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What is an inventory specialist?

We answer the basics about the role of an inventory specialist, their salary, experience needed, and how to hire for the position.

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What is an inventory specialist?

An inventory specialist’s main job is to ensure that restaurants, catering companies, and commercial food service businesses have all the essentials in stock. They must have excellent organizational skills and knowledge of the food business’ budget and inventory needs.

Inventory specialists are responsible for keeping track of stock for everything in a food and beverage business, including ingredients, beverages, beer, wine, spirits, service wear, and paper products. They also use business savvy to track spending, inventory turnover, and minimize loss.

What are an inventory specialist’s duties and responsibilities?

An inventory specialist’s duties and responsibilities include:

  • Managing inventory and stock rotation procedure
  • Maintaining inventory and storage space
  • The ability to use restaurant management software and other organizational programs
  • Training staff in inventory and stocking procedure
  • Planning use of storage space
  • Placing inventory and supply orders
  • Communicating with staff and management about inventory
  • Maintaining relationships with inventory and supply vendors
  • Communicating missing or damaged products to management and vendors

How much are inventory specialists paid?

Inventory specialists earn, on average, between $29,000 and $45,000 annually. Their average hourly wage is $18.37. Their earning potential depends on the kind of business for which they work.

What are the qualities that make a good inventory specialist?

Inventory specialists need to have excellent organizational and time-management skills. A good inventory specialist also has the interpersonal skills to coordinate with vendors, managers, and staff.

To be successful as an inventory specialist requires the ability to maintain precise records, balance budgets, and be proactive to ensure the restaurant has for a successful shift. Being detail-oriented will help them keep track of inventory and understand and mitigate loss.

How to become an inventory specialist

Becoming an inventory specialist requires the right combination of skills and experience. Some inventory specialists hold degrees in hospitality management, while others work their way up through the ranks of food service jobs until they are qualified for management.

Browse job ads for  inventory specialists in your area and see how your experience and skills stack up against the job requirements.

How to hire an inventory specialist

When looking to hire an inventory specialist, start by writing a list of the qualifications, skills, and experience you expect from candidates. That way, you will be able to imagine the kind of employee that you hope to hire. Remember to consider what hours you’ll expect them to work and what their availability should be.

When interviewing applicants, ask about their knowledge of the food and beverage industry and business practices. Evaluate their interpersonal skills as well. Before hiring an inventory specialist, verify their experiences and qualifications. Set realistic expectations for how much time it will require to train them for the job.

Food and beverage managers have a specialized position in a business's management staff. And, they can find a wide range of businesses for which to work. Those qualities lead people to find stable, rewarding careers as food and beverage managers.

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