Seven tips to include in your Kitchen Inventory Plan

Seven tips to include in your Kitchen Inventory Plan

Here we are again. It’s the first of the month and my Seven tips to include in your Kitchen Inventory Plan is out. For most of us, the first of the month means little more than,

  1. Our rent/mortgage is due.
  2. We are that much closer to spring
  3. Valentine’s day is fast approaching.

For some, however, the first of the month is a day we dread…

A day we hate…

A good day to call in sick.

The awful task of product inventory.

Are you in a managerial role at the restaurant in which your employed? If so the chances are high that the task of accounting product inventory is laid upon you. My Seven tips to include in your Kitchen Inventory Plan will aid in your first of the month woes.


In the past, I had considered counting each toothpick, straw, and cherry located within the restaurant. This would give me a feeling of anxiety. Visions of cases containing everything from chicken fingers to sweet potato fries, filet mignon, boxes of celery, apples, and shrimp. This can be quite overwhelming. Especially when it comes to a large-scale commercial kitchen which serves over 2000 people a day during peak season. You can imagine the product involved with those numbers.

After the first few months of being included in this process, however large the task at hand, I had realized a few tips to make this dreaded monthly task less overwhelming, and more streamlined.
Located below, are the.

Seven tips to include in your Kitchen Inventory Plan

Seven tips to include in your Kitchen Inventory Plan
Image: Alexas

1. Choose your Staff Wisely

Choose the staff included in your Kitchens Monthly Inventory process selectively. Pick employees who are organized, concise, and thorough. Letting the crew know how important inventory is, why it need be done so often, and making it clear how to effectively do the job, will make everything run much smoother.  Keeping the same staff assigned month after month is imperative to keeping accountability.

2. Train

Make the process of how to count the inventory clear and concise. Allow the staff who is actually counting to have a say in the process. Reinforce what the tasks are, as well as how to do them correctly. Repetition, boring as it may be, is needed for accuracy.

3. Routine and Vetted Procedure

Making the process of inventory as repetitive as possible, (there’s that word again,) will help keep accurate results. Vet the process when initially establishing the routine by examining and scrutinizing the details until the correct rules are established.

4. Simplicity is Key

The simpler the job is, the better the results you will have. Complicating the counting process is not needed. Two plus two is still four, whether counting cash in the bar drawer or pounds of raw chuck beef.

5. Software

It’s 2018 and there is a software app available for just about everything. Restaurant Inventory is no exception. Software programs like ChefMod, SimpleOrder and Web apps like Parsley can make keeping track of your product an easier task. The options for software are innumerable today. Make sure to research and do your homework before selecting one. Many offer free trial periods which ought to be taken advantage of.

6. Clear Storage Containers

If at all possible, I strongly recommend using clear containers for your product storing needs. Products like clear Cambro containers, make the big day of counting much easier.

7. Stay Organized

Keeping your food storage areas, (refrigerators and walk-ins) neat tidy and organized, will make a huge difference in your inventory methods. Items constantly being moved can make it difficult to nail down exact amounts on hand. “A place for everything and everything in its place,” is the motto here.


Stay relaxed

At the end of the day, it is food and only food. Yes, it is our livelihood, our rent, and our bread and butter. I am not minimizing that fact. Getting all worked up about waste or spoiled product will not help the inventory process. Do as I do and keep a small notebook on hand. Making notes of items needing attention and addressing them after the inventory count is completed would be advised. Staying on task is imperative to a successful inventory day. The soup du jour can be changed after your counts are finished!

Till next time, keep smiling while counting!

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I have to thank Gordon Food Service for their post on the subject.

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