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Inventory Management Guide for Restaurants

Inventory Management generally makes us think up images of dreary and endless counting of items.  While inventory management is a vital necessity for any well run eating establishment, it doesn’t have to be a beastly chore.  Taking time to set-up your management system correctly and then consistently monitoring your inventory ensures a healthy bottom line.  For an excellent, detailed accounting of the five principles guiding Inventory Management, see Dylan Chadwick’s article at QSR.  Below is a high-level look at these principles.

  1. FIFO – First In, First Out – is the most essential aspect of IM, ensuring that food is neither wasted nor prone to bacterial infection. Rotation labels greatly help ensure FIFO, as well as specially made FIFO bottles.

  1. System Start-Up – Once you’ve established an inventory management (IM) system, train ALL employees on how the system operates, as well as some basic IM terms such as “sitting inventory,” “usage,” “yield,” and “waste.” Employees don’t necessarily have to know how to manage inventory but should at least be familiar with how it operates so they can be part of managing food on hand to the benefit of the restaurant.

    1. Minimize mistakes by ensuring two to three employees are exceptionally well trained in managing your inventory system. Everything has a place, which means everything has a label. Dot it offers a range of shelf labels to easily removable labels. Arrange any inventory checklist sheets to follow the order in which you currently keep your inventory in storage or in the kitchen.  Ideally, procuring an automated inventory system eliminates human error.

  1. Regular and consistent monitoring alleviate the headache associated with inventory management. Analyzing and reconciling inventory should be done at a set interval (i.e. weekly on Mondays) as well as the same time (i.e. 9:00am prior to kitchen opening).

  1. Count on some losses as they are inevitable. Accidents happen.  Those two containers of alfredo sauce left on the counter overnight must be thrown out.  Orders made incorrectly also have to be scrapped.  And sad to say, employee theft is more pervasive than most people would guess.


In addition to FIFO aids, portion control products can ensure consistent yield from food on hand and eliminate waste if employees are overly generous with their use of product.  Dot It offers several products to help keep your inventory management under control.  Check our website as several items may be customized. We are here to make your restaurant life easy.

By | 2019-06-03T20:56:44+00:00 May 29th, 2019|

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