do you have problems associated with stock due to incorrect inventory management? Do you face supply difficulties in the catering industry that jeopardise the operation of your business? Certainly, in any company it is a challenge to ensure proper management of the merchandise to be used in the production processes.
This is even more important in the gastronomic area, where shortages threaten to generate waste and impact on your profitability. And how would you solve this problem? Stay with us and find out the most effective strategies to efficiently process your inventory. Go for it!
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How to efficiently manage your hospitality supply? 6 ways to avoid overstocking
If you want to avoid overstocking and waste in your restaurant, follow the recommendations below:
1. Systematise your recipes in detail
Although it may seem obvious, recording your recipes in detail and then following them to the letter is very important. You may find the process a bit tedious at first, but it is a strategy that will help you reduce overstocking
By knowing the procedures thoroughly, and having the exact quantities at hand for the creation of your dishes , you will avoid excesses. You will be clear about the ingredients you require and which ones you should buy according to your needs.
And consequently, increase your effectiveness in inventory management to work with fresh and higher quality products. An important detail is that by having standardised recipes you will be able to replicate these dishes in other branches without lowering their level.
2. Optimise the classification of your merchandise
Since your inventory is the backbone of your kitchen operations, proper inventory management will eliminate the possibility of losses. It is also a basic principle to visualise the flow of goods, avoid overstocking and the resulting waste
For this reason, it is very important that you organise your items according to time criteria. That is to say, you should define whether their movement corresponds to weekly, fortnightly or monthly periods. This monitoring model will give you a comprehensive overview of the procurement work to ensure organised sorting procedures.
Start this process by analysing the ingredients available in your catering business and recording them in a consistent way. This will allow you to quickly define which ones are at the top of the inventory rotations. In fact, a great idea would be to draw up a ranking of your most used products and label them as a priority for control.
3. Invest in an inventory software
Another way to manage the operations of your restaurant business is to incorporate a system that helps you to online that helps you control inventory. According to specialists, SMEs that do not use digital tools for inventory management are less efficient
In this sense, these companies need to invest up to 30% more than those that rely on logistics software. For this reason, you need to move towards solutions with online tools to update your stock in real time. This will have a positive impact on the catering supply (of your restaurant, bar or café).
Inventory management software will also provide you with relevant data that you can use to negotiate with your suppliers. In addition, it is an ally to perform your accounting processes and to generate detailed records of the ingredients that enter and leave the warehouse. Importantly, they incorporate alert notifications so that you can act on any shortages in a timely manner.
4. Act on demand in real time
An efficient inventory monitoring system allows you to have sufficient information about fluctuations in demand. Take advantage of this to make the best decisions that fit the reality of your warehouse
This includes online management of your suppliers to determine sales volume and response times in a timely manner. And as a result, the drastic reduction of the dwell time of a specific item
So don’t stand still in front of the system indicators, but instead adopt a proactive attitude to rotate your merchandise. Certainly, by taking timely demand-driven actions, you can optimise your food catering supply.
5. Consolidate logistics processes
Optimally adjusting transport and inventory costs has a positive effect on catering supply. Analyse which products in your supply chain depend on a set schedule to be received and incorporated into the warehouse
Then meet with your logistics team to plan receiving strategies that utilise demand-driven distribution. How does this process benefit the reduction of waste due to overstocking? By having consolidated logistics processes based on your stock behaviour, you can take action to avoid critical situations.
6. Manage your promotions
If you offer promotions to your customers, make sure you keep the offer as long as necessary regardless of success. Therefore, you must calculate the quantity of products to avoid shortages.
On the other hand, you should anticipate a scenario where sales do not reach the set targets in order to reduce overstocking. This will be achieved by proper product management, through a management system properly linked to your suppliers.
So, before offering any promotion, you must know if the demand is there and if the ideal sales projections are in place. Make sure that forecasting models produce accurate data, to avoid wastage of merchandise and save on overstocking costs.
Other ways to reduce food waste in your restaurant
On the other hand, changing some service practices can help reduce waste in your restaurant business. Here are some sustainable solutions:
Improve kitchen equipment
Keep in mind that equipment in optimal conditions positively favours the environment and helps your workers’ performance. For this reason, it is important that you invest in quality kitchen equipment and utensils to help you process food
For example, incorporate knives to cut fruits, vegetables or meats with maximum precision. These seemingly small details generate food waste that is not used and ends up in the rubbish bin.
Store your food properly
You must store your ingredients in suitable containers and ensure that the surrounding conditions are healthy. To do this, you should opt for materials that do not affect the integrity of the food and label them with the corresponding date. As a result, you will achieve fresh products with outstanding quality in each preparation.
It is also important that you rotate the food from the storeroom to the fridge on a regular basis. To do this, you should place those items that will be used first in front of the most recently stored items
Audit and analyse your waste
Catering supply should always be controlled. The waste generated in your restaurant can be classified into 2 main groups. The first concerns waste that is produced before and during the preparation of dishes, such as peels, roots, bones, etc. It also includes pieces of food and accidentally spilled liquids.
On the other hand, the second group is about those residues left on the plate that your customers did not eat. This is in addition to the packaging and disposable tableware used by diners. In this sense, the analysis of this waste provides information related to the amount of waste produced in your business
And indeed, with this data you can take concrete steps to reduce waste through reuse, recycling and other sustainable practices. It provides a team of specialists to record and classify the types of waste, the volume, the date and the person responsible
This will allow you to project new values of environmental stewardship to the rest of your staff to drive better results.
Make smart menu variations
Now that you have relevant data from the audit, it’s time to make menu changes to reduce waste. In turn, you will make significant improvements in the associated costs to increase revenue.
Keep in mind that, once you have identified the most wasteful dishes, it is time to reduce your portions. This automatically increases your profits and offers you new sustainable opportunities to satisfy your diners’ demand.
On the other hand, you should use the audit reports to better select ingredients for your purchases. For example, you may determine that an item is not used because it has reached its expiry date. In this case, the solution would be to buy that product in smaller portions to suit your requirements.
Manage your waste more sustainably
Food waste is organic and therefore often completely biodegradable. In addition, some of it has the potential to be used as renewable energy sources or composting material.
On the other hand, plastic packaging, aluminium cans, cardboard packaging, paper and wooden pallets are easily reusable or recyclable. In these cases it is best to establish partnerships with local recycling businesses. As a result, you will get a little extra money for your rubbish, while the waste is taken away for free.
Knowing the most efficient way to manage your catering supply helps to optimise business operations. It is also a great strategy to increase the sustainability of the kitchen in your restaurant, bar or café. And if you know of other ways to contribute to inventory processes in the food and beverage industry, share them in the comments – please do!