A Simple Recipe for Counting your Inventory

By PRETTY BOOKS ON October 13, 2020
Step-by-step recipes to streamline your business management processes.

Welcome to CALCULATED INGREDIENTS, where we are dedicated to bringing you only the best recipes to manage financial related processes in your companies. Looking for something quick to get you out of the office and back to selling? Whip up one of our processes for paperwork and storage. Money got you down? Try a taste of our money management processes. Our recipes are sure to streamline your everyday processes with tips, ingredients, and easy to follow directions you can implement now. Let's get cooking!

Accurate inventory counting ensures that you don’t order too much—or too few—of the products your business needs. Here’s a recipe for a perfect process for counting your inventory. Bon appetit!

Before we get cooking, here are a few helpful hints:

  • List everything you sell, and be specific. Let’s say you’re a restaurant owner. List food items, ingredients, drinks, etc. If you have something like syrup that has lots of flavors, list those too.
  • Split your inventory list into 4 columns. In column 1, write the item name. In column 2, write the unit price of the item. In column 3, write the amount of the item you have in the appropriate unit of measurement (weight, quantity, etc). In column 4, write the total cost of ingredients you have. (You can find a blank template online)
  • Update the list once a month. Add new ingredients you use and take off older ingredients you don’t need anymore.

If you’re ready to cook up your own perfect process for counting your inventory, let’s get cooking!

Simple Inventory Counting

Essential ingredients

  • Calculator
  • Inventory list of all the items you sell (food, ingredients, drinks)
  • 4 hours of time
  • Pen

Optional ingredients

  • Patience
  • An employee to count for you


  1. Create an organized inventory list for all food, drinks, ingredients, etc. you sell at your restaurant. (See tips above)
  2. Pick a time once a month to count your inventory. It can be early in the morning, before any customers come in, or late at night. You can even pick a day you know you’re not normally busy. The end of the month usually works best for accountants.
  3. Delegate the task of counting to an employee. You’re busy, appoint someone else to do it.
  4. Have the appointed employee do their thing, making sure they are recording the ingredients on your inventory list and paying attention to sizes, quantities, etc. When they are done, have them return the list to you.
  5. Put the inventory count into your software. Record any major variances for discussion.

At Pretty Books, we are always whipping up new and helpful ways to keep your business moving. While there are tons of ways to prepare these processes, we believe that this one is the best. Enjoy!

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The information provided in this post is for general informational and educational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional advice. Consult your financial, business, or tax advisor with respect to matters referenced in this post. Pretty Books assumes no liability for actions taken in reliance upon this information.
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