order fulfillment and receiving. What makes it even more difficult is that some items are harder to track accurately than others. Knowing how to manage different food items properly can increase your chances of success.
Here are just a few of the things you need to consider when dealing with inventory tracking.
Some items come labeled, and some items come in bulk. For instance, cans of tomatoes will often come labeled and will be easy to input and track, while fruit and vegetables will be more difficult as they come in bulk. For those who aren’t using software to track their inventory, labeling all these items can be time-consuming and subject to human error. When you’re receiving, labeling, searching, and filling orders, having a software system makes it much easier.
Your menu establishes exactly what items are needed and how often they will be used. For instance, onions may be used in most of your dishes, but lemons may only be used in one or two. As you can imagine, it’s easier to track the lemons than it is to track the onions. But by ensuring your food items use the same ingredients each time, you can get a reliable pattern that can be used to predict what customers purchase, which helps you track your items more accurately. Not only will it make inventory control easier, but it will also reduce your overall costs.
If you’re switching up your menu or ordering lots of different items frequently, you can expect that your supplier will always have what you need when you need it. This scenario forces you to order food items from various suppliers, which can make tracking very difficult. Instead, you need a plan to ensure you can get the food items you need at the right times. This should include minimizing menu changes, having up-to-date inventory tracking, and sharing menus with your vendors well in advance.
Reviewing the overall sales figures can help you eliminate items that are not selling or that take more time to order and more room to store. It can also help you to forecast better to predict when certain food items will need to be ordered, improving inventory control. A software program can help with the forecasting by using the sales and production history for better ordering.
What if we told you that we could solve all your tracking woes in just one system? At Optimum Control, we offer a complete solution for your restaurant inventory. Our Restaurant Management software will take care of recipe costing, inventory control, ordering, and reporting. To find out more contact us today!