Saturday, July 3, 2021

Proven Tips For Restaurant Stocktaking


Restaurant stocktaking also known as restaurant inventory management has become an important practice and procedure for most restaurants. It is a process whereby your ingredients as well supplies are monitored. Its application has allowed many restaurants to maximize their effectiveness to keep track of food, drink, and even supply orders. Hence, it allows you to carry out daily operations more effectively thereby allowing long-term plans to be easily achieved.

In this article, we will provide you with proven tips that you can employ for your restaurant stocktaking. While our focus will be on manual methods, you can visit to learn how to make use of digital software for your inventory management. Our focus on manual methods will form the bedrock that will enable you to easily make use of such software because you understand the basics of inventory management.

Speaking of inventory basics, apart from providing you with tips as we have promised, we will also guide you on how to take restaurant stock.

Let’s get started…

7 Restaurant Stocktaking Tips

If these tips are followed correctly, you will be able to reduce wastage of food while saving money in the process…

1. Make use of a Point of Sale (POS) System and Manual Inventory Taking

This piece of equipment popularly known as a POS system is one every restaurant must have due to its numerous benefits. These benefits include integrated accounting, order scheduling reports, data forecasting, as well as automatic inventory tracking which is established using customer orders.

While it has these numerous benefits which make it an asset as far as inventory taking is concerned, yet it has its limitations. Hence, it cannot track spillage, spoilage, wrong drink or food preparation process, theft, and customer complaint. These cannot be accounted for automatically by the system.

Therefore, to ensure that all areas are being accounted for, one must input those factors manually into the POS system. As a result, even though you make use of a POS system, inventory must still be taken by hand to ensure that the report is very accurate.

2. Follow a Regular Plan

What do we mean by this? Simple, the time assigned for taking stock should be regular. You should inspect the items, supplies, and ingredients at a set time. If it is a daily routine, then it must be done at the same time. We recommend that perishable and often-used items should be checked daily. While non-perishable items can be checked at least two times a week.

When the schedule is followed consistently, a pattern will be discovered that can help you decide if you have more or fewer items at hand daily. If you have more, you can choose to reduce your orders to prevent loss of items especially the perishable ones. Also, if you notice that you have fewer items that allow you to run short of ingredients for a particular menu, then you can increase your orders for those particular ingredients.

3. Delegate Stocktaking to a Fixed Set of Staffs

Find staff who will handle the stocktaking. You could choose one or more depending on how large the restaurant is. However, they must be the only ones assigned to this task. That means you won’t rotate this task between your staff because doing so will cause inconsistency in the records.

If you assign one person to take stock, ensure that you go over the record weekly to see if they are consistent and efficient. As time goes on and you notice their effectiveness, you can lessen the supervision since you are confident that they are capable of handling it themselves.

If you are using more than one staff maybe because your establishment is large, then we advise that you assign them to specific areas. In other words, they should focus on a particular part of the items. For instance, you can assign one to focus on perishable items while the other can focus on non-perishable items. This way, you can rest assured that the records are accurate and consistent.

Taking inventory when added as part of a staff’s duties should also go with additional bonuses. This is because it is not their original duty, hence, with such an incentive; they will do their jobs well. You can also choose to hire a staff whose only job will be to take inventory. 

4. Use and Organize Items that Came in First

This method is a system whereby the items that came in first also go out first (are used first). This system should also be used for the organization of those items in storage areas such as freezer, coolers, shelves, etc. When this method is followed, the risk of food spoilage is greatly reduced.

5. Design a Food Waste Sheet

This sheet is as important as the inventory list. It enables you to see items that aren’t listed among sales and where the losses are coming from. Furthermore, if you discover a pattern from the sheet, it can help you prevent such wastage and spoilage. For instance, a wrong menu might be frequently entered by an employee or employees which leads to throwing away of prepared dishes that were not ordered. In such cases, employees must then be cautioned to avoid such mistakes.

Your food waste sheet must have columns for time and date, the item wasted, the weight or amount wasted, the reason for the wastage, and the initials of the employee responsible for the waste.

You must make sure that each staff is familiar with the sheet and that they update it when any waste occurs.

6. Make Use of Excess Items to Reduce Food Waste

Apart from making use of the FIFO method explained in tip number four and the food waste sheet, you can also curb food waste by making use of the excess food items you have. You need to pay attention to such surplus items that could go bad soon and make use of them.

You can use them in any of your already existing menus, or create a new menu where they can be used. Special offers can also be made to ensure that you don’t lose out completely.

7. Utilize Insights from Previous Stocktaking to Make Future Orders

The purpose of stocktaking is to ensure that you maximize efficiency when it comes to your supplies and orders. Therefore, based on the insights you have gotten, informed decisions can be made when it comes to your next order.

The insights can also help you master daily, weekly, and even yearly trends that will help you get better productivity. For instance, if you discover that during a particular period in the day, week, month, or year, a particular meal is always being ordered, you can make an informed decision about getting ingredients that will be used to make that meal available before those times.

The Process of Restaurant Stocktaking

Now that you have the tips for restaurant stocktaking, let us guide you on how to go about the actual process…

Make a Table – Step 1

The table will include the following: Items, measurement unit, amount of item, unit price, and overall cost.

List out the Items – Step 2

The next thing to do is to list out all the things you own under “Items” on the sheet. This will include perishable and non-perishable items.

Input the Measurement Units – Step 3

The measurement unit refers to the unit in which the items were purchased.

Count and Record all the Items – Step 4

This means you will count the number of units per item and record them down. You should write this down in figures. E.g. Write 10 to represent 10 pounds of pepper.

Record the Price per Unit – Step 5

Whatever each unit costs, write it in the appropriate column.

Calculate Overall Cost – Step 6

To get the overall cost, you have to multiply the price per unit by the total number of a particular item you have. After getting the overall cost for every item, then add them up to give you the overall cost of your inventory. Click here to learn more about how to analyze a company’s inventory. With the additional information on that link, you will be able to set up your restaurant for success effortlessly.


With the tips above, we are sure your restaurant’s productivity and efficiency will increase. If there is any area you don’t understand, feel free to ask us and we will clear up the matter.


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