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Every ingredient stored in the cold room of a professional kitchen has a monetary value. Recognizing the capital tied up in your stock is becoming more important than ever before. Mastering stock rotation can both save you money and help to protect the planet. Here are our tips for systematic stock rotation!

For restaurants and food service businesses in general, the speed of stock rotation has a direct impact on net sales. Efficient stock rotation not only reduces waste but also improves food safety.

Although storing ingredients correctly and having a stock rotation system in place may sound obvious, these well-known principles are not always followed in practice.

Systematic and economical storing of ingredients is about a lot more than just cold room management; it also encompasses both buying and menu planning.

The following list of routines is designed to make it easier than ever to put in place a stock rotation system that respects the ingredients of a professional kitchen.

Chef weighing ingredients for storage containers.

Four ways to save money by respecting your ingredients

  1. Focus on FIFO. Remember to always unload deliveries so that the freshest ingredients are at the back of the shelf. This pushes older produce closer to the front where it will get used first. Always write the date on the pack when you open a new container. Having to guess whether or not produce is still in date is not part of the job description of kitchen professionals!

  2. Keep an eye on the performance of your storage appliances. Are your cold rooms maintaining the temperatures specified in your HACCP plan? Do they work otherwise as intended? Look out for stains on the shelves and the rubber gaskets that could indicate a problem. A good solution if you would rather not spend time checking on your appliances is the Chefstein® automated temperature monitoring service.

  3. Buy smart. Are you losing sleep over changes in prices, menus or package sizes? Build your menu around recipes that use the same ingredients (where possible), and time your restocking to coincide with menu changes. Check with your colleagues from time to time whether the package sizes that you buy are still a good match for what your kitchen uses.

  4. Analyze your waste and what it says about your customers. Are you always throwing away the same ingredients? Has there been a change in your clientele or the popularity of a particular dish? The way to find this out is to look at your food waste data or to ask your front-of-house staff. Involving your FOH staff in the menu planning process also boosts morale.

Following these simple rules is a great way to get the whole team to commit to a routine and a philosophy geared towards economical and sustainable use of ingredients!