The Leadership Cookbook: The Real Potential of Inventory Management

Strapped for cash? Look on your shelves.

More often than not, I see money sitting in inventory instead of in the bank, available for payroll, repair and maintenance, or imagine: staff training. Another miss? Please don’t pretend that inventory in and of itself is a control system. It’s not. At best, counting inventory provides us nothing more than an asset count. There’s no control whatsoever in taking inventory as a stand-alone endeavor.

On the other hand, actually managing inventory is one of the most potent steps we can take -- with one restaurant or one hundred. In this chapter, we’ll see how managing purchases against a budget, rolling inventory actively, and tracking yield and waste is a strong key to bottom-line performance. From here, we can also teach team members tangible fiscal line-item management.

In this chapter, my focus is to share with you a quick overview and opportunity in Food Inventory Management. Beverage management has strong similarities. And it’s unique enough to deserve its own chapter. So, keep reading!

E-Sourcing Gains Attention in the Restaurant Industry

E-Sourcing Gains Attention in the Restaurant Industry

By Rick Zambrano, Foodable Industry Expert

Looking at the complexities of managing food cost and inventories at restaurants, it’s surprising that it’s taken a while for e-sourcing to catch on and start gaining popularity. E-sourcing offers a way for restaurants to submit requests for supplies through an aggregated pool of wholesale suppliers and manufacturers that compete for a restaurant company’s business. This encompasses a range of products ─ from routine office supply expenditures to major food purchasing, like chicken or buns.

From a traditional perspective, restaurant chains leverage sizable purchase quantities to work directly through manufacturers in a manufacturer-direct type supplier relationship. Chains that work directly with manufacturers can typically access better pricing and additional support to ensure specifications, supply and even customization of product. This can lead to some time-nurtured and close-knit relationships and alliances with specific suppliers.

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