10 Ways To Improve F&B Stocktakes
Stocktaking is an unpopular task at most pubs & restaurants, but one that is critical to controlling food costs and improving profitability. Yet, when we speak with restaurant & pub owners, many admit that they either do a poor job at it, or do it seldomly. In most cases, the underlying issue is a lack of structure around the Stocktaking process.
With that in mind, here are ten tips to help improve Stocktaking accuracy at your Pub, Club, Restaurant & Hotel
- Stocktake frequently. For certain items that sell quicker than others you could even apply cyclical counting where you would check them weekly/Bi-weekly. This may help giving more accuracy when placing orders.
- Complete your Stocktake when the business is closed, either before you have opened or after you’re closed. You cannot take accurate accounts of inventory while goods are being sold. Whatever time you pick, stick with it. If you always take inventory on Tuesdays, but sometimes you do it at night and sometimes in the morning, there will be fluctuations in week to week results.
- Do your Stocktake before a new delivery arrives and then add the new stock to your counts. Do not attempt to do this while deliveries are being made as double entry will be unavoidable.
- Clean out and organize your stock areas before commencing your count. Throw out items that have expired, move similar items to the same shelf, face off everything and make it as easy as possible to count everything quickly and in general, tidy up.
- It could be efficient also to use a stock management or counting app, This sometimes can ease the rush of doing a Stocktake and can also help with cyclical counting for certain items. Something like EasyCount for example.
- When taking inventory, make part of the practice ensuring that items are being used on a First In, First Out (FIFO) basis. Older goods should be rotated to the front of shelves so they are used first and will not go out of date. Additionally, try to keep the amount of items you have on hand before doing your Stocktake as low as possible to reduce theft and spoilage.
- Make sure that at least 50% of your count is spot checked. Doing this Ensures complete accuracy and transparency in your results, This would even be the case if you were using external Stocktakers as it is your stock you need the levels to be spot on.
- Use the same Stocktakers to do your Stocktaking. They will not only increase in productivity, but they will tend to be more consistent also.
- If you use scales to weigh inventory and measure portions, calibrate them as necessary.
- Standardize what your unit cost is. The price of many items (like ground beef) changes week to week. Use the latest price paid as the standard. It is the easiest to find and remember
This video showing the 8 Different types of waste in LEAN is a great insight into other ways to increase efficiency and all of this coupled together will definitely improve your Stocktakes.
The most critical piece of the Stocktaking puzzle is consistency. Using the same Stocktakers, Stocktaking at the same time and counting the same items are some of the easiest ways to improve your accuracy.
Still want to count your stock in-house? how about a way to EasyCount?
- Digital Stocktakes
- Eliminate pen, paper, Excel and double entry
- Reduce stocktaking time by 66%