Chef Tim Ma's Solution to Too Much Inventory = Money Sitting on the Shelf

Many restaurants find that food costs are their biggest challenge. Managing inventory is a key piece in addition to food waste. Chef Tim Ma keeps tabs on his inventory both as an established procedure and also monitoring constantly to keep items in check.

“You don’t want to carry too much inventory as that is just money sitting on the shelves”, says Tim, “let the warehouse store your inventory for you.”

To that end, he appreciates that he can place orders every day with purveyors who can accommodate daily deliveries. There are others who deliver one to two times per week, but he has a system that keeps his inventory flowing in a cost-effective manner.

Utilizing inventory is always top of mind at Kyirisan as every item is used; from onion skins to ugly vegetables that are turned into stock or extra produce used in sauces or purees. Every item that comes into the kitchen is maximized before being composted. Tim says the Zero Waste Kitchen project has put even more focus on cross-utilizing both vegetables and proteins in his kitchen.

Another way to combat food waste is portion control. Giving your guest the right serving amount is key.

Tim and is staff spend about two hours taking inventory weekly. We shared how others using the BlueCart platform used to spend about the same amount of time and now with BlueCart have reduced that to about 10-15 minutes. Tim is looking forward to seeing that happen for himself.

Outside of the kitchen both Tim and his wife Joey are very involved in community fundraisers as they believe in engaging with their community. Whether it is with DC Kitchen, the Leukemia/Lymphoma Society or local Food Banks – they want to make sure they give back.


To read more about Tim and his zero waste journey, visit Zero Waste Kitchen.

Chef Tim Ma is a BlueCart user and advocate. For more information on being as efficient and sustainable as Tim, visit BlueCart.