What it is and How to Use One Effectively

In restaurants, they spend approximately Between 25 and 40 percentThey spend a large portion of their revenues on inventory. This makes food the biggest operating expense that foodservice business incurs. A successful restaurant will need to have a proper stock level. You can use a par inventory sheet to ensure that you have the minimum stock available at all times.

These spreadsheets are easy to use. You’ve come to the right place. In this guide to par inventory sheets we’re explaining:

  • A par inventory sheet.
  • How to make one
  • Its use in everyday operations
  • A template for the par inventory sheet
  • Other alternatives to the par inventory sheets 

This is an easy method to determine your food cost

Our streamlined tool will calculate your food expenses so that you can maintain your profit margins and keep your business profitable.

What exactly is a “par inventory sheet”?

The par inventory can be a Restaurant food inventory managementA par is a method of ensuring that your restaurant has the minimum inventory possible at any given time. If you’ve ever played golf, you’re familiar with the term par, which denotes the number of strokes it should take to get the ball in the hole. You can use the par to help you understand what the restaurant industry means. Simply swap out the strokes for produce, meat, and dairy, and then swap the hole for your refrigerator. 

Par inventory sheets are essentially a spreadsheet which helps to set minimums and determine how many restaurant or bar stock you need from vendors. You can either keep this spreadsheet digitally or printed. We’ll go into the pros and cons of both options later on. 


How do I create a Par Inventory Sheet?

It is easy to create a par inventory spreadsheet once you know what each column does. To create a par inventory sheet, you’ll need to make a table with the following six columns:

  • ProductYou will need the name and description of the product or raw inventory you are looking for. If the item is bulk, it may help to keep track of its volume.
    • Example: 1 lb. bag of frozen French fries, raw broccoli, 2 liters of Tito’s vodka 
  • Par levelNote the minimum quantity of each item you wish to keep in stock when you replenish your bar or restaurant inventory. You can use this column to indicate a volume or weight, or both.
    • Examples: 100, 150 lbs. and 100 liters
  • Actual inventoryThis column will record the amount of stock you have for this particular item.
  • Reserves for an emergencyYou may want extra stock just in case. You can buffer your supply chain with extra stock in case of interruptions, shortages or difficult-to-find items. This column can be left blank.
  • Partial use: If your restaurant hosts private events, does pop ups or offers catering, you may need to order extra stock for these occasions that you wouldn’t account for as part of your day-to-day par level. You can use the special use column to make sure you have what you need for those special occasions.
  • Minimum order amount: By filling in the other columns on your par inventory sheet and doing some calculations (more on this later), you’ll end up with an order amount that determines how much of each item you need to order to maintain your par inventory level.

If this is confusing to you now, don’t panic. Continue reading to get access to the free Par Inventory Sheet Template. But, first things first: we’re showing you how to put these numbers to action. 


A par inventory sheet for day-to-day operation

Use your par inventory sheet when it’s time to place a restaurant or bar inventory order. Here’s what you need to do:

  1. First, make sure you’ve listed every item in your inventory in the “item” column. There are several ways to arrange your inventory: alphabetically by vendor, section of menu or kitchen. You can save time by choosing the best arrangement.
  2. Next, select a level of par for each dish. This can be done by contacting your restaurant. bar POS system reports. Divide the weekly inventory consumption by how many inventory delivery each week. For example, 20 lbs. of inventory is enough. If you order 10 lbs of broccoli every week and have two deliveries per week, then that’s enough. You will receive one delivery of broccoli each week.
  3. Next, you’ll need to determine your current inventory levels. This can be done by either manually counting the inventory or by referring to your POS reports. These numbers can be subtracted from the par column. Let’s say your par for broccoli is 10 lbs. You are currently at 3 lbs. You have 3 lbs. left of broccoli. Take out 3 lbs. From 10 lbs. and you’ll get 7 lbs. If you don’t need to maintain emergency stock or special use inventory, then this is how much you need to order to maintain your par level. Keep reading if you intend to keep supplies for special occasions and emergencies.
  4. Now we’re going to fill out the emergency supply column. You can use this feature to create buffer stocks to protect against volatile products. This could be, for example, an avocado shortageThis has made it difficult for the highly sought-after ingredient to guacamole to be obtained. If your restaurant relies on avocados, it’s a good idea to order extra to ensure you can meet customer demand. Once you’ve determined your emergency par, add this amount to the total from the other columns.
  5. If you host events at your restaurant, you’ll need to order inventory beyond that which you need for day-to-day use. After assessing which ingredients—and how much of each—you’ll need for special events based on reservations, RSVPs or ticket sales, add those figures to the “special use” column. This number should be added to the total of the columns in your inventory. This number will tell you how many of each item are needed.

