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Restaurant Inventory Guide For Dummies

September 4, 2023
Bill Kimball

The verb “inventory” refers to the act of counting or listing items. As an accounting term, inventory refers to all stock in the various production stages and is a current asset.

Case Studies & Interviews Learn how real businesses are staying relevant and profitable in a world that faces new challenges every day. Alternatives Looking for a different set of features or lower price point? Check out these alternative options for popular software solutions.

What Does Inventory Mean In The Service Industry?

With one flat rate, GoDaddy eCommerce is designed for quick store-building at the cost of some customization and detail. From basic features to fantastic security and advanced capabilities, BigCommerce has a lot to offer to small business owners. Inventory management is one of those foundational, perpetual things that you will always need to tweak and keep an eye on. Categorization – Categorization is the organizing and classifying of content based on varying details and qualifiers. We may receive compensation from partners and advertisers whose products appear here. Compensation may impact where products are placed on our site, but editorial opinions, scores, and reviews are independent from, and never influenced by, any advertiser or partner. Beginner’s Guides Our comprehensive guides serve as an introduction to basic concepts that you can incorporate into your larger business strategy.

  • However, while inventory is an asset on the balance sheet, too much inventory can become a practical liability.
  • Unlike an ERP system, an inventory management system focuses on one supply chain process.
  • But it increases your costs, and diminishes your profits, since you’re unable to get bulk order discounts.
  • Inventory management software isn’t the only technology that can help you manage stock.
  • A hurricane causes demand of bottled water to spike before it happens and demand of house repair goods to peak after it has passed.

Loading data into a new inventory software program is an excellent time to get a good count of your stock levels. Batch tracking is a quality control inventory management technique wherein users can group and monitor a set of stock with similar traits.

Get clear, concise answers to common business and software questions. Best Of We’ve tested, evaluated and curated the best software solutions for your specific business needs. Construction Management CoConstruct CoConstruct is easy-to-use yet feature-packed software for home builders and remodelers. This review will help you understand what the software does and whether it’s right for you. Stitch is user-friendly software for both digital and physical stores. We’ll configure your inventory, organize your data, and upload it in just a few hours. Labels that don’t clearly state which location they’re referring to (i.e. shelf labels, with no arrows, and shelves above and below) will cause the same delays and errors as poorly printed labels.

The entire family also drinks orange juice with breakfast at a combined lower but steady rate of one gallon a week. The kids are allowed no more than one can of soda a day after school, whilst dad does not drink soda, and mom consumes multiple glasses of diet cola daily. The kids favored soda flavor changes on almost weekly basis, and it is hard for the parents to keep up with the latest. After work he will regularly consume a craft beer, on some nights even two, depending on the size of the bottle and his appetite. During dinner, mom will sometimes have a glass of white wine, and dad may every once in a while skip his beer to also have a glass of wine. If you have a supplier that is habitually late with deliveries or frequently shorts an order, it’s time to take action.

Technique 5: Par Levels

You may want to share this guide to inventory basics with them to reinforce the point. If you or the people you work with aren’t consistent in the way inventory is handled, it won’t matter what software you use, you will only experience frustration and failure. Inventory is the accounting of items, component parts and raw materials a company uses in production, or sells. As a business leader, you practice inventory management in order to ensure that you have enough stock on-hand and to identify when there’s a shortage. Demand forecasting should become a familiar inventory management technique to retailers. Demand forecasting is based on historical sales data to formulate an estimate of the expected forecast of customer demand. Essentially, it’s an estimate of the goods and services a company expects customers to purchase in the future.

Also known as buffer stock, these products help keep companies from running out of materials or high-demand items. Once companies deplete their calculated supply, safety stock serves as a backup should the level of demand increase unexpectedly.

A café is open for 12 hours per day, with 10 tables at which diners spend an average of one hour eating a meal. Staff attaches a necklace to a preprinted card and slips it into cellophane envelopes to create a finished good ready for sale. The cost of goods of the finished good includes the packaging it comes in as well as the labor to make the item. Brainyard delivers data-driven insights and expert advice to help businesses discover, interpret and act on emerging opportunities and trends. Or… perhaps it’s time to have a chat with your prime rib supplier.

It can’t be stressed enough how important reports are to inventory management processes during peak season. The warehouse team, warehouse manager, and inventory specialists are responsible for handling all inventory from FIFO to delegating proper stock levels in each location.

And a great time to move the product you’ve got to the front of your shelves in preparation for the new inventory’s arrival. For the most accurate count,schedule inventory before open or after close. You’re more likely to remember to do inventory if Sunday night is designated inventory night each week. Finally, choose one employee to be the receiver on the delivery day. He or she will know right where to put the new items… at the back of your organized shelves, of course. A note on selecting two employees to help… byincluding employeesyou trust from the get-go,you’ll cut down on the time it takes to do inventory.

