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Food Order Tips of the Trade

Food Order Can Cost You Money

There are several different things to remember when it comes to ordering food for your restaurant.  The truck/food order is always going to be the most expensive order in any restaurant so naturally it’s also going to be one of the easiest ways to loose money.  Whether it is over ordering, under ordering or just  plain ordering items not used that will go to waste it’s going to be an expensive mistake.

These and many other bad practices can be costly but are easy to avoid.  Here are suggestions on how to correct some of the most common and costly mistakes.

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Whether you’re in your cooler or in dry storage areas it’s important to remember a few key points when it comes to storage in your restaurant. Rotate Your Money To The Bank

In this article we will teach you the proper ways to rotate your inventory. In doing so, we will also show you how to save money. The first thing you need to know is FIFO.

Food Ordering Tips

• One of the most helpful suggestions we can offer to any restaurant owner or manager is to designate the ordering to one person, whether it's the kitchen manager or a key person.  It’s easier for one person to learn the trends of a restaurant if he/she is able to do the orders every week.  Having different people handing off this responsibility will likely result in inconsistent orders. Allowing one person to do the ordering will also prove to be more time efficient once a routine is developed.

• Team 101 also suggests involving your ordering manager/key person in the restaurant's inventory.  This will do wonders to help familiarize them with the sales patterns and give them a better idea of the on-hands.  The more involvement the better.  Before long, they should have a pretty good idea of what items are available at all times.  This benefits everyone in the restaurant.

• Allow ample time for the order to be completed properly.  Until a proven system is developed, the orders will take time to complete.   This is not something you want to throw together on the fly because you’re short on time.   This will most definitely come back to bite you and will cost more time shopping for items than it would have if it was done correctly in the beginning.  This could even end up costing customers; nobody wants to eat at a restaurant that is always out of food.

• Always touch every item.  This will ensure that you’re on hands are always accurate and will in turn help stop over ordering or under ordering.  Food orders can be done by using nothing but inventory details, sales logs and pars, but we’ve found that the most effective way to accurately order a truck is to ‘’Touch Every Item’’.  Following this step can also help catch miscounts from inventory or theft.  You can NEVER over count.

• Always check expiration dates on perishable items.  Checking expiration dates will help prevent over ordering which can cause items to spoil.  If there is an item that always seems to be out of date or close to date when its ready to be used, then you should double check your pars.  If the item or items are going bad because you purchase in bulk and cannot use them quick enough, then try to find smaller packaging from your supplier.  If all else fails and you have no other options then source the item or items from a local vender, but remember to change pricing information in your system and menu if necessary.

• Always have Up-To-Date pars set up and posted on your food order guide.  This will let anyone who may be doing the food order know how much of each item will be needed until the next order arrives.  Keep in mind, you may know your pars but you may not be available to place the order.  Team 101 recommends a three-week average for pars.  We have found this to be the most accurate way of keeping pars closest to your actual usage.  Pars should be updated at the end of every week dropping the first week from your average and adding the third week.  This will help adjust whit the sales trends in your area.  Inaccurate pars are one of the most common reasons for over/under ordering.

Summary

We have tried many different systems for doing food orders over the years and these are the best processes from each system we have used all rolled into one master ordering system that won’t fail.  Follow these few simple steps and you can enjoy continued success in your restaurant.

Note:  We have a new ordering program almost ready which will simplify your food orders.  Watch for the launch of the Food Order Program.
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