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Restaurant Inventory Management: The Dos and Don’ts of Stock Control

There’s a lot that goes into running a successful hospitality venture and getting your Restaurant inventory management right acts as the backbone of your entire operation. From stocking the right, quality inventory, keeping operational costs to a minimum to ensuring you’re doing everything you can to accurately predict future stock movements through a range of tech capabilities – find out the best practices you should adopt and pitfalls to avoid when it comes to Food Stock Control.




DO check your performance

It’s vital to establish lead times for every product you stock and how long it takes to replenish. You can measure performance in several different ways:

  • How long the inventory was held until sold
  • Wastage and losses
  • How your digital records track with the physical stock count
  • Supplier lead time
  • Inventory turnover

Moreover, by keeping track of your inventory within a smart cloud-based POS system, the process becomes much more than dealing with the ‘ins’ and ‘outs’ in the store cupboard and more about seeing the bigger picture and managing stock more strategically. From what you’ve got in your warehouse, how much, how long it’ll hold to where it’s located and when it was delivered to you. This not only helps your business perform but ensures you can track your digital footprint in cases of error when you’ll have to revisit supplier information or product history.


DON’T play it by ear

Relying on basic insight, manual recording and limited ways to track performance will directly impact your understanding of your business and make it difficult to spot opportunities for growth, where wastage or loss is occurring and track why data isn’t aligning. In doing the guessing game, you’re jeopardising customer retention rates when you hit the natural consequences of failing to implement a strong process dedicated to your restaurant stock management. By not stocking the right inventory, you can’t discern your bestsellers and ultimately hurt your bottom line in the process. It’s important to base your decisions for future growth on hard metrics, past trends and informed projections to increase restaurant sales for the long term.


DO use metrics to inform your stock movements

Point of Sale technology allows for forecasting stock movements based on the current demand you’re seeing. Advanced stock management often provides real-time information on sales and in uncertain climates can alleviate some of the concerns and avoid unnecessary costs from over or under stocking. You’ll know when items are approaching their reorder point and make informed decisions about removing items that are less in demand. Most POS systems will also allow for automatic purchasing. This can help avoid human error and the embarrassment of telling customers their chosen dish or drink is off the menu. It’s a good idea to look into lead time and delivery issues to identify the problem and ensure you’re not wrapped up in an endless cycle of compensating for regular delays in production.


DON’T overstock

There can often be the temptation to overstock to cover for seemingly unpredictable stock movements as has been the case with the pandemic as well as transition back to normal. More times than not, however, through bulk overstocking, businesses are more likely to lose revenue through wastage of expired products or products that simply won’t leave the shelves. Storage in itself is a costly endeavour. The products are more likely to be damaged the longer they stick in your warehouse around and be subject to depreciation; you may have to reduce the selling price simply to sell prior to the expiration date resulting in an ultimate loss.


DO adopt a POS for Restaurant Inventory Management

The far more sophisticated solution of POS offers bespoke Restaurant POS solutions bringing a vast array of powerful Restaurant payment technology to the table. From real-time updates of stock movement and sales as well as allowing you to specify ingredient-level inventory with ease.


DON’T rely on Spreadsheets

While spreadsheets are a huge jump from the kind of manual Food Stock Control we relied on in the 90s, these are outdated when managing more complex stock we’re used to dealing with today and will make ingredient-level stock control laborious and time-expensive process. From losing information and files being subject to corruption (particularly when saving large volumes of data) a spreadsheet is incapable of keeping up with the demands of a scaling business or a multi-site venture.

Not only this, spreadsheets require a level of training that can’t easily be passed onto a non-veteran. POS solutions focus on user-centricity; this means ease of use and an intuitive interface is a priority to ensure staff induction is a walk through the park!


Restaurant inventory management doesn’t have to be hard

As a means to prevent losses and target profitability, getting your stock management right is a must and insight is a huge player in determining you achieve both. Armed with the knowledge of how much you’re losing, arms you with the knowledge of how much you could be earning. And while losses aren’t out of place when running a restaurant, there are many ways you can keep these inevitabilities to a minimum and the relevant insight provides you with answers for ‘why’ you’re seeing a loss and allow you to pick up on variances. With a range of easy to follow steps and expanding capabilities through EPOS software solutions, you can handle the process with little hassle.