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5 Myths About Restaurant Inventory That Will Damage Your Profits

Restaurant Chef taking food inventory
Restaurant Inventory - October 19, 2021 Written By: Krista Dinsmore

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Your restaurant inventory is your company’s investment into profitability. The better you manage your inventory and control costs, the higher your profit margins will be and the more success your restaurant will have. 

Optimal restaurant inventory management is crucial to the success of your business.  

Yet here at Sculpture Hospitality we speak to so many restaurants that simply aren’t doing inventory management properly, or, even worse, are barely performing inventory counts at all. 

For the most part, that’s down to a large number of myths that are circulating about inventory management. Whether it’s that managing restaurant inventory takes too long, training staff is too difficult or the belief that using a restaurant inventory management system isn’t worth the cost, a large number of restaurants are avoiding creating a strategic inventory management process.

With that in mind, in this blog we are going to bust the top five myths about restaurant inventory management. 

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Myth 1. Inventory spreadsheets are as effective as an inventory management system

One of the most common hidden expenses for restaurants is due to poor food and beverage inventory management processes. This is largely down to the fact that most restaurants aren’t using the proper tools and processes to manage their inventory and find where those hidden costs are coming from. 

Unfortunately, when it comes to effective inventory management spreadsheets just don’t cut the mustard. These time-consuming and manual processes lead to human error, unreliable numbers and minimal insights into inventory performance. 

Using restaurant inventory management software, on the other hand, gives restaurants clear visibility and control over their inventory - leading to improved ordering, less waste, increased profit margins and many other benefits. 

Are you interested in more information on the difference between inventory spreadsheets and a restaurant inventory management system? Check out our blog, Restaurant Inventory Spreadsheet Vs. Restaurant Inventory Software.  

Myth 2. Inventory counts can be done whenever

Inventory management isn’t about just performing counts when it’s “convenient”. It can’t just be done when you are having a slow night or when you have some extra staff members on hand. It needs to be regular and consistent. 

Typically, restaurant inventory counts are performed weekly, monthly or quarterly. At Sculpture Hospitality we firmly believe that weekly counts provide the most accurate and insightful data to help your business grow.

By scheduling your inventory counts on the same day every week (or month/quarter), you will ensure you get a consistent count during each inventory accounting period. As a result, you’ll have accurate data that help you make strategic decisions to improve the profitability of your business. 

Myth 3. Eyeballing inventory counts is fine

Inventory counts can seem like a time-consuming process that your team just doesn’t have the time for. As a result, many restaurateurs fall into the routine of just eyeballing their inventory, taking a quick mental calculation and guessing what it is. 

The problem here is that this process isn’t accurate at all. Inventory management is all about using counts and weighing to understand exactly how much inventory you have, how much has been used and how much has been wasted. 

Without accurate insight into inventory data, there’s absolutely no way your restaurant can make strategic decisions that help your business grow.

Myth 4. Training staff is difficult and time-consuming

It may cost your business a little extra money to train your staff to conduct inventory counts and manage your restaurant’s inventory, but it’s crucial that those doing so know exactly what they are doing. 

We recommend that you choose a couple of key members of your team to conduct inventory counts on a weekly basis, and then take the time to train these employees on the best way to count inventory and how to best use the technologies you provide them with. 

Arming your employees with the training and technologies they need to successfully perform accurate inventory counts will provide your restaurant with inventory insights that help you drive up profitability.

Myth 5. Managing your inventory takes too long, and just isn’t worth it

Inventory feels like a never-ending task. You perform a count one week, only to have to do the exact same count the next week, and the next week… and the next week. 

But how we count and manage inventory is lightyears ahead of the time-consuming and manual processes of 10 years ago. This is where it’s crucial that you use a restaurant inventory management system to speed up and automate these processes.

Time is money, and your restaurant can no longer rely on using checklists on a clipboard and a spreadsheet of numbers. There’s a better way of doing things, that’s not only faster but also more accurate.

Want to learn more about the benefits of an inventory management system? Get in touch with Sculpture Hospitality today. Our team of locally-based inventory management experts would love to answer your questions.

Contact your Local Inventory Consultant Today

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A Complete Buyer's Guide to Food & Beverage Inventory Management Systems

With around 25 to 35 percent of a restaurant’s operating budget dedicated to purchasing food (that’s not even taking into account beverage inventory costs for the bar), proper inventory management can significantly improve expected revenue.

To maximize profits you need to improve visibility and control over your restaurant or bar’s inventory. 

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