Doing inventory is critical, but many people make this process more difficult than it needs to be. Counting inventory is no different than counting your cash drawer and has many of the same ramifications. The products sitting on those shelves are just like money.
So how do you do inventory? First, pick a unit measure to consistently determine how much of a given product you have and the price of that product per the same unit measure. Some items, such as meat, may be weighed by the pound. Canned goods may be measured by the can; paper by the case; or frozen pie by the pie. It doesn’t matter as long as you stay consistent.
It is easiest to use the same unit measure for each item that vendors use to bill you. This way the invoice and inventory and order all match. Thus, you do not need to convert unit measures just to figure out accounting.
Once you have a unit to measure, count it. If you have 25 pounds of chicken in the building, you write down 25 pounds of chicken. Inventory is not like a golf score. In this game, there are no mulligans, and every stroke counts. This also is important for batches of recipes. Without counting these items, you will not have an accurate inventory. You will have to determine how much it costs for mixtures of sauces, batters, dressings and other food items that are made in your kitchen. Use the recipes to determine how much of an ingredient’s unit is used. It will take a bit of math but once you do this you will only have to repeat the process when prices change or new food items are added.
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