Every time your kitchen staff throws an ingredient away because it expired or you have more than you can use, you are essentially throwing money down the drain. Foodservice businesses operate on extremely tight margins so optimizing your inventory movement can mean better cash flow management.
Ordering for foodservice businesses requires a tricky balance between supply and demand. However, you might not be able to serve everything as intended. For instance, if you prepare for a big crowd for a festival but it rains all weekend, you will likely have way more ingredients than you actually need.
Most products in your kitchen have a shelf life, which means at a certain point you cannot serve them anymore. This is especially important to monitor in establishments to avoid giving your customers food poisoning, which will negatively impact reviews, loyalty, and trust.
Add a weekly or even a daily special to your menu that highlights the ingredient in an exclusive way.
Easily swap out ingredients on your menu that you need to use up with generic language like “roasted vegetables.”
Sell pastries from the morning or the previous day at an attractive discount that customers won’t be able to pass up.
Consider food waste platforms like Too Good To Go where you can list unsold food at the end of the day at a discount.
While you won’t profit from donating, it is a great way to give your products to those in need and to highlight your commitment to sustainability to your customers.
This is the first step to understanding your kitchen. Too many foodservice businesses rely on guesswork and nightly cycle counts. This leads to human error and discovering issues rather than preventing them.
Try Thrive’s inventory management system for foodservice businesses to know exactly what you have in stock, what is expiring and when, and ingredients that haven’t been used recently.
In addition to knowing the status of your inventory at the moment, having detailed insight into the future is equally as important. Demand forecasting in Thrive looks at your sales trends and your inventory levels to predict when you will run out of stock. This is especially important for ensuring you only order what you need.
PAR levels are another way of controlling your inventory levels. Maximum PAR levels in Thrive help ensure that you don’t over-order products, which can often lead to expiring and excess inventory.
By practicing first in, first out (FIFO) in your foodservice business, you use older ingredients or products first. This reduces the chances of using items that have passed their expiration dates or are no longer safe to consume. Food waste takes over $160 billion out of foodservice businesses each year. Think of what reducing it can mean for your bottom line. While introducing new processes and tools into your kitchen may require upfront investment, it can help positively impact your cash flow management immediately.
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