Don’t be a dummy… use the Restaurant Invetory Guide to put the right inventory process & technology in place today. Below are frequently asked questions regarding inventory management. Bulk shipments is a cost efficient method of shipping when you palletize inventory to ship more at once. For example, inventory items that cost more to produce typically have a smaller MOQ as opposed to cheaper items that are easier and more cost effective to make. Our priority at The Blueprint is helping businesses find the best solutions to improve their bottom lines and make owners smarter, happier, and richer. That’s why our editorial opinions and reviews are ours alone and aren’t inspired, endorsed, or sponsored by an advertiser.

inventory for dummies

Take the time to check inventory and order restocks of all your items yourself. Various inventory management software programs are available for small businesses, and the best one for your business depends on multiple factors. For instance, you’ll want to consider your budget, your business type and certain features you’re looking for, like mobile apps and cloud backup. Inventory accounting determines the value for stock items and the correct item count. These figures establish the costs of goods sold and the ending inventory value, which factor into the company’s overall value.

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Follow these tips to improve your e-commerce customer service. And in defense of inventory management, you can choose from many groundbreaking platforms to help you optimize all parts of your inventory management system. This shows you the health of your inventory sales as well as if you’re ordering the proper amount of products. If you have an increase in manufacturing needs, you must be able to scale up your inventory to match the demand. The inability to quickly bring in increased inventory can result in missed revenue and lead to a damaged reputation with consumers and clients. This ensures you’re turning products over in a timely manner and none get permanently pushed to the back of the shelf. Though it originates in the food industry, it applies across industries.

Safety stock has carrying costs, but it supports customer satisfaction. Similarly, anticipation stock comprises raw materials or finished items a business purchases based on sales and production trends. If a raw material’s price is rising or peak sales time is approaching, a business may purchase safety stock. The same people that talk about inventory management usually will also likely use the words “Supply Chain” a lot. The supply chain is the context within which inventory optimization takes place. The supply chain describes how a product you buy in the store got there. In practice, each of the involved companies has a self-centered view of the supply chain.

inventory for dummies

If retailers are unable to purchase the MOQ of a product, the supplier won’t sell it to you. All of these mistakes will not only cost you money, but also cost you in wasted labor spent correcting the mistakes later. When you don’t implement management tools, your risk of human error mistakes goes up by the minute. And your customer reviews and loyalty take a negative hit as well. Inventory management is the basis of a well-functioning retail business. Inventory management systems track the lifecycle of inventory and stock as it comes and goes out of your business.

Your Essential Guide To Effective Inventory Management + 18 Techniques You Need To Know

Editorial content from The Blueprint is separate from The Motley Fool editorial content and is created by a different analyst team. Shopify offers an excellent e-commerce-focused content management system complete with many exciting features. A lower DSI is ideal since that means that your business has healthy sales and are selling through inventory quickly.

As a restaurant uses its last 500 paper napkins, the new refill order arrives. A company that makes T-shirts has components that include fabric, thread, dyes and print designs.

Erp For Dummies: Inventory Functions

Inventory management is the fundamental building block to longevity. When your inventory is properly organized, the rest of your supply-chain management will fall into place. Without it, you risk a litany of mistakes like mis-shipments, out of stocks, overstocks, mis-picks, and so on. E-commerce customer service is about answering basic questions and guiding customers to purchase.

You can take a count and get COGS… all from the palm of your hand. Let go of the stress attached to file folders of invoices, clipboards packed with papers and time-consuming spreadsheets. You can even use a mobile app to show your per-item spending patterns. And that’s great info to have when you’re figuring out ways to stay on budget. Imagine moving freely about your storeroom using only your mobile device to take inventory. There’s no way around it… inventory is a long, manual process. If it’s any month other than December and you just can’t seem to keep the stuff stocked… you might have an employee with sticky schnapps fingers.

Tertiary packing is the shrink wrap required to ship pallets of product cases. But that doesn’t give you an excuse to ignore taking inventory… especially whenit’s one of the most important things you can do to keep your business running. Well, manager-turned-detective, you’ve just solved the case of the missing schnapps… and saved yourself some cash. Waste isn’t the only consequence of not taking a regular inventory…your money might be walking out the door if there’s no way to track employee theft. Bottom line… using your most recent counts to guide your next BBQ sauce order eliminates the stress of food going to waste and dollars tied up in food just sitting on your shelves. You might as well set the cash equivalent of that unused inventory on fire. If you’re pulling these reports together manually, you’re looking atspreadsheet after spreadsheet.

Usage reports show how much of any one item was used in a given time. Once you count your stock, you have to look up the last price of each item. If an item is on your shelves, but not on your inventory list… it gets left out in the cold … all alone… uncounted.