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Durastic Times Call for Wise Decisions.

Food Cost and Inventory

With current situations, there is a lot of uncertainty in the Industry due outside influence. However, the ingredients you purchase and store have never been so important as now.

Things To Look For To Help Correct

Purchasing

  • Purchasing for too high a cost – no bid system to get the best price
  • Buying from only 1 or 2 vendors – no competition for best price
  • Purchasing more than needed
  • No detailed Specifications – quality, weight, type
  • No purchasing budget
  • No audit of invoices and payments
  • Too many vendors

Receiving

  • Theft by receiving personnel
  • No system for issuing/tracking credits
  • No system for checking in orders
    • Billed for items not received
    • Invoiced weights different than received weights
    • Shipped & billed for items not ordered
  • Lack of facilities and/or scales
  • Perishable foods left out of proper storage

Storage

  • Foods improperly placed in storage
  • Storage at wrong temperatures and humidity
  • No daily inspection & rotation of stored goods
  • Unorganized storage areas
  • No physical inventory system
  • Lack of single responsibility for food storage
  • No control or record of foods issued from the storeroom
  • Storage areas not secured
  • Theft

Preparation

  • Excessive trim on vegetables, seafood & meats
  • No check on raw yields
  • No secondary usage of trim items

Production

  • OVER production!!!
  • Improper cooking method
  • Cooking at the incorrect temperature – excess shrinkage
  • Cooking or holding products for too long a period – poor batch firing
  • Not using food production schedules or Prep Sheets
  • Not using/following standard recipes
  • No waste log used for items thrown out

Service

  • No standard portion size
  • No standard size utensils for serving
  • No records of food production
  • Carelessness (spillage, waste, cold food, re-fires)
  • Poor production planning during the transition from busy to slow periods
  • Inadequate or poorly trained “wheelman” to control the ticket flow and give “all-days”

Sales

  • Unrecorded sales: “no charge” or cash not turned in, unauthorized comps to friends/family/regulars
  • “Open food” abuses (get rid of this key if possible! Or allow only with mgr approval)
  • No tracking of “comps” and giveaways
  • No tracking of re-fires, waitstaff/cook errors
  • No sales records to detect trends
  • Poor pricing of menu items
  • Incorrect pricing keyed into your register system (Micros, etc.)
  • Poor sales mix
  • Employee meal costs – overproduction or unauthorized meals
  • Not running specials on items that were overproduced
  • No credit for marketing events

Inventory

  • Counting Sheet-to-Shelf instead of the best method of Shelf-to-Sheet
  • Failure to utilize discontinued menu products before they expire
  • Miscalculations in your inventory program extensions
    • for example, you enter 1 case of shrimp and it calculates it as 1 pound
    • zero dollar value for items in inventory
  • Items are not being counted
    • especially true for new products and “out of sight” products
    • counting inventory by sheet to shelf method instead of the shelf to sheet
  • Out of date pricing on your inventory calculation software
  • Not verifying the accounting data before the final posting!

Accounting

  • The Chef didn’t verify the General Ledger
  • Charging your paper/equipment products against the food cost of goods
  • Products from other venues are being charged against your account (for operations with multiple venues)
  • Transfers and credits not processed correctly

The original “Food Costs and the 40 Thieves” was from “Cooking For Profit” by Robert C. Petrie 1972

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Vancouver's food and beverage community launches relief fun

How controlling purchasing helps control your food cost.