The best lean strategies to control inventory

June 2, 2019


It might be tricky to manage your restaurant’s inventory effectively, but applying lean inventory management principles would guide your decisions to manage your restaurant’s inventory as effective as it could be.

  • BUT: What is lean inventory management?

It is all strategies you may implement to reduce cost, satisfy customer, eliminate food waste, maximize profits, streamline business operations, and control inventory.

According to Paul Trujillo, a Product Marketing Manager at Informatics specializing in Inventory Warehouse Management and Supply Chain product lines,  lean inventory management approaches the idea of inventory control from an unusual angle: Instead of a stockroom that housed whatever the consumer might need, the business would remove any excess and would only retain what would be used within a specific time frame.

Consequently, this approach could become effective throughout some simple strategies. In this article, you will be informed of the best lean strategies to control inventory.

restaurant inventory

  • Track your inventory:

You should track your inventory to know if there is any possibility that the inventory is wasted, either because of irresponsible behaviors from your kitchen staff when dealing with the ingredients, or because there might be thefts.

You also need to track inventory to see if there is an element that kept stocked in the storeroom without being used. Such an element shall be omitted from your list.


  • Apply on-demand pull methodology:

You must order to buy only what you need. That is you should know what your customers might order by monitoring inventory flow and market trends, and then buy the ingredients, consequently.

Applying this methodology will help you to reduce extra inventory resulting in cutting down costs.


  • Use technology to count inventory:

Keep up with the world we are living in, and use technological devices to track and count inventory. Use tablets that are attached with barcode scanners to track purchasing processes smoothly and quickly. Technological devices will allow you to control inventory effectively and ensure that you are accurately counting the inventory.


  • First in First out methodology: “FIFO”

Make sure that your kitchen staff implements this methodology when getting ingredients from the storeroom. That is they must use the old stocked ingredients before moving to the new ones. This requires whoever is responsible for stocking the inventory to stock it that way: putting new purchased ingredients in the back of the stocking room, while the old ones should be in the front.