The success of a restaurant business depends on its inventory. Are your ingredients fresh and delicious? Do you have the right spices on hand to make your famous chili? Is your kitchen stocked with enough flatware to serve everyone during the dinner rush?
If you’re not sure how to answer these questions, you made to take a closer look at your inventory best practices. This is a great time of year to do some spring cleaning, and make sure your restaurant is ready to impress every guest.
Stand and Deliver
First and foremost, do you know when your next inventory delivery is scheduled? It’s not just important that you have all the right ingredients on hand – it’s also important that you and your staff know what’s available for each shift. For example, if you run out of eggs on Friday afternoon, you may have a hard time serving the brunch crowd on Saturday morning. Use your restaurant software to track the schedule of your deliveries, and plan ahead so you’ll have the right ingredients for every day of the week.
Reliable vendors are key. If you work with a trustworthy supply chain like Sysco, you can rest easy knowing that every truck will arrive on time. If you’re having trouble managing your vendors, now might be a good time to reconsider who you trust with your restaurant’s success.
Serve your Servers
No matter what’s in your store room, it’s important that your servers know about it. If you do run out of an ingredient, train your staff to let guests know as soon as they sit down. This will make your guests feel like VIPs. One of the worst experiences a hungry diner can have is ordering a dish they’re excited about, just to discover that it’s not available. Keep them informed in a timely fashion, and you can give them the option to choose something else without getting disappointed. You might even put a note on your website, so they can safely decide what to order before they come in.
Keep your servers informed by telling them what’s on the menu – including specials – at the start of every shift. By looping them into this important information, you make their jobs easier, improving staff loyalty and even tips!
Waste Not, Want Not
Collaborate with your chefs to make sure you use up as many of your old ingredients as possible. Unless you ask, you’ll never know what family recipes your kitchen staff has up their sleeves. Give them the chance to shine, and they’ll not only impress your guests – they’ll boost your bottom line by reducing the amount of food you waste every night.
If your chefs are whipping up specials every day, make sure you advertise them properly. You might consider making a whiteboard or a chalkboard visible from your dining room, or you might just train your servers to memorize the options every day. Whatever you choose, make sure you keep your guests informed of the newest, most exciting LTOs on your menu.
Inventory tracking is an important part of any business – especially the restaurant business, where spoilage can have a noticeable impact on your ROI. Take this opportunity to clean out your stockroom, put new ingredients into rotation, and show your guests how much you care about their experience.