Restaurant stock control measures

Controlling stock in the kitchen might seem like an impossible task. Considering the time input, it could also be hard to imagine a return on investment too. However, once stock control, or lack of stock control, starts costing your business money, the advantages become clear.

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It’s not just waste control, but also portion sizes, which will benefit from stock control. And for many managers, stock controlling in the kitchen is easier than they think. Here are four simple steps to get the stock in your kitchen fully controlled.

1 Work out the cost of each menu item

When working out the cost of menu items, it is critical to know what, and how much, of every ingredient is required. Once you have this information, based on the ingredient cost, you can work out how much stock it costs to make the item. However, rather than simply writing this down, enter all ingredients into an excel table with a corresponding price. This will allow you to calculate using fluctuating ingredient prices. Next, you can populate the table with menu items and their recipes. This will give you an accurate, current cost of every menu item.

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2 Simplified stock control

You will need to know the value of your stock at the start of the month, the total purchases of food in the month, the value at the end of the month and the total sales during the month. By comparing these figures to your excel figures, you’ll be able to see if the kitchen is using more than the designated ingredients and measures. The month-end is also a good time to look at whether you need to purchase any new equipment such as commercial dishwashers.

3 Control the portions

Typically, the portion sizes on a few relatively expensive items such as steak, make up most of any profit shortfalls. These might be cut too generously or priced too low for the cost, and while many restaurants use loss leaders to attract customers, the loss has to be monitored and realized elsewhere.

4 Control the stock

A monthly stock count is important in any kitchen too. If you have sold 500 cuts and bought in 510, there should still be 10 in the fridge. If there isn’t, it’s time to start asking why.

A great way to keep all your stock in order that doesn’t need to be in the fridge is to get some Steel Shelving from sites such as This will help you take your numbers much quicker and more accurate as everything you need will be in one place.