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In your kitchen, there are many things happening at once. Instead of throwing away extra food that’s gone bad, there are clever ways to make some money from it. Also, you can learn some simple tricks using Thrive inventory to avoid having too much food that might expire. When your kitchen staff tosses out ingredients because they’ve gone bad or there’s too much, it’s like throwing away money. Restaurants and other food businesses don’t make a lot of profit, so managing your inventory better can help you keep more cash on hand.

Understanding Excess Inventory?

Food service companies must order by maintaining a careful balance between supply and demand. You might not be able to fulfill everyone’s expectations, though. For example, you will probably have far more materials than you need if you prepare for a large gathering at a festival but it rains all weekend.

What is Expiring inventory

Expiring inventory refers to goods in your kitchen that have reached their shelf life and can no longer be safely served. It’s crucial to closely monitor these products in regards to prevent the risk of food poisoning, which could lead to negative reviews, diminished loyalty, and eroded trust among customers.

Creative Ways to Move Excess and Expiring Inventory

  • Feature Specials: Enhance your menu by introducing weekly or daily specials that creatively utilize surplus ingredients. By offering unique dishes, you entice customers with exclusive culinary experiences, while effectively managing excess inventory and minimizing waste.
  • Menu Flexibility: Maintain menu integrity while managing expiring items by employing generic descriptions like “roasted vegetables.” This flexible approach allows you to seamlessly incorporate surplus ingredients into various dishes, ensuring efficient utilization and reducing the risk of waste.
  • Discount Offers: Capture customers’ attention with enticing discounts on pastries remaining from earlier in the day or previous days. By offering irresistible deals, you not only stimulate sales and reduce inventory levels but also foster customer loyalty through value-driven incentives.
  • Third-Party Solutions: Embrace innovative solutions like utilizing food waste platforms such as Too Good To Go. By partnering with these platforms, you can efficiently sell unsold inventory at discounted rates, minimizing waste, reaching new customer demographics, and enhancing your brand’s commitment to sustainability.
  • Donation Opportunities: Demonstrate your commitment to social responsibility by donating excess inventory to those in need. While this may not yield financial gain, it fosters goodwill within the community, enhances your brand’s reputation for sustainability, and contributes to addressing food insecurity issues.

How to Reduce Expiring and Excess Inventory

Track Your Inventory Levels:

Begin by comprehensively monitoring your kitchen inventory. Too many foodservice establishments rely on unreliable guesswork and nightly cycle counts, leading to frequent human errors and reactionary problem-solving rather than proactive prevention. Explore Thrive’s inventory management system tailored for foodservice businesses to gain precise insights into your stock levels, expiration dates, and underutilized ingredients.

Practice Demand Forecasting:

Beyond understanding your current inventory status, forecasting future demand is crucial. Thrive’s demand forecasting feature analyzes sales trends and inventory data to predict stock depletion accurately. This ensures you only procure what you truly require, preventing overstocking and minimizing waste.

Set Maximum PAR Levels:

Control inventory levels effectively by establishing maximum PAR (Periodic Automatic Replenishment) levels. Thrive’s maximum PAR functionality helps prevent excessive ordering, mitigating the risk of accumulating expiring or surplus inventory.

Implement FIFO:

Enforce a first in, first out (FIFO) approach in your foodservice operations to prioritize the usage of older ingredients or products. This practice reduces the likelihood of utilizing expired or unsafe items, ultimately curbing food waste, which costs foodservice businesses billions annually. While integrating new processes and tools may necessitate initial investments, they can yield immediate positive impacts on cash flow management.


Effectively managing excess and expiring inventories is crucial for the success and sustainability of any food service business. By implementing creative strategies such as featuring specials, offering discounts, and utilizing innovative solutions like Thrive’s inventory management system, businesses can not only reduce waste but also enhance profitability and customer satisfaction. Through proactive measures like tracking inventory levels, practicing demand forecasting, and implementing FIFO, businesses can mitigate the risk of food waste while maximizing operational efficiency and financial viability.