It’s rare for restaurateurs to get to the next ordering day with no leftovers, no spoilage, and no last-minute menu changes. Even the best restaurant managers struggle with food purchasing and forecasting. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t steps you can take to improve food control and reduce losses.
Without a doubt, the most important step in managing your purchasing process is accurate forecasting. By looking at what happened in previous time periods, you can better predict just how much food you will need.
Before placing an order, always go through your current inventory and determine how much you have on hand. This will help ensure you don’t over or under order. Consistent inventory counts and the use of restaurant inventory management software, will ensure you have the insights you need to drive up profit margins.
Many vendors have minimums and cheaper shipping for orders over a certain size. Similarly, vendors can have higher prices per unit for split cases. Determine what units your vendor sells in and how much you’re required to in order to benefit from lower costs. Depending on their terms, you may want to adjust your order or look at other options.
It is always a good idea to have back up vendors. This will ensure you have somewhere else to go if your preferred vendor doesn’t have what you need or can’t get it to you quickly enough.
When you finally receive your orders, you want to be sure to open each case and inspect the food. By doing this, you can proactively catch issues with quality. If any of the items are not up to the standard you expect, you can send them back with the driver, or make a note of it for your next order if you need those items for your upcoming seating.
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