Here’s a quick overview of the formula for ordering restaurant or bar inventory with the help of your par inventory sheet:

Par Level – Current Inventory Level + Emergency Supply + Special Use Supply = Order Amount

And, here’s a refresher of how to determine par inventory levels:

Inventory Use Weekly / Inventory Deliveries per Week = Par Level

Now you’re ready to create your own par inventory sheet and put it to use to ensure you have the right level of stock at all times. 


A template for the par inventory sheet

As promised, here’s a par inventory sheet template with all of the columns we described. We’ve even filled in a few sample rows to help guide you. 

Par Inventory Sheet
Product Par Level – Current Inventory Level + Supply for Emergencies + Additional Use Supplies + Order Amount
1 lb. 1 lb. bag frozen French fries 100 bags 22 0 15 95 bags
Broccoli raw 15 lbs. 5 5 0 15 lbs.
Tito’s vodka (2 liter bottle) 100 bottles 20 5 20 Get 105 bottles

Par inventory sheets digital vs. manually

You can copy the par inventory template, make a screen grab, or simply create one on paper. Are you unsure whether to make a digital or paper inventory sheet? Each method has its merits. 

A digital inventory sheet is easier to share with your team and allows multiple members of your team to update it at the same time. This will help you divide inventory management duties for your restaurant. hotel restaurantIt can be used as a bar. To make digital sheets worthwhile, you will need the equipment for your team. Smaller smartphones make it easier to modify spreadsheets than desktop computers. If you want to keep track of inventory online, a tablet will be the best option.

A paper par inventory sheet is easy to fill in once you create a template, but it can easily be misplaced and can’t be updated by multiple people at once. 


An alternative to the par inventory sheet

While par inventory sheets are a good solution for restaurateurs, they’re not the most efficient tool for maintaining inventory levels. Point of sale (POS), systems that include inventory management capabilities, such as Small Biz SenseTracks stock levels automatically and shows you how many you have to order. It saves you time from manually checking stock or setting order amounts.

A cloud-based solution restaurant POS systemThis app runs on iPads. It lets you ditch spreadsheets to see how many bars and restaurants you still have. Small Biz Sense allows you to reduce waste and manage costs, by only ordering what you really need. You’ll be able to get granular by tracking every ingredient—and any price fluctuations—to calculate recipe costs and margins. Small Biz Sense also equips you with low stock alerts and can automate recurring orders with your vendors, saving you time and giving you peace of mind that you’ll always meet your par inventory levels. 


The end of the story: All you need to know regarding par inventory sheets

The par inventory sheets are used by restaurateurs to make sure they keep the minimum stock available in order meet customers’ demand. These sheets determine the amount of inventory that restaurateurs need to order from vendors for each shipment. 

A POS equipped with inventory management tools, like Small Biz Sense can be a cost-effective alternative to a traditional par inventory sheet. You can see the demo video to experience it in action.

Cyndy Lane

Cyndy is business journalist with a focus on entrepreneurship and small business. With over a decade of experience covering the startup and small business landscape, Cyndy has a reputation for being a knowledgeable, insightful and approachable journalist. She has a keen understanding of the challenges and opportunities facing small business owners and is able to explain them in a way that is relatable and actionable for her readers.