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As a business owner in the hospitality industry, you have a lot on your plate. Staff management, financial planning, compliance with industry standards, menu development, special promotions and customer service; the list is endless.

The last thing you need is to be overwhelmed by inventory management. According to Trevor Gosling, CEO of Lulalend, “Letting customers down with poor stock can result in a damaged reputation that can have significant negative effects on your business in the long term. Thankfully, business owners can rely on some core inventory management principles to ensure this aspect of your business supports – instead of undermines – your success.” Gosling breaks these principles into five:

1.Check the stock when it’s delivered

Inspect the products, checking that the correct quantity has been delivered and that the items are not damaged. As far as food items are concerned, be sure to check that the best-before dates are not imminent. Don’t waste your hard-earned money on stock that won’t yield any profit. A careful look at new stock will help you pick up shortcomings in the items received and improve the overall efficiency in the day-to-day running of your business.

2. Track and analyse your inventory

Are you overspending on your stock? With proper care, you can evaluate how much you need to spend so that you have enough to meet your needs, while avoiding excess produce that will only go to waste. It’s a good idea to keep track of the most popular menu items, as this will give you a good indication of what you need to purchase more of and what you can cut down on.

3. Store stock in a secure place

Produce like meat, vegetables and fruit should be purchased on a regular basis so that your meals are always fresh. Non-perishable items like tinned food can be purchased in bulk, since this has a longer shelf life. Make sure you store all items in the correct conditions, so that they won’t spoil. This will not only save you money, but it’s kinder to the environment since discarded food ends up in landfills, where it rots and releases harmful greenhouse gases.

4. Use software to manage your stock

Get a little help from technology to lighten the load and improve productivity. There are many applications designed to help you effectively manage stock.

5. Find trustworthy people to manage stock

Even if you’re using software, you still need people that will help control your inventory. Generally, it’s best to hire two staff members to perform this function. Two sets of eyes make it less likely that anything will be missed during the inventory count. Alternatively, if you can’t afford to hire staff to count stock, ask existing staff to do it as part of their duties, or manage this area yourself if you have the time. Whether you hire staff or conduct the stock check yourself, make sure that this is done on a regular basis.

Source: Lulalend. Images: Pixabay

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