This article covers the Smart Ops Item Category Form. 

Up to three separate Item Categories can be assigned to each Purchased Item record and are used in various reports to create subtotals or filters. Additionally, Item Categories can be assigned to Recipes that have been marked as 'Available in Inventory'.

Item Categories are organized in the following way:

  • Item Category 1 - Broad
    • Example: Food (Cost Account = Food Cost; Inventory Account = Food Inventory)
  • Item Category 2 - More specific
    • Example: Dairy (Cost Account = Dairy Cost; Inventory Account = Blank)
  • Item Category 3 - Very specific
    • Example: Cheese (Cost Account = Cheese Cost; Inventory Account = Cheese Inventory)

These then fall into a hierarchy when entering them on an Item record. Therefore, if all three Item Categories are entered on an Item record, the Cost account will be used accordingly: Item Category 3 will override Category 2, and Category 2 will override Category 1.

  • Note: This hierarchy will follow in this order when the most specific account has both the Cost Account and Inventory Account entered.

Item Categories are different than Menu Item Categories and should be created and structured differently as well. Click here for more information on Menu Item Categories.


Item Category Form

Name The name of the Item Category.
  • Note: Item Category 1 should be broad, Item Category 2 should be more specific, and Item Category 3 should be very specific.

Cost AccountThe COGS Account that will be assigned to this Item Category. This is not a required field, but when entered and saved with this Item Category, this account will auto-populate the GL Account field on an Item record, enabling for a faster setup of Items
  • Note: When Accounting is ON, Users can remove entered Cost Accounts from existing Item Categories at any time.
Waste AccountThe GL Account that will be debited upon entering a Waste Log.
Acceptable Variance %The set positive variance cap allowed for this category. This also works in conjunction with the Variance Cap Type (#5). Click here to learn more about Item Category Variance Caps.
  • Note: If no variance cap is desired, ensure to leave this field blank. If a '0' is entered, the system will recognize it as a 0% acceptable variance cap

Inventory VarianceThe acceptable Variance threshold for Inventory discrepancies. When the Variance of a counted Item exceeds this threshold, Users will receive a Theoretical Review notice on the 'Variance Review' tab of Inventory Counts.  Read more about Inventory Count Variances, here.
Item PrefixA Prefix assigned to the Item Category that helps to search and sort Items. Ex.: PROD for Produce. This prefix will be auto-filled to the name of newly created items assigned to the Category.  New Items will take only one assigned Item Category Prefix. The Item Categories will be considered in the following order:
Item Category 3 → Item Category 2 Item Category 1

Item Prefix Examples:

Item Category PrefixItem Item Name
MEATChicken BreastMEAT Chicken Breast

Inventory AccountThe Inventory Account that accounts for this Item Category. This is not a required field, but when entered and saved with this Item Category, this account will auto-populate the GL Account field on an Item record, enabling for a faster setup of Items.
  • Note: When Accounting is ON, Users can remove entered Inventory Accounts from existing Item Categories at any time.

Donation AccountThe GL Account that will be debited when creating a Donation Log Entry.
Actual as TheoreticalSelect 'Yes' to use the Actual Usage for this Item Category in place of the Theoretical Usage (via Recipes mapped to Menu Items) on the AvT Report
CountedDefault selection is 'Yes.' When 'Counted' is set to 'Yes,' Users will receive a 'New Items' warning when New Items/Recipes are detected. When 'Counted' is set to 'No,' this Item Category will not be available on Inventory Templates and Inventory Counts, nor will any 'New Items' warnings be prompted.

  • New Items Detected

    To continue, Users must click 'Update' to Update the Inventory Count Template.

    Clicking 'Update' will prompt Users to manage the New Items detected. Users can dismiss new Items by clicking the 'Dismiss' icon beside the Item name, or they can add the new Item to a Storage Location for Inventory by clicking 'Add.'

    When 'Add' is clicked, Users must select which Storage Location(s) to add the Item to.

    Once the New Items have been addressed, Users can click 'Apply' to continue.

    The Inventory Count Template will then be updated.

Exclude from Order SuggestionsWhen marked 'Yes,' all the Items in the Item Category will be excluded from the 'Suggest QTY' Calculation when creating a Purchase Order. The Order QTY for these Items will need to be entered manually

SaveClick to save the Item Category. Users can click the Save dropdown to access the 'Save & Create Another' option. When clicked, 'Save & Create Another' will save the current form and promptly open a new Item Category form for more efficient Item Category creation

Item Category Examples and Naming Recommendations 

Category 1 - Typically these represent broad level categories

  • Food
  • Liquor
  • Beer
  • Wine
  • Supplies
  • Retail

Category 2 - Typically these represent the more detailed categories within each Category 1. Category 2s usually line up with P&L Accounts in the food categories (but not always)

  • Food:
    • Meat
    • Seafood
    • Dairy
    • Produce
    • Dry Goods
  • Liquor:
    • Vodka
    • Tequila
    • Gin
    • Rum
  • Beer:
    • Bottle Beer
    • Draft Beer and
  • Wine:
    • Red
    • White
    • Sparkling
  • Supplies:
    • Paper

Category 3 - These are used less often but can come in handy if an organization has a large Wine or Beer list (or a lot of different Meats)

  • Bottle Beer:
    • IPA
    • Stout
    • Amber
    • Ale
  • Wine:
    • Merlot
    • Cabernet
    • Chardonnay

Create Item Categories

Item categories can be created using the following methods:

  • Item Category Page- Navigate to the Item Category List page, and click the '+Create' button

Select the Item Category (1, 2, or 3). This will open the New Item Category Form.

  • Via the Import Tool - Select 'Item Category' as the 'Option' and 'Create new' as the 'Type'. Download the template by clicking 'Download Template' and proceed to complete the template in a preferred spreadsheet application
    • Note: The 'Type' column on the template should be filled with the Item Category Number Type: 1, 2, or 3

View and Edit Existing Item Categories

Open an existing Item Category using the following method:

  • Via the 'Item Categories' List - Navigate to Smart Ops, then click 'Item Category' under 'Food Admin' in the left navigation menu