The first in and first out method, also known as the FIFO method, is essential for good stock management. By using this method in the catering industry you are reducing the risk of wastage through short date, out of date or expired stock.
If you are not aware of the FIFO (first in, first out) method of inventory then this is how it works. You need to get your team on board to ensure that this FIFO method works. Employees need to line up the restaurant stock according to the expiry dates of the in-time at the kitchen. The stock must then be dispensed as per the FIFO rule.
This method needs to include everything, from ready to serve food dishes that have been cooked for the day ahead, right through to the alcohol in the bar, the barrels in the cellar and the ice cream in the freezer.
At the back of each line is the newest product, with the product with the shortest date at the front. As products are needed they should be taken from the front of the line. As new stock comes in, this goes to the back of the line.
By using the FIFO method you ensure that products and stock are used in the right order. You will remove the risk of finding 5 products at the back of the shelf with a short date on, while the same stock with a long date is all used up.
Moving forward from the FIFO method you want to ensure that a rigid plan is implemented to ensure that perishable stock is consumed and isn’t left to rot. As stocktakers in Cambridgeshire we would recommend that you track weekly and monthly orders and set yourself a storage limit so the FIFO method can be used with ease.
As stock comes in, make sure you check the best before date and make sure it is later than the stock at the back of the shelf. Just because you follow the FIFO method, it doesn’t mean your suppliers do, so always double check dates.