5 Top Tips to Manage Your Kitchen Inventory

It may seem like a big chore, but maintaining an accurate kitchen inventory is an essential part of running a successful commercial kitchen.

Knowing exactly what items you have in your kitchen is just part of it. You also need to know quantities of consumables as well as the condition of your kitchen appliances and cooking utensils.

Keeping a kitchen inventory up to date and organised is vital if you want to avoid the inconvenience of stock running out, or worse - older equipment failing, and being without a replacement.

We've put together five top tips to help you keep the perfect inventory. Follow this advice, and it won't be the time-consuming task you thought it would be.

1) Organisation is key

Resist the temptation to rush it. Imagine your kitchen in two layers - what you can see, and what your inventory says. Take time when setting up your kitchen inventory to ensure every item has a home. That way, when it comes time to do your weekly checks, you'll waste no time searching for missing equipment if it is all stored in the correct place.

2) Set a schedule and stick to it

Pick a day and a time for your inventory checks, and then stick to it. A weekly check is always best to address any shortfalls, overstocks, missing and damaged items straight away. If you carry it out at the same time every week, you'll be sure of the most accurate count possible.

3) Get Help

A second pair of eyes can be really helpful. No matter how thorough you are, mistakes can still happen. Ask a colleague to carry out their own check too, and then compare counts. That way, you can take a look at anything that doesn't match up.

Some parts of a kitchen inventory count are easier than others, such as cooking utensils. Why not delegate this count to other staff members, while concentrating on the tasks that need more careful management yourself?

4) Balance, Then Add

Check your current stock levels before receiving a shipment of new inventory. Starting with an accurate count will give you a thorough understanding of what you ordered, and why. Only sign the invoice after checking for discrepancies, ensuring the delivery is exactly what you ordered.

5) Assess how much you need 'just in case'

Your 'just in case' inventory includes the emergency items needed to keep your daily operation running at full speed if something breaks or goes missing. Getting the balance right is difficult - overstocking doesn't make sense for your budget or storage space.

Need more advice? Check out this How to Manage Your Kitchen Inventory guide for more tips as well as a FREE downloadable budget planner template to get you started.

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