I know it’s been awhile since I’ve posted anything. (I feel like you guys hear that a lot from me.) But between working on my thesis paper, and the opening of the restaurant this month, my schedule kind of got out of hand.
Now I know you’re all dying to know what I ate at the annual Oscar Party this year, BUT, I feel the need to rant first. I got put in charge of putting together the inventory list for the restaurant. Cool. I’m good at that kind of thing. I’m thinking it will be mostly data entry – compiling the products we’ve ordered by pulling the information from the invoices and putting it into a spreadsheet.
But no. It’s so much worse than that.
Dear Restaurant Vendors – Especially Produce Companies:
What the f***?! YOUR INVOICES MAKE NO SENSE!!!
When you send me things, I have to inventory them. This is pretty standard. I have to assume that every sane restaurant manager/owner/chef does this. Otherwise how do you keep track of stock/usage/loss? You have to figure that the vendors know this. In fact, I’m sure they do their OWN inventory.
So why on earth, when you ship me things, do you not invoice me in measurable quantities?!?! Look, my inventory sheet breaks down the cost per unit inventoried so that we know how much money we have in products sitting in the restaurant. If you send me beets, the easiest way to inventory them, are 1) by counting each individual beet, or 2) by weighing them.
When you charge me, for example, $4.50 for 3 bunches, how the hell am I supposed to break that down?! And how the hell do I count that?! If the chefs open up a bunch, how do I know if that bunch was 4 beets or 5? or 10?
What about when you sell me a half case of onions for 8 bucks? A half case could potentially be different EVERY SINGLE TIME!! I have no idea what the value of an onion is!!! Or a half case of leeks?
Ugh and paper products…am I really supposed to count each individual napkin?! I mean, the napkins and paper towels come in these neatly bundled packs (see pic), and then they’re put into the cardboard box. Seems easy enough to inventory, right? Just count the bundles…BUT NO. You tell me the case is 4000 count, and since I wasn’t there when the case was opened, I have no idea how many bundles come in the case, and I’m sure as hell not going to count several THOUSAND individual paper napkins. BITE ME.
The meat vendor is smart enough to tell me the price per pound of chicken. But then they tell me they sent me 6 chickens. HOW BIG ARE THE CHICKENS?!
And you would think that this would be the kind of information that you can call vendors and ask, but NO. I’ve encountered this issue more than once, and I’ve asked, well how many beets in a bunch, or how many plastic produce bags in a roll and they have NO IDEA!! Who is packing these things?! I mean SOMEONE has to know. I mean even an AVERAGE would be okay.
Not only would it help me track my inventory, but it helps me cost out recipes, which helps me set price points for my menu items. How do I know what to charge someone for a dish, if I don’t even know what it costs?! Is this their way of trying to confuse us, the customer, into spending money we might not otherwise spend?
The only vendors that seem to have it together are the alcohol vendors. You tell me a case of something is 100 bucks and I only buy 6 bottles, well that’s a half case. 50 bucks. EASY. If it’s an odd case of something and they get packed only 6 to a case, the invoice lets me know. I mean…it just makes sense.
Asshats. Fix it.