Food Rotation | 4 mins read

Food Rotation Techniques to Benefit Your Restaurant

food rotation techniques to benefit your restaurant
Dakota Sheetz

By Dakota Sheetz

Why is Food Rotation Necessary to the Success of Restaurants?

Food rotation plans store and use older food products before newer food products in order to decrease product costs, food waste, and foodborne illnesses. There are many rotation techniques and helpful tools available to help your restaurant, including front-loading shelving units and labels.

Food rotation has many benefits to your restaurant, including preventing foodborne illnesses, organizing stock, avoiding cross-contamination, keeping your inventory up-to-date, reducing food waste, and decreasing costs.

By keeping track of your particular foods, you can provide your customers with the best products possible. Not only will this improve the reputation of your restaurant, but it will also provide you with the peace of mind that you are doing all you can to decrease both your food waste footprint and the need for your clients to procure medical advice after consuming your food.

What is Safe Food Flow?

A safe food flow is a plan employed to keep your establishment's food products safe, covering all stages from delivery to serving. This flow includes acquiring, storing, preparing, cooking methods, assembling, hot holding, and serving of the food product. Your flow may be in a straight assembly line style or formatted to transport food through departments based on their performed functions.

Stay mindful of the ways in which contamination may occur during your food flow. Identify the safest route for soiled dishes and utensils to take back to their sanitation station and potentials for cross-contamination from raw to ready to eat foods. Be aware of where waste may enter food preparation areas, keeping in mind less obvious contaminators, like mop water or contaminated ice.

Map out the ways in which your food can most safely move through your restaurant. Taking the time to plan the most efficient and safest route will help you identify any problems with your food flow before it is implemented, avoiding costly and dangerous mistakes. A well thought out food flow can not only increase the safety of your food products, but it can also make your food preparation plan more efficient.

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What is the FIFO rule?

FIFO (first in, first out), is a stock rotation plan that stores and uses older food products before newer products. Every day that you receive food, organize the shipment by food group.
Once you have your items organized by food group, sort them by the earliest best buy, or use-by dates at the front and items with the latest dates at the back, your staff is encouraged to use older products before they spoil.

With 21% of restaurant food waste due to food spoilage, the FIFO plan is essential to running a sustainable and environmentally conscious restaurant. There are 5 FIFO procedures for proper food rotation-

  1. Identify food products that will expire soonest by their best before or use-by date
  2. Extract both damaged and expired food products
  3. Position food products with the closest expiration date at the front
  4. Continue this process, so that the closest food product to the front is the closest to expiring and the closest food product to the back is the farthest from its expiration
  5. Use or sell the food products at the front first

Why is Storage so Important?

Safe food storage is essential to running your restaurant both safely and efficiently. Keeping your products in dry, dark storage spaces away from direct sunlight will maximize your food shelf life, help control temperature, and prevent unnecessary food waste.


Keep humidity levels lower than 15% with moisture-proof packaging and air conditioning when necessary. It is recommended to place food at least six inches from the floor and walls, and one foot from the ceiling to avoid contaminants and vermin.

Maintain proper storage temperatures by carefully monitoring the temperatures of all of your food products every day. Discard food that is stored at the wrong temperature to avoid food poisoning. Label and check both opened and unopened food to ensure freshness and prevent cross-contamination by keeping raw and ready to eat foods separate from each other.

Conclusion

  • Food rotation has many benefits to your restaurant, including preventing foodborne illnesses, organizing stock, avoiding cross-contamination, keeping your inventory up-to-date, reducing food waste, and decreasing costs.
  • FIFO (first in, first out), is a stock rotation plan that stores and uses older food products before newer products. There are many rotation techniques available, including front-loading shelving units and labels.
  • A safe food flow is a plan employed to keep your establishment's food products safe, covering all stages from delivery to serving, including acquiring, storing, preparing, cooking, assembling, hot holding, and serving of the food product.
  • By maintaining proper food rotation techniques, food industry professionals decrease product costs, food waste, and food poisoning.

Online employee scheduling software that makes shift planning effortless.
Try it free for 14 days.

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