Blog - Native Maine Produce

How New England Restaurants Stay Fully Stocked (With Minimal Storage Space)

restaurant chefs

Many restaurant owners and chefs are familiar with the challenges of limited storage space. Your business is dependent on having fresh ingredients when you need them, which can be made more difficult when you don’t have enough space to store enough of them. The following tips will help restaurants with storage limitations make sure that they never run out of the fresh ingredients they need again.

Maximize Your Space

An organization strategy is key for successful inventory management. Shelf labels should be utilized to keep everything in its rightful place. They allow you to plan and maximize your space so that every inch is used, and they make finding what your chefs need quick and easy since the ingredients will always be located in the same spot. It can also help with ordering since you’ll know at a glance exactly how much of something you have on hand.

Another tip is to utilize vertical space with shelves, stackable bins, or mounted storage solutions that can attach to the wall or ceiling. Stocking products upwards instead of behind one another makes it easier to see all of your inventory at once, meaning outages or shortages will be obvious upon first look rather than placing an order only to realize later that you already had some on hand but it was hidden behind another item.

Use Multiple Distributors

Different distributors come with their own benefits and challenges. Broad line distributors, for example, tend to provide large quantities of products, which can be great for per-item savings but not-so-great for those will limited storage space.

Local distributors, on the other hand, are able to provide smaller minimum order quantities and more frequent deliveries, keeping you well, but not over, stocked at all times.

Some restaurants have plenty of dry storage space, but limited refrigerator or freezer space. In those situations, it can be beneficial to use multiple distributors for different things. For example, you can order your dry ingredients from a broad line distributor and your meats or produce from a local distributor.

Have a Back-Up Plan

Chefs and restaurant owners are familiar with the importance of maintaining an accurate inventory. Under-ordering can result in shortages and unhappy customers, while over-ordering can cause waste and spoilage. Neither is an ideal situation, so figuring out how to balance what you need with what you have space to carry is essential.

No matter how accurate your ordering may be, though, it’s probable that you’ll end up missing something or running into an unexpected need. Whether the new dish you’re trying takes off faster than you had expected, or you lose power and need to delay your delivery until it’s sorted out, partnering with a distributor that offers flexible delivery options can be a lifesaver.

This is another area where a local distributor can fill in the gaps. If you run out of an ingredient on Tuesday but your regular delivery isn’t scheduled until Monday, there’s a good chance that Native Maine can get you what you need before the week is through.

Work With The Best

There’s one surefire way to make sure you’re always cooking up some business. Work with the best local provider that can get you what you need, when you need it. Native Maine takes pride in our name, serving New England communities with the freshest possible ingredients that keep them coming back to your establishment. Work with one of our providers today on your next shipment by contacting us today.

Local Flavah is Wicked Fresh