Tips and Things
YOU MUST FORECAST ACCURATELY HOW MUCH YOU ARE GOING TO SELL
Advanced planning is an important step in any business strategy. Being able to predict within 5 percent of what you are going to sell can improve the quality of your decisions significantly. When it comes to food-cost control, itís necessary to estimate what and how much you are going to sell of each item listed on your menu. You donít want to run out of something, and you donít want to be left with excessive leftovers and waste.
Knowing what you are going to sell enables you to be better prepared. Armed with an estimate of the number of covers to be served, your sales-mix sales history is used to forecast how many of each menu item is likely to be sold. You then base the purchases and preparation forecast on those numbers so that you do not run out of an item in the middle of a meal period. At the same time the process will keep you from preparing too much and finishing the day with too many leftovers that cannot be sold a second day.
Remember: Being forced to work with leftovers will result in higher food costs and impose restrictions on your menu offerings. Early run-outs not only disappoint customers but can also disrupt the smooth production on the cooking line because demand may switch to a station that is not prepared for the additional volume.
Your chef or kitchen manager will determine the amount of food to prepare based on the projected number of customers that are expected at a particular time of day or day of the week. Employees must be scheduled according to the number of customers expected.
If your forecasts are off by more than 5 percent, note your actual sales and adjust upward or downward in the future. Managers and chefs come and go, so it is imperative that you keep good records of your sales history in order to forecast accurately.
Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.
PLATO (c. 427Ė347 B.C.)
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A Bit of Wisdom
THE MOST IMPORTANT PART OF PRICING THE MENU IS DETERMINING EACH ITEMS FOOD COST.
Costing out each item is very important, particularly to determine the gross profit contribution of each item. However, determining what the customers will pay is the most important consideration. While not an exact science, shopping the local competition plus an evaluation of your customersí income levels and spending habits, should provide valuable information to use as a framework for pricing decisions.
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