Managing Food and Beverage Inventory

We frequently note that some operators limit their food and beverage inventory management actions to mere tabulation at month end for financial statement reporting purposes; when in fact the inventory process can and should provide much more important information.  Each inventory taking process should be seen as an opportunity to observe the following:

  • Slow moving or spoiled product.
  • Obsolete items no longer on the menu.
  • Excessive or insufficient items.
  • Improper storage of inventory including inadequate security, sanitation or temperature controls.
  • Poor organization of inventory.

One simple technique that can help is to establish par values for all inventory items.  The par values are typically based on a number of factors such as:

  • Menu offerings.
  • Sales mix; from point-of-sale system data.
  • Level of business activity.

Some clients adjust their pars on a seasonal basis.  The par value amounts can also be incorporated into the inventory count sheets to help eliminate the chance of over-ordering; by ordering the difference between the actual quantity on hand and the established par amount.  Maintaining perishable inventory levels at the lowest feasible level is one way to help control waste, theft or spoilage which ultimately can help you achieve a better cost of sales number at month end.

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