Cash might be King, but so is your Stock

Stock is no different than cash – so treat it as such.

You wouldn’t leave your safe unlocked or your till drawers open, so why would you leave your store rooms open to anyone and everyone?

Here are my top 30 tips on controlling your stock

  1. Check suppliers’ prices before ordering, and adapt your order if price changes will reduce your margin
  2. Keep stock as low as possible by only ordering what you need ~ you’ll benefit from easier control, staff wont be tempted to use more than they need, reduced wastage from perished or damaged stock, and most importantly it helps your cash flow
  3. Only ever buy products on offer if you know they are needed, or can be utilised cost effectively e.g. incorporated into the menu without it affecting your sales or margins
  4. Control who is allowed to place orders for high priced items
  5. Don’t allow purchases for staff to go on your invoices ~ ensure they are invoiced directly to avoid any discrepancies or disputes
  6. Keep an order book so you have a permanent record of what’s been ordered
  7. Check all deliveries are complete, adequate shelf life and in good condition ~ never accept anything that is not to standard.  Keep a dedicated set of scales and a thermometer in the food delivery area
  8. Check invoice prices against suppliers’ list or quoted prices, and don’t accept expensive substitutes for out of stock items
  9. Conduct your own spot checks on deliveries ~ check what your suppliers send and what your staff are willing to accept
  10. Keep stores tidy, with everything having its own place – it’s far easier to control. Print out a layout of the stores and label shelves to ensure everything goes back to its proper place
  11. Separate items to avoid risk of cross contamination and subsequent wastage ~ high risk foods away from low risk, cleaning chemicals away from food or laundry, etc. Not just in the stores, but on housekeeping trolleys or baskets too
  12. Ensure correct storage for the product ~ i.e. stored at the correct temperature, correct atmosphere
  13. Keep stores locked, with access only from those who need it, and only allow staff to take what’s needed for the day to avoid excess items going to waste
  14. Keep particularly high value items somewhere it is easy to monitor e.g. gifts, saffron, truffles ~ anything that is easy to steel, or easy to over use – even if unintentionally
  15. Date stamp perishable products clearly and ensure stock rotation to avoid spoilage
  16. Write the prices of items on their box so staff see what they cost
  17. Fit dispenser pumps on cleaning materials to avoid over use
  18. Take stock regularly, and at the same time each period, weekly if possible, but as a minimum monthly – to get accurate stock consumption figures (this also encourages low stocks and good rotation)
  19. Ensure all items are physically counted on each stock take ~ don’t just assume the contents of a box is the same as last time
  20. Use an independent stock taker for high value stock such as liquor, or even for all your stock takes if you don’t have the staffing to do this accurately
  21. Check stock and consumption in all areas ~ don’t forget disposable items such as napkins, foil, printer paper, ink cartridges, toilet rolls, etc
  22. Follow a regular cleaning and maintenance schedule on all your store areas ~ freezers, fridges, chilled areas checking for temperatures, air circulation, cleanliness, rotation of stock, door seals on fridges and freezers, evidence of pests, security
  23. Know your expected usage and check your actual consumption figures against this.  If you know on average only 60% of guests use the body lotion and you’ve had 100 room nights this week does your body lotion bottle consumption equate to this
  24. Openly investigate any discrepancies as soon as they are identified.  If you have a problem with pilfering this will make people less inclined to take the risk
  25. Check your detergent dispenser concentrations on dish washers yourself – don’t leave this to the sales rep
  26. Keep your choices limited to avoid low stock turnover.  Don’t be tempted to buy in items just because one of your regulars requests it; you’ll never be able to please everyone all of the time (and when it comes to the menu, too big a choice gives the customer the perception of low turnover too)
  27. Ensure all staff are trained in stock control – this means chefs/service staff are trained in portion control, housekeeping staff are trained in the correct storage and use of toiletries and cleaning materials to avoid wastage
  28. Educate staff in the budgets and margins involved in the businesses – if they think you make a fortune on every sale they wont control costs
  29. Make it crystal clear to staff what the rules are on use of materials – including what’s allowed and not allowed for personal use. Post a sign by the staff entrance reminding them of the rules
  30. Accidents do happen ~ but ask staff to let you know when there has been anything out of the ordinary to affect wastage or stock levels

Increase your profits without the need for a single extra customer in your restaurant

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4 thoughts on “Cash might be King, but so is your Stock

  1. markez linda

    I found your blog on google and read a few of your other posts. I just added you to my Google News Reader. Keep up the good work. Look forward to reading more from you in the future.

  2. Yita

    It is really a wonderful article to follow in our daily activity.

    Thank you so much Dear Caroline and the rest of the Naturally Loyal Team.


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