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Food Inventory - Taking Inventory
Managing Restaurant & Hotel Food Inventory - (Part 1 of 4)
One of the most important components of managing your food cost is managing your inventory process. Controlling your month end food inventory and food cost is essential both for your business as well as for your own professional reputation. Controlling your end of month food inventory revolves around four specific tasks: Taking inventory, verifying credits & transfers, verifying the pre-closing food inventory balance sheet, and checking posted inventory. Managing each step of this process is vital to being on top of your numbers.
First of all when taking your inventory, be sure that everyone uses the Shelf to Sheet method of counting inventory. Never use the Sheet to Shelf method, where you use your printed Inventory Taking Sheets to hunt for the items to count as you read down the Inventory Taking Sheet page. If you go Sheet to Shelf, then you will inevitably miss items which are on your shelves but which are not on the taking sheets. Always use the Shelf to Sheet method.
Shelf to Sheet means that when taking inventory you look at what's on the shelf and then find it on your Inventory Taking Sheets. You move along counting every single item on each shelf in a systematic method, whether it's top to bottom, left to right, whatever. If you take inventory shelf to sheet you will miss nothing and you will probably end up with write-ins on the worksheet. Write-ins are items which are not on your inventory taking sheets but are on your shelves. Write-ins are possibly items which have dropped off the inventory sheets for some reason, or more likely, they are new purchases for the month which have not been added to your inventory taking sheets yet.
Inventory Taking Sheet Checklist
Once you have finished taking your physical inventory, you will want to double check the following items on your taking sheets. First, check all “zero” entries, any item which has a zero quantity entry. You want to double check to be sure that you actually had none of that product in-house. Second, check the units of measure used during the inventory taking. Spot check a number of items to verify that the correct unit of measure was used so that things which are inventoried by the pound were indeed counted by the pound, items counted by the case were counted by the case, and so on. Third, double check large numbers. Verify that any entries with a large number are correct. Again, sometimes a large number may reflect that somebody has inventoried an item by the each instead of by the case (you have 8 eaches but it was counted as 8 cases). Fourth, verify that new purchases have been inventoried. These are items which are new purchases during month.
Once you have checked your inventory taking sheets, it is time to enter your quantities into whatever accounting software your company uses.
Continue the article on the verifying credits & transfers page.
Download the free Managing Food Inventory PDF
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