Inventory checks a day keeps the revenue loss away
Given that Cost of Goods Sold (COGS) is one of the two largest expenses your restaurant incurs (labor is the other, part of Prime Cost), it merits special attention to manage it. Weekly inventories are valuable to manage the whole cost, but even a time frame as little as seven days can hide the real causes of inventory losses. That is why doing selective daily inventory is a powerful way to control costs, convey to the team your commitment to inventory management, and catch problems before they are out of control.
Each week after you complete your main inventory, compare your results to the POS accounts item by item and choose four items that you will count daily that week. The rationale is simple: Pick the items that you are experiencing shrinkage and focus on them that week. Take two food and two beverage items that have an issue, and have reasonably significant velocity (rate of inventory use). Count them daily and make sure your team doesn’t know which ones you are counting, only that you are investing the time. When you see an aberration, immediately present it to the team members responsible.
This both holds them accountable and makes clear that there are consequences for poor performance. Within a week or so, you will see the inventory issues disappear. By maintaining this layer of spot checking, you are insuring your best employees remain so and your worst are held accountable for their impact on your business. As the saying goes, “Locks were made to keep honest people honest” and spot inventory does the same.
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