restaurant inventory management

How To Manage The Restaurant Inventory Efficiently

By Anna Skyttä

”Recipe and ingredient databases establish the foundation for efficient kitchen management”. This is a quote from Certified Master Chef Ron DeSantis, from one of his newsletters. Once that foundation is in place, the kitchen needs to have the actual ingredients on hand in order to cook food according to the recipes. And in more detail, for you to be able to cook the needed amount of food at the time expected, the right amount of ingredients needs to be on hand at the right time. Seems obvious at this point: The ingredients and the solution accordingly can be found in the restaurant inventory. Might sound simple. You just need to order the ingredients needed at the right time. Could it be so simple?

Ordering Ingredients Requires Work On The Background

The answer to the previous question is basically yes. On the other hand, you could say that in a restaurant kitchen ordering ingredients already for one recipe requires work on the background. And the work required grows along with the amount of menu options to be prepared. First of all, you need to know what to order and how much. The planned quantity of portions along with the recipes effect on that. Secondly, before making the order it would be good to know what ingredients you already have in the food inventory and how much there is. In addition to these you need to take the supplier specific delivery times for different ingredients into consideration. And in addition to these… even more details could be added into this list. So what might sound simple at first, turns out to be quite complex in the end.

There’s a Lot Of Background Information Related To The Ingredients

So the ingredients build the restaurant inventory. Again, sounds simple. However, there’s a lot of background information related to the ingredients. Logistical information includes the size of the package, the product code, the bar code, the price and the supplier. Going further, information on the inventory balance is linked into these and it is needed for example for the production. The quantities determine the value of the food inventory, as well, which nearly without exception is significant information regardless of the nature of the food service operation. Other, very essential product related information includes ingredients, allergens, and nutrition facts.

How do you then manage all this information, and along with that the process which might sound simple at first, but which requires several details to be taken into consideration in the end? The best tool for this job is a kitchen system that keeps all the previously mentioned information safe, and that in addition to that works on that information for you.

A System Helps You To Manage The Restaurant Inventory And Procurement

JAMIX Kitchen Intelligence System

JAMIX Kitchen Intelligence System enables you to manage your food inventory and procurement in addition to recipes and menus. Best of all, all the information is linked within the system, and it utilizes the information automatically in several functions. When the suppliers’ product information can be found in the system, it automatically calculates costs and margins for the recipes. The system utilizes the product information also when calculating ingredient needs based on the menu or the production sheet. So it creates a finished shopping list for you, and you can then send it as a purchase order to your supplier – electronically and directly from the system.

Restaurant Inventory Management System JAMIXThe system provides you the general view into your food inventory without an effort. You can easily register information into the system on both delivered items, as well as on items withdrawn from the inventory. JAMIX Kitchen Intelligence System can be integrated with your point of sale system, and the inventory balance will be updated automatically and in real time when menu items are sold. You can also track the wastage related to your food inventory so that you know how much waste is generated and for what reasons. With the previously mentioned actions you can keep your inventory balances up-to-date in the system. This way you don’t have to physically go to the food inventory to check up on things.

Even if you register the food deliveries and the withdrawals systematically into the system, you also need to take inventory periodically. Taking inventory is especially easy with the MOBILE application related to the JAMIX Kitchen Intelligence System. You can register quantities directly into the application on a mobile device which you can carry with you in the store room.

Operation runs, when the restaurant inventory and procurement are in control

Whether you work in a full service restaurant where the same recipes are utilized every day, or in food services where the menu changes every day – along with the ingredient database and the recipes, the food inventory and the control of it ensure fluent production in the kitchen. A kitchen system that manages all of that is a crucial tool for food service operators regardless of size or type.

Carbon Footprint of Food - JAMIX CO2 Calculator

Bring Out The Carbon Footprint Of Food!

By Matleena Autio

Food is one of the three most significant factors causing the environmental effects of consumption. Major part of the environmental effects of food come from the agricultural emissions. The impact of industrial processing of products, packaging or transportation is relatively low to the environmental effect of food.

The best way to reduce the carbon footprint of food is to favor ingredients that stress the environment as little as possible. Minimizing waste is another equally important action.

 

Focus on the big picture

Based on a quick search through the internet there are several tools available for calculating the carbon footprint of food. After looking into these calculators in more detail you quickly realize the biggest challenge related to this subject. There is no common standard for the factors to be included in the carbon footprint calculations. As a result, the carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) emissions for the same item might have big variation depending on the operator. Hence we need more peer reviewed studies on this subject.

The carbon footprint of food evaluated on a category level or on a diet level will act as a direction indicator. It will help us to evaluate the effects of our own actions. By changing part of the proteins into plant based proteins everyone of us can reduce the carbon footprint of our diet. Similarly, when planning a menu, you can evaluate the environmental effects of different types of items based on the category specific CO2e values.  You can then make choices on items based on that information.

The most important is to make sure that the amount of food waste stays as low as possible. The emissions from producing food that ends up in wastage will stress our environment completely for no reason.

 

Environmental Friendly Food Is Good For Your Heart, As Well

You can easily moderate the environmental effects of your own diet by following the dietary guidelines. According to studies changing your diet according to the dietary guidelines would reduce the environmental effects of your diet significantly. This as such would reduce the environmental stress caused by food. For example, adding plant based proteins into your diet is both the healthy eating option and the better choice with regards the environment.

 

Bring Out the Carbon Footprint of Food to Your Customers, As Well

From a consumer’s point of view it would be great if I could compare the carbon footprint of the menu items in a restaurant. This would give me the possibility to choose a meal option with a smaller carbon footprint.

The unique CO2 Calculator in the JAMIX Kitchen Intelligence System calculates the carbon footprint for recipes based on the portion size and on the CO2e values linked to ingredients. When planning recipes and menus, this provides you the opportunity to experiment the effect of different items on the carbon footprint of the whole. With the JAMIX MENU Service you can choose to publish the carbon footprint of food together with the menu to your customers, as well.

Taking the environmental aspect into consideration is not only a concrete way for a restaurant to take responsibility on our common environment. It is also an excellent way for standing out from the crowd and providing added value to your customers.

 

Small Streams

The carbon footprint of food prepared by a single consumer or a small restaurant may seem as tinkering compared to the emissions of big companies or states. However, even small changes in our everyday routines do have an impact when you continue performing them everyday in the long term. Even small streams have significance and when it comes to environmental issues everyone of us can act as the forerunner.

 

More information:

U.S. Department of Health & Human Services: Dietary Guidelines for Americans