Effective inventory management is crucial for small food service businesses as it helps to control costs, improve customer satisfaction, save time, and manage cash flow.
By having the right amount of inventory on hand, you can meet customer demand without overstocking or experiencing waste and spoilage. Need more time to focus on other important aspects of your business and invest in actual growth? Then take some time to learn these inventory management tips suitable for Malaysian food service businesses, big and small:
1. Planning and Organizing
The number one rule of inventory management is to know that there’s a place for everything you stock up. When planning out where to keep your stock, be it perishable or non-perishable, designate the spots for everything and let your team know exactly where they should be. If you have the space, keep all inventory visible instead of being high-shelved, to keep them accessible to everyone. If it helps, label everything as well to help staff be more comfortable with where everything is, and it also helps new staff to be familiarized with inventory quicker. This can even be applied to stationeries at the payment counter!
2. Monitor and check on your stock regularly
Keep careful monitoring of your available stock as well as the daily average consumption to plan ahead on restocking. Observing the pattern, it can help make sure not to over-order ingredients to avoid wastage. Consider assigning a specific group of staff to take care of inventory management so they become more focused on the pattern of inventory usage on busy days as well as slow days. Fixing a schedule to check on perishables and non-perishable items is also helpful in making sure you order only when you need them.
3. Proper storage and keeping the “First-expired, First-out” method
Tracking out expiry dates and storage requirements is important to maintaining ingredients as well as the quality of food served. Store them in the ideal condition to keep them fresh while clearly labeling them to organize your storage space to allow your team to know which items are to be used first to keep expiry dates far. No expiry date to refer to? Change it up to the “first-in,first-out” method accordingly.
4. Note sheet for food waste and inventory management
To assist in monitoring food waste and pattern recognition in food usage throughout the day, it helps to have a POS system that has integrated inventory management systems and has been shown to be helpful in modern restaurants in the coming times. With careful planning, it may also help you to understand which parts of the menu have consistent wasted ingredients, giving you the chance to learn what to remove or to change. Leading to a better forecast of future orders and minimizing the wastage of food ingredients. If you are not keen on investing in this extension, be sure to have a clear note sheet to keep track of!
Running a restaurant can be a wild ride! But with proper inventory management, you can take the wheel and steer your business toward success. Analyzing your inventory can help you spot areas for improvement and make your restaurant run like a well-oiled machine. And don’t forget to invest in a solid POS system that has an integrated inventory management system to take your restaurant to the next level. With the right tools in hand, you’ll be cruising toward efficiency and growth in no time!