Most Effective Ways to Count Inventory

While everyone has their own ways of counting inventory that may work for them, there are some methods that may make your counting process work much more efficiently, and allows you to count with greater accuracy.

The first method we recommend using is organizing your storage areas by types of ingredients. This makes it easier to not only find ingredients during prep and service, but also to locate any inaccuracies or errors between your actual vs. expected. In addition to this, it will make it easier for you during the counting process, as you won’t be jumping from place to place in order to count product, ultimately saving you time.

The second method would be using digital counting methods, such as barcode scanners, mobile inventory applications such as OC Mobile – Inventory, and digital scales. By using these options, there is a lower likelihood of errors in transcribing from paper to your inventory management software. It also makes it much more efficient for you to count your inventory, as you won’t need to transcribe, merely import or allow your inventory management application to sync up.

The third method would be to establish an inventory calendar. By knowing when you’ll be counting inventory, you’ll be able to prepare yourself and the restaurant for when those days come; whether that means moving inventory around so it is easily accessible, and by determining whether you’re doing a full inventory count, or a count of specific high-traffic items. If doing a full count, you may want to split the count up among multiple staff members vs. doing a smaller count that can be handled yourself.

The fourth method would be to establish lists of inventory items that you want to keep close track of and periodically spot check them to ensure they’re accurate. Knowing your inventory is accurate between established counting times helps to ensure that inventory is correct on a consistent basis and not just on days when staff know the inventory will be counted.

These are four methods to help you count effectively, and ensure your inventory is accurate on a consistent basis. This will help you reduce inventory losses, maximize profit, and grow your business.