How to Organize Your Commercial Kitchen Stockrooms

/ Foodservice Tips, Restaurant Tips / November 5

Chef Reaching for Food Item-How to Organize Your Commercial Kitchen Stock Room

An efficient commercial kitchen must run on the mise en place principle, which means “everything in its place.” From your tools to your work stations, when everything is in its place, your kitchen runs much smoother, and you can fulfill orders easier. This same principle goes for your stockroom—both your dry ingredients storage and your supply storage. Here are some helpful tips and advice on how you can efficiently organize your restaurant’s stockroom spaces.

Organization Principles

Before you go and try to rearrange everything, there are some industry tips and tricks to keep in mind for organizing both your dry storage and supply stockroom.

Organize Stock by Category

As easy as it may seem to just throw all of your supplies into one closet, it isn’t best practice for a few reasons. For starters, dry food goods, janitorial supplies and spare equipment parts should not be stored in the same room due to the risk of cross contamination. Instead, you should store dry goods, non-perishable items and canned goods together in one space, and spare equipment parts, cleaning equipment and chemicals should be stored away from any food or food prep items. We’ll expand on how to do so for each category later on.

Maintain the Storage Environment 

Your stockrooms require their own environment to make sure they remain usable and safe. You should store any goods away from any heat-producing sources in a dark, windowless room. The room should have a light, of course, but it should only be on when necessary. You should also keep the temperature and humidity mild, making sure that the room is between 50⁰-70⁰ F with a 60% or lower humidity level. You can keep tabs on both of these by installing a thermometer and hygrometer.

Map Out Your Storage Space

Creating a map or organizational chart of your storage spaces will help you and your employees know where everything should go. When everyone on your staff knows where each supply’s proper place is to be, there’s less risk of losing that item, and you’ll have an easier time cataloging what your actual stock is before ordering more.

Label Everything (Seriously, Everything)

If an item doesn’t have a clear identifier on it, you should label it, no matter what it is. This is especially important for items that are in bulk like napkins, spare parts and consumables like fryer filter paper, to-go containers and dry ingredients and spices. Make sure that when you label you clearly list the item and an expiration date if applicable.


FIFO stands for “First In, First Out,” which is a well-known organizational and storage principle in the commercial restaurant industry. The FIFO dictates that the first consumable good that goes into the stockroom should be the first one to be used, and newer stock will be placed behind the first until it’s time to use that item. When storing goods with expiration dates on them, this is an important rule to follow, as it ensures that you are using the item well within its lifespan. The FIFO rule also helps ensure food items stay safe and consumable, and it’s a great way to keep tabs on what’s expiring soon.

How to Organize Dry Ingredients Storage

Dry Stockroom Organization-How to Organize Your Commercial Kitchen Stockrooms

Organizing your dry ingredients storage is incredibly simple when you think about it, but the general points to keep in mind as you organize this space are:

  • Heavy equipment and food items/bulk food items should be stored on the lowest shelf. Make sure the lowest shelf is at least six inches from the floor.

  • Regularly-used items and ingredients should be stored on shelves that are easy to access. These types of goods are usually stored on the middle shelves.

  • Extra stock or small, lightweight food service equipment (like pans, mixing bowls, containers) can be stored on the upper-most shelves.

And, as mentioned before, make sure that the dry stock storage room is temperature and moisture-controlled. Your restaurant’s dry storage room should be kept at 50⁰-70⁰ F with a 60% or lower humidity level, away from a heat source and natural sunlight.

How to Organize Janitorial and Supply Stockroom

Supply Stockroom Organization-How to Organize Your Commercial Kitchen Stockrooms

Similar to organizing your dry storage, your supply and janitorial storage space will be laid out in much the same way. Please note once again that janitorial/cleaning items should not be stored with any food or food preparation items. You can store parts, equipment consumables and cleaning products in the same room, but it’s advised that they be stored on separate shelving units.

  • Heavier cleaning equipment and items should be kept on the lowest shelf.

  • Regularly-used items like cleaning supplies, boxed kitchen equipment consumables (such as fryer filter paper) and commonly needed spare parts (such as gaskets) should be stored within reach on the middle shelves.

  • Lightweight and spare supplies can be stored on top. These include items like boxes of spare napkins or paper towels, toilet paper rolls and empty spray bottles.

Just like your dry storage room, the supply stockroom should also be temperature-controlled and away from any heat sources.

For more tips on organizing your commercial kitchen, or if you need to stock up on items like filter paper, fry baskets and more, Parts Town is here to help.

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