Opening, Closing & Inventory Contols

What type of proceedures in opening , closing and inventory management do you guys use?

we are the 1st ones in and the last ones out ! it works ! ( we also have a posted closing list to help close )

Were you able to get up and running? I’ll email you our opening and closing checklist when I get a minute.

we record temperatures, inventory cans & bottles of pop, pizza cheese and delivery bags.

I love that idea of recording temperatures and delivery bags! I am a small enough shop that I am closer to John’s model - first in, last out, but I am going to store that away for the future.

In terms of closing procedures, I recommend…either try to keep the “required” activities to a small group of the MOST IMPORTANT tasks or in your write ups split them into a couple different tiers. Something like “things that absolutely cannot be messed up” such as safety and security issues. You absolutely CANNOT forget to lock the doors. A second tier of “Things that cost us dearly” such as leaving food in a prep table that isn’t on overnight. And finally, a third tier of “things we need to do most of the time, but it isn’t the end of the world if we don’t do them one time”. This category could also include things that annoy us as owners if not done. Something like…cleaning out a trash can or sweeping in a hard to reach corner. Sure, we want it done every night and it annoys us when not done, but as long as we get back in and take care of it the next day life will go on. Then when you are teaching and training you can use the right amount of emphasis when things are not done, and when people are tired or not at their best, they can concentrate on the most important things.

I also recommend teaching your employees but in particular your shift runner to do a walk through. And I cannot emphasize enough how important it is that this is the ABSOLUTE last thing they should do. The walk through should probably cover all aspects of the first two tiers of items I covered above at a minimum. Doing this earlier than the last thing allows for people to undo or change things you have already checked. Most of us know that as owners, but it is a tougher sell to someone who isn’t paying the bills.

As for the inventory…I come from a Dominos background where we took inventory every day and I did a very thorough inventory once a week. Right now, I am pretty small and I find that once a week is probably sufficient, but I try to take a visual inventory of cheese and do the calculation in my head daily as a pre-emptive manner. One other random thought…I use a lot of FREE pizzas to promote my new shop and while this is food, it is not a barometer of my pricing model, my portion control or my prices, so I try to make general journal entries based on the number of FREE pizzas I gave away and count that as marketing in my accounting. I also have a couple of other categories that I can use such as waste - something that went bad and I had to throw it out (While waste should be counted as part of your food cost if it part of your normal operations, I separated it out because much of my waste will go away as my sales volume increases) - experimentation - maybe I bought something to prototype a new pizza or something. Again, I want to evaluate my food cost based on what should I charge, how is my portioning working and what can I afford to pay. This may seem like overkill, and I don’t get super religious about it, but as your volume increases it becomes more worth your time to be more granular with your analysis. If you are just starting out, focus on raising sales first and foremost and spend enough time on inventory just to validate that your model is sustainable. If you are comfortable that it is, raise sales and grow your inventory procedures as there is more to control. The smaller, the simpler!

Hope something here helps and I hope you weren’t looking for a short answer!

What are you looking for specifically? are you looking for something along the lines of an opening and closing checklist for the person opening or closing?

Are you looking for a detailed step by step list, such as:

• turn off alarm
• turn on lights and equipment
• check refrigerator temperatures
• banking
• assess prep levels and ordering needs


or are you looking for more general information, like which prep, cleaning and stocking tasks are being done in the AM/pre-lunch, which are being done during the “afternoon chill”/pre-dinner and which are being done in the PM/post rush?

I do weekly inventory on most of my food and paper, and just figure in averages for the smaller things (crushed red, table salt and pepper, etc). I only do a “full” inventory once a month.

As far as managing inventory, my general rule of thumb is to prep for that day’s sales and half of the next.

For example, If I was doing a build-to for Wednesday’s sales, I would look at the sales projections for Wednesday and half of the projected sales for Thursday, add the two numbers together, and that would be the amount of sales I’d set the build-to numbers for.

Keep in mind, of course, that you want to use the sales figures of the day the product will be used, not the day that it will be prepped.

For example, My Monday veg prep is based on Monday’s sales and half of Tuesday’s.
My Monday sauce prep is based on Tuesday’s sales and half of Wednesday’s (since that sauce will be used on Tuesday to give the flavors time to develop).
My Monday dough prep is based on Wednesday’s sales and half of Thursday’s, and so on.

I use the same basic idea when ordering- order non-produce items with a little “padding”, depending on your storage capacity. It’s never good to have too much money tied up in unneccessary inventory, but at the same time, running out of something can really turn things pear-shaped, and if you’re busier than expected and order tight, you could find yourself running out of several things at once, always at the worst possible time, and on the day that the delivery still hasn’t gotten there because the truck broke down, and so on.

While I like to run tight numbers, I always like to leave myself that little bit of padding to account for the unexpected.

Hope this helps!

Yes , I finally opened! Real exciting! I’m in the second week. Did soft opening per forum advise . Glad I did, ironing out lots of kinks. Thanks for offer checklist that would be big help!

Really good advise from everyone. I would like to say Thanks! I’m really interested on the food inventory side of things. Do you guys weigh your cheese daily and count dough balls in the morning? Weekly seems the norm, I’m fresh to biz so Im opening and closing now but would like to train eventually manager so I could get a day off and keep an eye on things.

Congratulations, and best of luck!

The biggest key to controlling food and labor cost is to have tight and accurate sales projections. Unfortunately, when you’re starting out, that amounts to basically taking your best guess. As the business grows, over time, your sales will begin to show trends and patterns, and you’ll accumulate the sales histories that will help get those numbers tightened up. You’ll also start to get a feel for how things like holidays, weather and local events will impact your business.

If you’re talking about weighing cheese on the “make” line, absolutely. If you’re talking about as a tool for inventory control, I would only do that if your weekly inventory is showing high variance.

As far as counting dough balls in the morning, yes and no.

To the extent that you’re checking to make sure there’s adequate supply of fresh, properly aged dough for the sales you’re expecting, yes.

I have my team do pre-rush “line checks” to make sure nothing runs out in the middle of a rush.

If you’re looking at counting it as a means for inventory control, it’s really not necessary.

We count dough trays… not dough balls. The prep list for each day has a “build-to” for dough in trays that varies by sales forecast… for example it might say 15 trays of 16", 8 trays of 14", 3 trays of 12". The opener counts was is there and makes dough to fill the prep list.

Over the years we have done nightly counts on cheese when costs start to get out of line but when the crew is weighing the cheese for every pizza it tends not to be necessary.

We do a full count of everything at the end of the week.