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7 Inventory Management Tips

Ryan Young
Ryan Young | February 19, 2019

As you kick off 2019, managing your inventory is one of the best ways to achieve your budget goals for the year.

Inventory management is simply monitoring what comes in from your distributor, what you have used and what remains on the shelf. Although it’s not always the most popular task for staff, it is one of the most critical components in controlling food cost.

All sizes of food service operations should have an inventory management program in place. Having a program to monitor inventory helps you track potential issues with waste and theft as well as reduces the risk of under or over ordering.

  1. Maintain an organized storage system when placing your products in the dry, cooler and freezer area.
  2. Labeling where products go can assist staff who put product away and take inventory, ensuring a more accurate process.
  3. Place items in the recommended storage areas for best handling procedures to maximize product life, especially with produce.
  4. Take inventory at a consistent time throughout your process.
  5. Use the FIFO (first in first out) method, which allows you to rotate the oldest products to the front and move the newest products to the back of the shelves. This will also help you identify if product has expired and needs to be thrown away.
  6. Have a system where two people take inventory. This process allows you to compare results and reduces errors.
  7. Try to always have the same staff take inventory, which will allow for a quicker and more accurate process.


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