The hardest part of taking inventory is getting started. While counting and weighing every product on-hand in the unit can be a long, tedious process, it is an important part of the Chef’s responsibility to know how you are doing financially. Without an accurate inventory to tell you how well you managed your products, you will never be able to efficiently run your operation. Additionally, taking inventory is a good time to review what you have on hand, what you need to order and what you need to work out of inventory to prevent from losing product.
When counting your inventory, it is highly recommended that it is done in a team of two people. This will not only speed up the process but ensure that inventory is accurately counted. By taking inventory in teams, you have one person counting and one person writing. By having people dedicated to each specific task, you are less likely to miss products on the shelves. If products are missed and unaccounted for, it will be implied the products were used. Remember: Product usage drives food cost.
The process of counting is done from “Shelf to Sheet” not “Sheet to Shelf.” This means the person counting should be the one telling the person writing what the product is he is counting. When going “Sheet to Shelf,” (Looking at the products on the inventory sheets and then finding them on the shelf) products are easily overlooked because you are now looking for a specific product and not at what you have on the shelf. Products may have been added to the inventory, but not to the inventory sheets. By going “Shelf to Sheet” (Looking at what is on the shelf and then locating it on the inventory sheet) you are less likely to miss new products that may have been added to the inventory.
"Managing and controlling inventory is not something you can wait to worry about until the end of the week."