5 Things to Consider When Choosing Your Restaurant Inventory Manager

5 Things to Consider When Choosing Your Restaurant Inventory Manager
Restaurant Inventory - November 30, 2022 Written By: Krista Dinsmore

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A restaurant inventory manager is responsible for ordering and stocking supplies, maintaining inventory records and working with other team members to ensure that your restaurant always has the food and bar stock needed to run efficiently and profitably

Generally, this job is completed by someone who is already on staff. Though in some restaurants this can be outsourced to a third-party expert with experience and expertise in restaurant inventory management. This is usually the case for larger operations or restaurants with multiple locations. 

Regardless of who is completing the job, there are certain things to consider when choosing your restaurant inventory manager. A good inventory manager should: 

  1. Know your menu 

To be an effective inventory manager, the person you choose needs to have a good knowledge of what you sell and what each dish requires. This will help them make better planning and ordering decisions that improve your profit margins.

  1. Be good at building relationships with suppliers

Your inventory manager will be the main contact for vendors and suppliers. That means you want them to be good communicators and excellent at building and maintaining relationships. This will make it easier for you to make orders and maintain communication about your requirements. A good relationship with your suppliers may also result in cost savings or give you access to new products sooner. 

  1. Be able to forecast needs 

An inventory manager should be able to predict future needs. This means staying on top of marketing and promo calendars, understanding the seasonality of certain products and knowing when changes in supply may be coming due to outside impacts including wars, natural disasters, politics, etc. 

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  1. See the bigger picture 

Most people see inventory management as counting physical items and knowing how much you have on hand. But that isn’t all restaurant inventory management is. 

Inventory management is about storing, moving and selling inventory to ensure you can meet demand with minimal waste. All while finding cost savings and maximizing buying power. 

For example, you may know that you have 20 lbs of beef in the fridge/freezer but if you don’t know how often dishes requiring this ingredient sell, how would you know whether you need more? Similarly, you could buy 500 packs of pasta at $0.10 per package but if you don’t have anywhere to put it and not enough people to buy pasta dishes, you will be wasting space, tying up capital and ultimately wasting large amounts of food. 

  1. Be able to lead and work as a team 

Inventory isn’t a solo project. Your inventory manager needs to be able to take the reins and manage both the inventory management process and any team members that are assisting them. But they also need to be able to work with your chefs, admin staff and marketing team to make sure they are effectively managing your restaurant’s inventories.  

How inventory management software can help 

An effective inventory management software that integrates with your current systems can help you keep better track of your inventory. It can also provide data and reports that help you determine how much to order and when, whether there are any slow moving products and if there will be changes in demand due to seasonality or other promotions. 

This will not only save you time and resources, it can help empower your staff and improve the overall success of your restaurant. Interested in learning more? Get in touch with Sculpture Hospitality 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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