If you own or manage a restaurant, you know how important it is to keep track of inventory. It's crucial to have an accurate count of your supplies so that you can order more when you need it, avoid waste, and keep your costs under control.
One way to keep track of your inventory is by creating an inventory count sheet. In this blog, we take a look at what an inventory count sheet is, how you can build one and how inventory management software can save you time.
What is an Inventory Count Sheet?
An inventory count sheet is a document used by businesses to keep track of their inventory levels. It's essentially a record of all the items you have in stock, and it's used to track the flow of goods in and out of your business.
In a restaurant, an inventory count sheet would list all the items that the restaurant has in stock, such as food, beverages, and supplies like napkins, take-out containers and more. It would also include information such as the quantity of each item, the unit of measure (such as pounds and ounces), and the cost per unit.
Inventory count sheets are an essential tool for businesses of all sizes, but it's especially important for restaurants, which can significantly improve profit margins by gaining greater control and visibility of their inventory.
How to Create an Inventory Count Sheet
Creating an inventory count sheet may seem like a daunting task, but it's actually quite simple. By following the steps outlined below, you can create an inventory count sheet for your restaurant that will help you keep track of your inventory levels and make informed decisions about your inventory management processes.
Step 1: Identify the Items in Your Inventory
Before you start to design your inventory count sheet, you need to know what items you have in your inventory. Take a moment to make a list of everything you currently have in stock. This could be anything from food and beverage ingredients to supplies like napkins, utensils and takeout containers. Make sure to be as thorough as possible, so you don't miss anything important.
Step 2: Determine the Information You Want to Include
Once you've identified all the items in your inventory, it's time to determine what information you want to include on your count sheet.
For a restaurant, this will likely include:
- Item name
- Unit of measurement (such as ounces, pounds, or pieces)
- PAR level (the minimum amount of an item you need to have on hand)
- Location within the restaurant
Think about what information will be most useful for you to have on hand when managing your inventory.
Step 3: Choose a Format For Your Count Sheet
Once you've determined what information you want to include, it's time to choose a format for your count sheet.
There are a few different formats you can use to create your count sheet. A spreadsheet program like Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets is a great option because it allows you to easily sort and filter your inventory items.
Alternatively, you could create a physical count sheet using pen and paper or a printable template.
Step 4: Set Up Your Count Sheet
Once you have decided on a format, it’s time to start designing your count sheet. Before you start filling out your count sheet, it's important to organize your inventory items so that you'll be able to count everything more efficiently and accurately.
This could include grouping similar items together (perishable food, non-perishable food, alcoholic beverages, mixes, garnishes, etc), organizing items by location (such as the pantry, fridge, or freezer), or any other system that makes sense for your restaurant. When in doubt, you can always do it alphabetically.
Next, you want to create a column for all of the information you are tracking including item name, unit of measure, par level, etc and fill in all of the pertinent information for each item.
You will then need to add a column for the actual count and amount to order. Unlike the other columns, these will be left blank and filled out when you are doing your physical count. If using Google Sheets, Excel or a similar program, you can save time by using formulas to calculate the amount to order.
Step 5: Start Counting!
Now it's time to start counting! Go through your inventory and record the quantity of each item on your count sheet.
This may take some time, especially if you have a large inventory, but it's an important step to ensure that your count sheet is accurate. Don't forget to double-check your work to avoid any mistakes.
Step 6: Review and Update Your Count Sheet Regularly
Congratulations! You've created your inventory count sheet. But your work doesn't end here.
It's important to review and update your count sheet regularly to ensure that it remains accurate and up-to-date. This could be done on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis, depending on the size and complexity of your inventory. You may even want to create different inventory schedules for your items, depending on how often they move in and out of your restaurant.
You also want to make sure you record any changes to your inventory, such as new items or items that have been used or sold, so that your count sheet remains an accurate reflection of your current stock levels.
By following these steps, you can create an inventory count sheet that will help you keep track of your inventory, reduce waste, and improve your overall efficiency.
How Inventory Management Software Can Save You Time
While creating an inventory count sheet for your restaurant is an important task, it can also be time-consuming and tedious. Fortunately, inventory management software can help streamline the process and save you time.
One of the main benefits of using inventory management software is that it allows you to automate the process of tracking your inventory. With software, you can easily keep track of your inventory levels in real-time, so you always know exactly what you have on hand. This means that when it's time to create an inventory count sheet, you already have all the information you need at your fingertips.
Many inventory management systems also include features like barcode scanning and automated data entry, which can help speed up the process of counting your inventory.
Another benefit of using inventory management software is that it allows you to generate reports and analytics on your inventory. This can help you identify trends and patterns in your inventory usage, which can inform your purchasing decisions and help you reduce waste. By having this information readily available, you can make more informed decisions about your inventory management strategy.
When it comes to creating an inventory count sheet specifically, inventory management software can be a game-changer. Many software systems include built-in count sheet templates that allow you to quickly and easily create a count sheet. These templates typically include all the necessary fields, such as item name, description, quantity, and location, so you don't have to spend time creating your own template from scratch.
In addition, many inventory management software systems allow you to customize your count sheet to fit your specific needs. You can choose which fields to include, add custom fields for information that's unique to your restaurant, and format the count sheet to fit your preferences.
By automating the process of tracking your inventory, allowing you to quickly scan barcodes and record quantities, and providing you with customizable count sheet templates, inventory management software can help you streamline your inventory management process and focus on other aspects of running your restaurant.
Need help implementing a restaurant inventory management strategy that improves profitability? Get a free consultation with Sculpture Hospitality today.