The phrase bean counter has only been in the public arena since the 1970s, although it sounds as if it should be of a much older origin.
The definition of a bean counter is a person an accountant or bureaucrat, perceived as placing excessive emphasis on controlling expenditures and budgets
The origin though states that while most are content to buy beans by the bag, fussy accountants want to know how many beans that they are actually paying for. Early reference was also used as a name of a place where beans were sold.
In the restaurant bean counter can easily apply to the inventory process. Counting is the foundation of the inventory process, and you could count beans. Lima’s, lentils, black, navy even kidney.
The point is inventorying, and the accuracy is essential to the success of your restaurant business. As the definition states “Controlling expenditures” and your food inventory is one of the largest.
The inventory process begins with our most primary learning skill…counting. It is the process in which physical inventory such as flour, sugar, beans along with fresh meats and seafood, produce and dairy get recorded. Most restaurants could have one hundred to two hundred different inventoried items. And each one could be packed differently.
An example would be milk that comes in four gallons to a case compared to sugar that comes in a fifty pound bag. It continues on with fresh meats and seafood. The example is you have purchased a 21-25 count shell on shrimp. You buy shrimp by the pound. So when you go to inventory the shrimp, you have counted three hundred and fifty-eight shrimp. What you need to know is your average of 21-25 count shrimp is twenty-three. You will have to divide the average count into the number of shrimp. In this case, you would have come up with 15.56 pounds of shrimp. Or you could have just weighted the shrimp and come up with the same about of pounds.
The important thing, you need to understand that every inventory item you buy that has weight associated with it then you need to do the same thing and weigh it. Items packed with some many in case you need to count it.
TIP THE SCALES
Every restaurant that wants a chance to succeed will purchase scales that will help them protect their investment. There are three reason for buying a set of scales. Food bought by the pound from the local vendor you need to weigh your items. When creating your menu there are several items to portioned, and it calls for 6oz of shrimp in the tropical salad…then that’s what it needs to be. When you do your end of the month inventorying, you need scales to finish your inventory. Remember I spoke about the bean counter in the beginning. And controlling your expenditures and food being one of those.
I cannot emphasize enough the importance of the restaurant bean counter in the restaurant business and the role it plays in the final tally of profit or loss. Keep Counting!