Goods and Services

Improving the Inventory Process for a Small Restaurant

Written by: Gelato Products


Restaurants, especially smaller establishments like ice cream or coffee shops, can cut down on their costs if they improve their ordering system. Running out of a product isn’t just an inconvenience, it actually costs you business. If you streamline your ordering process, you’ll never run out of ice cream shop supplies on busy summer days. Here are some tips to improve the ordering process of your ice cream shop.

Create an Order Form

The first step to improving inventory is to reorganize your order form. Make a list of all the physical items you need to run the shop. Include things like receipt tape, white paper cups, spoons, lids and anything else you think you might need. Then make a list of the ingredients you plan to offer, including waffle cone supplies. Finally, make a list of the ice cream flavors you will need to carry.

Then make sure that you and your employees follow protocol and list your orders on the proper order form. Also, be sure that you have included space in your list for item descriptions like price or whether the item needs refrigeration.

Decide on an Ordering Schedule

It’s best if you set a schedule to order, and go through certain parts of your inventory at a time. For example, you might want to start with everything on the front counter for Monday and go from there. Catalogue coffee cups and lids on Tuesday, then move onto the frozen treats on Wednesday. Make sure that you have no interruptions during this time, and try to establish a weekday and weekend schedule as the two periods are likely to see very different foot traffic. Also, don’t be afraid to split the duties up between your staff members at the front and rear.

Designate Time to Order

Try to designate a specific time where your ordering actually takes place. This cuts down on interruptions to the process, and it gives you a head start on the process. Some vendors will allow you to fax or leave a voice mail with your order.

Final Tips

If you develop an ordering routine, it becomes easier for you to estimate what you will need in the future. Try to review your sales data from the past three weeks, and see if you can adjust your orders to better fit your needs. Inventory should be a fluid process with constant room for improvement and greater efficiency.

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