How to Make an Inventory Form for Easier Ordering

Monday, November 4th, 2013

To make a restaurant kitchen run smoothly, there are a lot of factors that need to be accounted for. While having a smoothly-running front-of-house is a very important part of keeping customers coming back, it’s just as important for behind-the-scenes operations to run well. Restaurant equipment that functions optimally is one of those factors. With the right quality restaurant equipment, you’ll experience less downtime due to malfunctions, be able to increase rate of production, and produce dishes that are of a higher quality. In addition to great restaurant equipment, you’ll also need to keep the right amount of food and supplies in stock at all times.

There are two secrets to an efficient ordering process: an efficient inventory and an excellent inventory form. First, you should streamline your inventory process so you can take food inventory faster. It’s best to do inventory weekly. (While this may seem too frequent, it will save you time in the long run.) You should also be sure your space stays clean and tidy to help things go faster.

When it comes time to actually take inventory, you need an order form that will facilitate a quick, accurate count. Make one form each for each product or food category. Some might include:

1. Meat
2. Produce
3. Alcohol
4. Paper products
5. Cleaning supplies

Each order form should have at least 8 categories:

1. Description
2. Ordering unit
3. Price
4. Supplier
5. Weekday par level
6. Weekend par level
7. On-hand quantity
8. Order quantity

You’ll probably need to tailor your inventory form so it is specific to your restaurant, of course, but the idea is that you make it as comprehensive and orderly as possible. For example, “alcohol” could be further divided into “liquor,” “beer,” and “wine” and you might need to add a section for reminders to certain forms. When it comes to food forms, you should list each food product to mirror the order in which it is arranged on your shelves. (Dry, then refrigerated, then frozen is the most likely order.)

Restaurant Equipment and More from ShortOrder

How do you make inventory and ordering easier? What restaurant equipment do you use to make your kitchen run at its best? Find ShortOrder on Twitter and Facebook and give us your tips! You can also follow us and keep reading here at What’s Cooking to stay in the know about restaurant equipment and the restaurant industry.

How to Take Food Inventory Faster

Friday, May 31st, 2013

When it comes to efficiency in the kitchen, organization is a must. From commercial restaurant equipment to your walk-in freezer, keeping things tidy is imperative for keeping a kitchen running successfully. Part of this imperative includes taking food inventory. Taking inventory helps you calculate your food cost, and evaluate your spending and day-to-day operations to maximize profitability. When your inventory depletes due to waste, the poor handling of food, theft, transfers, or free food items, it’s important to assess what’s left and adjust your ordering and spending accordingly.

If you find yourself spending too much time doing inventory in your restaurant, read on. These simple tips can help you drastically reduce the amount of time it takes to complete your inventory and improve the way you operate your restaurant, letting you put your commercial restaurant equipment to better use.

Stay Clean and Organized

In order to function at its best, your kitchen should be tidy and organized. This means keeping your commercial restaurant equipment in good working order to minimize breakdowns and extraneous costs, cleaning that commercial restaurant equipment at the end of every business day, clearly labeling containers and shelves, and keeping everything visible for inventory. This step alone can speed up the inventory process tremendously, since you won’t have to spend time rummaging around while counting and recording.

Do It Weekly

This is especially important for independent restaurants and single-unit operations, which are accounted for by about 7 of 10 restaurants in the U.S. Independent restaurants need to optimally compete with chains, most of which do their inventories weekly rather than monthly. Basically, the more regularly you take inventory, the more accurate your food cost calculations will be. For most restaurants, Sundays are the optimal day of the week to take inventory. Why? That’s when inventory will be at its lowest, and Monday through Sunday is a natural calendar for inventorying.

Count Efficiently

There are several ways you can streamline the actual act of taking inventory. First, separate your inventory into cost categories. By categorizing groups like meat, dairy, seafood, and produce, you make cost calculations easier, which is part of the point of inventory. Next, arrange your spreadsheet so that it reflects the order in which you count the inventory. You’ll spend less time searching and more time counting. Finally, use two people—one to count, and one to record. As they say, two sets of eyes are better than one, so in addition to being faster, fewer mistakes will be made overall. If possible, use the same two people every week.

Commercial Restaurant Equipment

ShortOrder brings you the best commercial restaurant equipment in the industry, from quality ice machines to top-of-the-line Gen2 ranges. For more tips about how to get the most out of your commercial restaurant equipment, and how commercial restaurant equipment can improve your business, keep reading What’s Cooking, and follow ShortOrder on Twitter and like us Facebook.

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