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Stock Rotation

Written by The Restaurant Doctor UK Team
Last Updated: 15th November 2023

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Properly rotating stock is crucial to running a successful bar or restaurant. Not only does it ensure that your customers are receiving the freshest possible products, but it also helps to reduce waste, and the risk of contamination and will minimise your operating costs.

What is on this page?

What is Stock Rotation?
How to Rotate Your Stock
First In First Out (FIFO)
Why is Stock Rotation Important?
Example of Rotating Stock
Using Expiration Dates to Make Purchasing Decisions
Final Thoughts
Key Takeaways

What is Stock Rotation?

Stock rotation simply means organising your inventory to sell older items before newer ones. This is important because you don't want to risk having older products go out of date and become unusable, resulting in wasted money and inventory.

How to Rotate Your Stock

To keep your stock rotated effectively, it's essential to have a system in place. Start by organising your inventory based on the products' use-by dates and create separate areas for older and newer stock.

Make a habit of placing older items closer to the entrance of your cellar or storage area, and newer items further away. In your fridges you can use a top to bottom system, where the fresher ingredients are on top and older ingredients are on the bottom.

This will help you keep track of your inventory and ensure that your staff use and sell older items first. This is typically known as the FIFO method.

First In First Out (FIFO) Stock Rotation

When rotating your stock, it's important to follow the FIFO method, which stands for First-In, First-Out. This means that the first products that are received are the first ones to be sold. By following the FIFO method, you can ensure that older items are used before newer ones, reducing the risk of products expiring and going to waste.

The FIFO method is a simple yet effective way to keep your stock organised and minimise waste, ultimately saving you money in the long run. It's a best practice that can help you maintain a successful and sustainable bar or restaurant.

A good example of FIFO stock rotation is bottling up. When restocking your fridge, always place older bottles at the front and newer ones behind them. This ensures that older items are sold first and prevents any waste.

Why is Stock Rotation Important?

Proper stock rotation is vital when running a bar or restaurant because all of your products are perishable. You have a basic duty to ensure that your customers are always served the freshest products safely.

Additionally, stock rotation plays a crucial role in minimising waste. By selling older items before they expire, businesses can reduce the amount of stock that goes unused and ends up being thrown away. This not only has a positive impact on the environment, but it also helps to cut down on costs associated with purchasing new stock.

As a result, stock rotation is an essential tool for maximising profits and ensuring the long-term success of your business.

Furthermore, stock rotation helps to maintain an organised and efficient inventory system. By keeping track of expiration dates and organising stock accordingly, businesses can avoid the chaos of dealing with expired products and ensure that they are always in compliance with health and safety regulations.

For example, if you notice that certain items are consistently expiring before you can sell them, you may want to consider ordering smaller quantities of them or discontinuing the line altogether.

Effective stock rotation is paramount for any bar or restaurant that strives to offer the best possible products to its customers, minimise waste, and maintain an organised and efficient inventory system.

Example of Rotating Stock

Let's say you run a bar that serves lager on tap, and you have a keg of lager that is due to expire in two weeks. To ensure that you sell this keg before it goes bad, you need to rotate it to the front of your inventory.

To do this, you can move the keg to the front of the cellar, where it will be the first thing that your bartenders see when they come to change it over. You can also make sure that your bartenders are aware of the expiration date and encourage them to serve the lager to customers who may be interested in trying something new.

Final Thoughts

By following the First In First Out (FIFO) method of stock rotation you can minimise waste, save money, and maintain a positive reputation for your establishment while adhering to Government Food Safety Standards.

Stock rotation is a simple yet effective practice that can have a profound impact on the overall success and sustainability of your business.

So, make it a priority to keep your stock rotated, and watch your business thrive.

Key Takeaways

  1. Proper stock rotation ensures that customers receive the freshest products, enhancing their experience.
  2. Stock rotation helps to minimise waste and reduce costs associated with unused inventory.
  3. Following the FIFO (First-In, First-Out) method is crucial for effective stock rotation.
  4. Organising your inventory by use-by dates and separating older and newer stock helps maintain an efficient system.
  5. Regularly placing older items closer to the entrance of your storage area ensures they are sold first.
  6. Always place older bottles in front of newer ones when restocking fridges or shelves.
  7. Using expiration dates to inform purchasing decisions can prevent overordering and reduce waste.
  8. Stock rotation is an essential tool for maintaining a successful and sustainable bar or restaurant.

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