How to manage a busy kitchen: A food distributors guide

A dynamic ever-changing business is the restaurant industry. It is about giving the guest an experience within each of the restaurant’s respective segments so, the concepts changes every day however, the trends come and go at the industry’s core. 

Food distributors play a pivotal role in the success of any restaurant owner’s business. If the trust is broken once, then it is very difficult to regain it 

A busy Kitchen’s Inventory Management Tips 

You can minimize food waste and save money while managing your supply and food inventory that requires diligence when it is done correctly. Here are some important tips to ensure successful inventory management: 

  1. Take Inventory by Hand while utilizing a POS System 

Including Data Forecasting, Order Planning, Integrated accounting, and Automated inventory tracking based on customer orders, a POS system provides numerous advantages. However, other sources of inventory loss such as Spillage, Spoilage, Customer Complaint Resolutions, Inefficient or incorrect food or drink preparation process, and theft.  

However, a POS system is not able to consider the scenarios unless the information is put in manually. So, make sure to take inventory by hand as it ensures a more accurate and well-rounded report. 

  1. Have the Same Staff Member(s) Track Inventory

Assign few people to take your inventory for example the Chef and the Managers. Identifying inconsistencies, it will make this process easier. They will be able to understand the patterns and nuances involved in your unique inventory over time since these employees will consistently be taking inventory. Make sure you thoroughly train staff on the process to ensure the accuracy of your inventory. Explain to them how proper inventory tracking impacts your bottom line and consider offering employees bonuses as a result of inventory savings.  

  1. Maintain a Consistent Schedule

How much of your supplies and ingredients are utilized in a specific time period is followed by a schedule that enables you to accurately understand. You might check popular ingredients and perishables daily while non-perishables and bulk items can be counted once or twice a week. You can adjust your orders or menu offerings as necessary, that way you can start to see the patterns over time.  


  1. Observe the First In, First Out (FIFO) Method 

To minimize food spoilage, use the items received first by organizing your areas (cooler, dry storage, freezer, and shelves), according to FIFO. By opting for containers and dispensers that are engineered for FIFO dispensing is another way to ensure food use before spoilage.  

  1. Create a Sheet for Food Waste

A food waste sheet shows where the inventory is going that is not accounted for by sales alone as your inventory list will show you ingredient and supply quantities. For lost ingredients, this enables you to come up with solutions.  

You can purchase less or find ways to utilize the ingredients if your sheet shows that a significant amount of food spoils. Servers may need to be more cautious when putting orders in your system if the chef makes new dishes consistently on the whim (leading to a thrown-away meal) if an employee enters the wrong menu item.  

While allowing you to input information digitally your POS system may include a place for this, and you can also make a food waste sheet by including the following columns: 

  • Time and Date 
  • Item 
  • Amount or Weight 
  • Reason for Waste 
  • Employee Initials 

Make sure that your staff member understands the food waste sheet though they can update it as necessary.  

  1. Utilize Surplus Ingredients to Minimize Food Waste

Incorporate excess ingredients into existing dishes (and let guests know any menu changes), if you see that you have excess ingredients that will soon go bad. Come up with a special offer for your guests or with an amuse-bouche. Make sure to avoid wasting food while you are not losing out on potential sales.  

  1. Use Past Inventory Insights for Future Orders

By studying you can make informed ordering decisions as in which ingredients were over-or under-utilized according to your inventory for a particular time period. You can also predict and generally understand the time of the day, week, and even year and make more economic decisions from your POS system and by-hand inventory. 

 

How to Take Inventory for a Busy Kitchen  

Are you wondering how to take inventory for a busy kitchen? The below-mentioned steps are a common way to keep track of inventory while there’s no one-size-fits-all method for taking inventory of your restaurant’s consumables and supplies: 


  1. Create a table

Start by creating five rows on a customizable inventory management program or in a restaurant inventory sheet. Label the rows as follows: 

  • Items 
  • Unit of Measure 
  • Inventory Amount 
  • Unit Price 
  • Total Cost 
  1. List items

Under the item’s column write out all the items you have in your kitchen. This should include everything from dinnerware to cleaning supplies, tabletop items, and edible ingredients.  

  1. Add measurement units

To determine the quantity of each item purchased to the unit of measure column write down the unit of measurement you will use. It will differ based upon how different supplies and foods are sold. For example, you may purchase pasta in boxes, tomatoes in pounds, and paper towels in cases. To avoid any confusion or miscalculations it is important to have these units documented upfront.  

  1. Count or measure all items

Add those figures to the inventory amount column and determine the number of units you have of each item. Doing it this way makes calculating costs and waste a breeze while allowing you to standardize your measurements.  

Example: 6 boxes of pasta should be written as 6, 25 tomatoes as 25, and 20 cases of paper towels as 20. 


  1. Insert the unit price 

Add a unit price column for each item and add all your unit prices. You can simply divide the cost of one unit by the amount of that item you have. 

Example: The unit cost is $2, if one pound of tomatoes costs $2 a pound and you have 1 pound in your inventory. 


  1. Calculate total cost

In the end, multiply the unit price of each item by the amount of that item that you have in your inventory. Add those numbers to the Total Cost column once you have calculated the total cost for all your inventory items.  

Example: Your total cost is $40, if you have 20 pounds of tomatoes that costs $2 a pound. 

Conclusion  

A well-managed kitchen is a huge contributor in your restaurant’s success. It is just like a well-oiled machine. If done systematically, kitchen management makes it enjoyable and easy for everyone working in your restaurant. The guests that wait on the other side of the restaurant are constantly waiting. The aim of every commercial kitchen should be to do that exactly. A good food distributor in UK is the one who is very dedicated. The kind of food that comes out of a restaurant kitchen as a customer experiences should be of paramount importance. Adopting efficient technology in the kitchen will help your restaurant grow tremendously while adapting to the latest trends. 

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