While it's true that revenue is important for the growth of your restaurant business, keeping costs down is also essential. Inventory management for restaurants essentially helps you keep a check on costs, avoid spoilage/spillage and know exactly what is coming in and going out.

Whether you are new to the restaurant business or a pro, the best way to track your inventory is by investing in inventory management software . Most restaurant POS systems on market do not have an integrated inventory management system, thus it becomes essential to find one that does.

SpeQue POS provides an integrated inventory management software that helps restaurants to manage their stocks, maintain food costs through recipes, and keep a check on waste.

In some restaurants, up to 10% of food is wasted before going on a plate, which means 10% of your revenue may not be realized under your current inventory system. Thus, having an integrated inventory management system becomes essential.

In order to understand the inventory management process, 1st let's have a look at some of the important terms that are involved.

  • Sitting Inventory - the amount of product (or Rupees worth of product) in-house. You can refer to sitting inventory as either Rupee worth or physical amount, but make sure to consistently stick to only one unit of measure.
  • Variance - The difference between your product cost and the usage amount cost. Let's say your inventory is down Rs 10,000 worth of chicken at the end of the day, but your POS says you only sold Rs. 9,500 worth of chicken. This makes your food cost variance - Rs 500, meaning Rs 500 worth of chicken is unaccounted for. Variance can also be a percentage to help you make easier comparisons. In this scenario, -Rs 500 (the variance amount)/Rs 10000 (the usage amount cost) = - 5% variance. Most restaurants consider a variance of 3-5% within the normal range.
  • Depletion - the amount of time it takes to use a product.
  • Usage - usage tells us how long the sitting inventory should last. Knowing the depletion time for a product helps us to calculate the duration for which the inventory should last.
  • Waste - usually in a restaurant approx 4-10% of food purchased is wasted due to several reasons such as -- improper preparation, spoiled food, overestimating needed amounts, etc. Wastage is one of the prime reasons for reduced profits.
  • First In/First Out - This principle implies you rotate your stock frequently so that the newest stock is put behind the older stock. This will result in reduced spoilage and a decrease in lost profits due to outdated or spoiled stock.

Now that we have a good idea of what all we need to do to maintain inventory for your restaurant, let's have a look at how it can be done.


Managing your inventory is NOT a one-time chore. In order to keep a healthy bottom line, inventory should be monitored daily.

Take inventory when everything is cleaned and organized - Clean out the coolers, freezers, and workstations before taking inventory. Remove all expired or spoiled food.

Take inventory frequently - fix certain times to monitor your inventory. While all inventory should be looked at daily, some items may need actual counting once or twice a week.

Take inventory before opening or after closing - an operational restaurant has a constantly moving inventory. So it's best to take inventory before the restaurant opens or after it closes for the day.

Take inventory when new stock arrives - always keep track of new stock inventory as soon as it arrives. This not only helps you give you an accurate count, but it will also help spot any delivery errors, which can be rectified on time.

Take inventory with teamwork - inventory management is a tedious process and its best to allocate at least 2-3 people to oversee it. This will ensure that errors are cut down and as the staff gain experience, they will develop timesaving techniques, keeping the restaurant running smoothly.

At SpeQue, we believe in the power of technology. In the present day and age, especially during the times of COVID-19, it becomes imperative to have good processes in place for your restaurant business to survive and thrive. If you are not already following the inventory management process or are still stuck with age-old paper-based techniques, its high time you invest in a POS software that provides integrated inventory management solutions. SpeQue POS is one such software.

With over 150 restaurants, pubs and bars have used our software to effectively manage their inventory, keep a check on waste and maintain food costs, we can easily vouch for the importance of having a strong inventory process for your restaurant. We not only provide you with the software but also provide all necessary training for the staff to understand the importance of the process and carry it out on a day to day basis.

You can write to us at info@speque.com to know more about our products and offerings. We would be more than happy to help you establish a strong inventory management process for your restaurant.


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