Everything You Need to Know About Managing Your Inventory

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Inventory

The words “take inventory” are enough to make your staff cringe and run off in 30 different directions.

You’ve tried getting your staff to do it and it just doesn’t go well. They fudge numbers and are very inconsistent.

Instead, you try to do it yourself, but every time you pick up the pen and clipboard, there’s a dozen other fires to put out.

Yet somehow you get by, for now at least…

Why Inventory Matters

Inventory management for a restaurant can be a cross between gibberish and long division. In fact, it’s such a pain that the task can often fall to the bottom of the to-do list, where it sits unchecked for the week. Then weeks turn into months. Uh oh.

I don’t need to explain why taking inventory is important. You know it’s important.

Your inventory is one of the biggest assets of your restaurant. You should always know how much of it you have, and how much it’s all worth.

It’s also a way to help keep your costs down and avoid any food waste, spoilage, or theft. It allows you to know when you’re running low on product and when you have an excess.

Why Should My Current Inventory Process be Ditched?

I remember my old restaurant days. Sunday night was our designated inventory day. The kitchen team would break up the inventory list so we could get through it quicker. I’d take the walk-in, Jenny took dry goods, and Ben took the alcohol closet. We all rushed to count what was on the shelves and filled in our spreadsheets as quickly as possible.

Needless to say, the problem with our inventory process was immediately clear.

Nothing ever lined up correctly.

Big ticket items were always being counted lower than expected and out of nowhere, someone would stumble upon three 50lb bags of AP flour.

Our kitchen was a disorganized mess. Items were spread out EVERYWHERE, making it extremely difficult to count.

Lemons? They could be found in the bar area, walk-in fridge, even dry storage. Who knows?

See the case of avocados over there?  I would count it as half a case. Jenny would count it as half a case half the time, and two-thirds the rest of the time. Ben would just walk right by it, just trying to get out of the restaurant before midnight. Counting discrepancies were simply unavoidable.

At the end of the day, we were spending too much time taking inventory and the information we gathered was STILL always wrong.

By the time we got our Cost of Goods Sold and Inventory for the month of May done, it was the second week of June. We were always reacting on old information instead of course-correcting immediately.

There had to be a better way.

Enter Orderly

The solution is to implement a system that transcends the variability of your staff, doesn’t require hours of work on your end, and gives up-to-date reporting so you can make decisions today before you end up with a problem tomorrow.

Orderly simulates an inventory and logs in your weekly Cost of Goods Sold without having you count a single product. No more relying on Ben and Jenny to take inventory!

By taking a quick photo of your invoices and entering POS sales data, you will receive a weekly rundown of your Cost of Goods Sold, highlighting where and what potential problems may be costing you. It’s as easy as that.

Prefer to take physical inventory? Orderly has you covered!

You can easily set up your inventory by using Orderly’s categories OR you can build custom “shelf to sheet” inventory lists. Milk lives in the walk-in, flour in dry storage, you get the idea.

As you count, on-hand dollar amounts will automatically be calculated, and beginning/ending inventories will show you exactly what you went through over a given period.

Orderly will continue working for you, whether your team has hours to spend counting inventory this week, or they need to rely on our auto-COGS next week.

Rising prices of ingredients, over ordering and product waste can all lead to high food cost. That’s something most (if not all) of us can’t afford, especially during these times.

Knowing that you have high food cost is one thing. Identifying why your food cost is so high is like finding a needle in a haystack. Orderly will help you shrink that haystack so you can easily find the needle and culprit for your rising food costs!

Would you rather spend 5 hours a week counting inventory or 5 minutes a day in Orderly?

Schedule a live walkthrough of Orderly’s food cost management solution!

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[MAJOR UPDATE]
[MAJOR UPDATE]