All you need to know about inventory count

In the fast-paced world of food service, efficient inventory management is crucial for success. Managing inventory can be a daunting task, but with the right tools and strategies, it can become a seamless process. This guide will explore the essential aspects of inventory count, inventory management, and how inventory management software can transform your food service inventory operations.

Screenshot of inventory count app interface

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Understanding inventory count

Inventory count is the fundamental process of tallying the items in your inventory. It involves recording the quantities of products you have on hand. Regular inventory counts are essential for:

Accurate stock levels:

Ensuring you have the right amount of stock to meet customer demand without overstocking.

Identifying discrepancies:

Detecting any discrepancies between recorded and actual stock, which can indicate issues like theft, spoilage, or mismanagement.

Financial accuracy:

Maintaining accurate financial records, which are crucial for budgeting and forecasting.

TotalCtrl mobile app interface - share report, pdf stock count report
Inventory management software dashboard Analytics

Best practices for inventory management

Effective inventory management goes beyond simple counting. It encompasses a range of strategies and practices designed to optimize your inventory processes. Here are some best practices:


Grouping items into categories helps streamline tracking and management. Common categories in food service include perishables, non-perishables, beverages, and cleaning supplies.

FIFO and LIFO methods:

Implementing FIFO (First In, First Out) ensures older stock is used before new stock, reducing waste. LIFO (Last In, First Out) may be suitable for non-perishable items in certain scenarios.

Regular audits:

Conducting regular inventory audits helps maintain accuracy and identify any issues early.

Supplier management:

Building strong relationships with suppliers ensures timely deliveries and can lead to better pricing and terms.

The importance of food service inventory

Food service inventory management is particularly challenging due to the perishable nature of many items. Effective management in this sector ensures:

Reduced waste:

By accurately tracking and managing inventory, you can minimize food waste, which directly impacts your bottom line.

Consistent quality:

Maintaining the right inventory levels ensures you can consistently provide high-quality products to your customers.


Proper inventory management helps you stay compliant with food safety regulations and standards.

Inventory management software dashboard - Food waste
Inventory management software dashboard - Real-time value

Leveraging inventory management software

Incorporating an inventory management software into your operations can revolutionize the way you manage your inventory. Here are some key benefits:

Real-Time tracking:

Modern software allows for real-time tracking of inventory levels, providing you with up-to-date information at all times.

Automated alerts:

Set up automated alerts for low stock levels, expirations, and other critical thresholds to ensure you never run out of essential items.

Data Analytics:

Utilize data analytics to gain insights into your inventory trends, helping you make informed decisions about purchasing and stocking.

Choosing the right inventory management software

When selecting inventory management software, consider the following features:

User-Friendly interface:

An intuitive interface ensures your team can quickly learn and efficiently use the software.


Choose software that can grow with your business, accommodating increased inventory and additional locations.


Look for software that allows for customization to fit the unique needs of your food service operation.

Support and training:

Ensure the software provider offers comprehensive support and training resources.

TotalCtrl mobile app interface - stock count feature


Efficient inventory management is the backbone of a successful food service operation. By implementing best practices for inventory count and management, and leveraging advanced inventory management software, you can streamline your operations, reduce waste, and ensure consistent quality for your customers. Stay ahead of the competition by investing in the right tools and strategies to optimize your food service inventory.

Keep it simple

The goal is to save time.

Train your staff

Enhance efficiency and foster ownership through delegation.

Learn from data

Harness data insights for enhanced performance and guaranteed accuracy.

Schedule a demo

Want to learn more? Book a demo to see how TotalCtrl works and how it can help your hotel or restaurant increase efficiency and reduce costs.