How colour coding stickers can save your food cost?

As you may know food cost can have a major impact on your hotel profitability. All food items have a best before date and it is important to use it before the food crosses the best before date.

While indenting properly can help save food cost, food spoilage is also important to consider


FIFO stands for First in First out. It is a method of inventory management that helps to use and issue materials that came into your hotel first.

But to implement FIFO, you must know which items came in first.

And if that is the solution you are looking for, read the post to implement it in your hotel.

Date label products

The easiest way to maintain a proper system is to date and label products.

When to do it?

Start from the time of receipt of goods to make it simple for you. When you receive materials, you must use a sticker with month of expiration on it.

Tell your local printer to print you stickers like the ones below.

Colour coded month sticker for Stores

Apply that month on the face of the item to identify when the product will expire in store. As a best practice, apply one month out sticker so that you have enough time to try and use the product.

In the kitchen, use a different format of labeling as given below. Use either the colour stickers or the date and label stickers.

If using the colour stickers, make sure that you train your team on one standard and follow it consistently. Either put the made on day or use by day so that every one know what is to be consumed urgently.

How to do it?

A very wrong practice, I see in kitchen is that as soon as the cling film is changed on a dish, the cooks will change the made on date as well. While from an audit point you may be compliant, but from a usage point, you will never know what to use first.

The ideal situation is that you transfer the sticker or reapply the sticker using the original date.

Usage of FIFO

When you use colour coded stickers, you can easily identify when a certain item will get spoilt.

Every day in the morning, make a list of those items and try and create a daily special out of those items. Once you make the list, aggressively try and sell that to the guest.

Once a month, identify all items that will need to get used up from stores. Make a food festival or promotion using those ingredient.

These steps can also help in inventory turn and keep your working capital requirement low.

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