Inventory management can turn an already successful restaurant into a profit machine. The added benefit includes a more productive place and repeat business due to a satisfactory level of service.
But if not managed properly can hinder efficiency and effect cash flow.
Without further ado, let’s jump right into the steps you can take to efficiently manage your inventory.
Your restaurant’s warehouse is your battleground, and no matter how large or small it might be, improper management can cause you to lose your customers and cause havoc.
If the items in your warehouse are hard to access, it will cost you a lot of man hours to find the items that are misplaced or lost. Which further adds up to the loss.
But with proper management, you can turn your warehouse into an efficient place. This, in turn, results in more revenue.
The steps to be followed to achieve that are:
1) Floor plan
Create a floor plan for your warehouse to get an idea of what you need to work with.
Just like arranging the furniture in your restaurant, grab a piece of paper or sticky note and write the name of different product categories that you will be purchasing.
There’s no hard and fast rule, so just select a category name and write it down on that. You can even give fancy names to your product category but do take special care to name it in a way that it can be easily understood by your staffs.
After you’ve done naming, stick them into the floor plan in the order you want them to be arranged.
Take special care to arrange the items that need to be fetched often close to the door or any other place where it is easily accessible.
Select a storage that will best suit your products. The shape doesn’t matter here, you can even go for a product that looks like Pikachu, but the only thing that should be kept in mind is to ensure that the storage is large enough so that the items can be easily accessed and the storage can hold the weight of the products.
Prepare a list of products you’ll be purchasing and group them into different categories.
For example, if the main category is desserts you can group the different items that come under that such as ice-cream, sweets, etc. into different sections by assigning a number/name to them.
You can also draw lines of different colours on the floor (floor demarcation) that guides to that specific category. If that seems too much, then go ahead and name each category with an alphabet and assign a number to the subcategory.
Make sure that these signs match the category name created in step 2. If not, then update it to match with the category.
Create a booklet or digital manual that clearly explains the layout and the steps that needs to be performed, such as which staff is supposed to update the inventory details, who is supposed to fetch the items and what all steps should be taken while accepting delivery of the items, taking items to the kitchen and maintaining records of the items delivered to the customer.
Once you have successfully completed these steps, assess the plan to make sure that everything is the way you would like it to be.
If not sure, seek the help of an industry expert.
8) Rinse and repeat
Implement this and monitor the way it performs. Conduct a meeting with your staff members and discuss the issues or ways by which it can be improved.
Modify it till you have a perfect plan in hand.
Points to keep in mind while managing inventory
- Ensure that the items are stored in a way that your staffs can easily access it.
- Track inventory metrics to take informed decisions.
- Set a point to re-order the items i.e. place the order for an item if the stock goes below a specified number.
- Avoid wastage by ensuring products are stored at the required temperature, etc.
- Dispose or donate the extra inventory items.
P.S: A good inventory management software will let you concentrate on your restaurant’s business without having to worry about managing the inventory.