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Master stocking your restaurant food & supplies with these inventory management tips

October 11, 2018

Effective inventory management is important for any small business. But for a restaurant, where nearly everything you buy and sell comes with an expiration date, it’s absolutely crucial. If your idea of inventory management is eyeballing your walk-in before you close up for the night, read on. These tricks and tips will help you bring your restaurant’s inventory management system into the 21st century.

Inventory 101

The restaurant business comes with plenty of unique challenges, but good inventory management starts with the basics: keeping things organized, training your employees well, pricing products effectively, and choosing the best possible vendors.

Keep costs down

Some things are out of your control as a restaurant owner. A freak snowstorm or E coli outbreak can throw even the best plans out the window. So control what you can—starting with how much you pay for your supplies.

Reduce food waste and spoilage

The amount of food wasted in the United States is staggering—an estimated 30 to 40% of the total food supply. That’s a massive sustainability crisis, a wasted opportunity to feed the hungry, and a huge waste of money if you’re the one buying all that food. Cutting food waste is a great opportunity to make your business stronger and more sustainable at the same time.

Have a plan for slow nights (and weeks)

Whether it’s every Monday or every August, most restaurants deal with slow nights. They can be murder on your bottom line and can disrupt even the best inventory management plans. Strategize to find the best ways to fill those seats and move that product.


Clover is sold by leading U.S. banks including Bank of America, BBVA, Citi, PNC, Sun Trust and Wells Fargo. You’ll also find Clover at our trusted partners including Ignite Payments, Restaurant Depot, and Sam’s Club. For more information, visit us at clover.com.