Is Inventory Shrink Hurting Your QSR?
Inventory shrink. It’s something that every quick service restaurant owner battles and it can be caused in a variety of ways. From accidental losses to purposeful thefts, you need to understand how to battle shrink if you want your QSR to thrive.
How can you work to lower inventory shrink? Keep reading to learn six useful tips and tricks that you can implement right in your own restaurant.
1. Take regular inventory
Before you can reduce inventory shrinkage you’ll need to have an accurate view of your inventory. In addition to your regular inventory counts, conduct regular, thorough, and physical counts of inventory and supplies, preferably at least twice per year.
And, remember, close isn’t good enough. If your inventory is going to be useful it absolutely must be accurate. That’s why it’s so important to create a strict data collection process, including the use of accurate and precise tools.
2. Use clear plastic bags
When it comes to theft it’s much easier for employees to steal things when they have access to black plastic bags. Quick service restaurant owners should consider making the switch to clear bags—it’s a small change, but it will make thefts more difficult to pull off.
It’s not just about theft, though. You can also use clear plastic bags to quickly see whether employees are accidentally throwing away valuable inventory.
3. Amp up your loss prevention efforts
As the old saying goes, the best defense is a good offence, which is why loss prevention is so important.
There are a number of loss prevention techniques that can be used, but turning to technology is one helpful solution. Video intelligence has come a long way in recent years. Some products even feature powerful software that helps restaurants monitor point of sale systems, the physical store, traffic patterns, and more.
4. Get a powerful POS system
Speaking of technology, if you don’t already have a powerful point of sale system you’re setting yourself up for inventory shrink. A good system will keep track of inventory items, sales, transaction types, and more.
5. Communicate regularly with employees
75% of all inventory shrinkage occurs as a result of theft and the majority of that theft is carried out by employees. Your employees need to know that there are loss prevention mechanisms and other strategies in place that are designed to prevent shrinkage and other losses.
If staff members know that the restaurant is aware of inventory shrinkage and is taking steps to lower it, they’re less likely to steal.
6. Define employee roles
Assign specific, trusted employees to tasks that could led to inventory shrinkage. For example, aim to schedule the same employees to handle all shipping and receiving tasks. If you begin to notice shrinkage in these areas you’ll know which employees could be responsible.