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Home / Accounting  / Managing Costs in Hospitality

Managing Costs in Hospitality

After your labour costs, your second biggest cost is going to be the stock that you buy. The rule should be – what can be controlled should be controlled.

It is important to avoid expensive wastage and to do this successful restaurants and bars employ many effective tools and adopt best practice to maintain their success. This article explores these best practices and looks at some of the tools available.


Best practice for stock controls


Standardisation drives consistency.

Use standard units or weight measures when quantifying units. Using the same staff to carryout stock takes will reduce errors.

Schedule and timetable the stock takes.

This should be carried out every month at the same time. E.g. at month end and the best times for stock taking are before you open and after you close for the day. Not doing this will result in irregularity and inconsistent numbers as far as stock is concerned.

Choosing more than one person.

By electing two staff members to do the job, this can allow each to conduct independent stocktakes and then compare notes to ensure there are no inconsistencies.

Staff training

The way in which stock items are arranged in the store areas is absolutely critical to effective stock control  and stock management. Each staff member should be trained in the routine stock arrangement of the business. Adopting the FIFO (First In, First Out) technique should be an important component of how stock is arranged. This will ensure older stock items to be easily accessed at the front of shelves and any expired items can be identified and removed.


Stock or Inventory software is used widely by restaurants to control stock in house and at the point of sale. These software solutions can be used in with mobile had units for front of house staff and downloaded onto tablets and iPads for use by the kitchen staff who are tasked with responsibility for stock usage. Many of these are linked to the EPSO systems and can direct each order to the relevant kitchen area for simultaneous completion of each order. This can help ensure all food leaving the kitchen is made with the freshest ingredients and limiting waste as much as possible. The constant monitoring of stock means that the traditional issues of over and under-ordering of stock are greatly reduced, thereby drastically increasing savings in the area of the business.

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