Monitoring wastage levels?

Discussion in 'Professional Chefs' started by 21TonyK, Jun 20, 2018.

  1. 21TonyK

    21TonyK

    Messages:
    93
    Likes Received:
    50
    Exp:
    Chef, ex-restaurateur
    Prompted reading the thread about food costing it reminded me to look at wastage levels again.

    In past kitchens we have recorded our daily wastage on unprepped and cooked food items normally coming in under 5%, well under on a lot of things. I don't ask people to record wastage where I am now but will be looking to introduce it over the next few weeks.

    What are your experiences?
     
  2. chefbuba

    chefbuba

    Messages:
    2,239
    Likes Received:
    514
    Exp:
    Retired Chef
    I always had a clipboard on the line to record waste, and often reminded everyone to use it.
     
    phaedrus and Pat Pat like this.
  3. capricciosa

    capricciosa

    Messages:
    100
    Likes Received:
    61
    Exp:
    Professional Baker, Butcher, Garde Manger
    When I was a baker, we had a computer program that did the math. The raw product (unbaked doughs, cakes, icings, etc) were entered into the computer inventory when the trucks came in. Every night, stales/damages were scanned out with a price-gun thing and sales were taken out of inventory by the POS system. Once a month, we did a manual count to verify on-hands for accuracy. Our goal was 10% or less waste, and anything useable was donated to food banks.

    At the restaurant I work in, we don't track wastage and order things by guessing/eyeballing. Nothing is cross-referenced, payroll inventory etc all come out of one fund, and our daily sales get put in the same fund as well. I'm just waiting for the day when we find out that we're so far in the hole due to poor financial planning that we come in to work and the doors are locked.
     
  4. jonnyhotcakes

    jonnyhotcakes

    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    12
    Exp:
    Professional Chef
    What I generally do is keep trashcans out of the prep areas. All waste (trim, spoilage, etc) goes in 12 Qt Cambros. I assign a number, like $4.00 a quart, and use that to quantify waste, share the number with staff, and set a goal of beating that number each week, with incentives.

    Also log things like broken china, sendbacks.
     
    phaedrus and drirene like this.
  5. 21TonyK

    21TonyK

    Messages:
    93
    Likes Received:
    50
    Exp:
    Chef, ex-restaurateur
    Thanks all

    I'm going to tackle it in three ways (I think).

    Bear in mind this is in a school so we have the production of food (for a known number of students and staff) and we have the serving of the food (theoretically portion controlled).

    I'm going to record the amount of unprepared wastage by item and approximate weight/volume. This should be pretty low. Then record the prepared food that is discarded from the servery at the end of lunch and then weigh the waste food which was served but uneaten.

    This was I should be able to track the excess purchases, over production and wastage through over portioning by the servery.

    Anything else anyone can suggest?
     
  6. jimyra

    jimyra

    Messages:
    908
    Likes Received:
    181
    Exp:
    Professional Chef
    How about the waste caused by children who just don't like some of the food. How many greens will a child eat?
    Just thinking.
     
  7. 21TonyK

    21TonyK

    Messages:
    93
    Likes Received:
    50
    Exp:
    Chef, ex-restaurateur
    Very valid point and to a degree that's the unknown. However this is in a very specific setting where the kids get to pick what they have on their plates so if they don't like "peas" they don't have to have them. They might choose to have salad or beans instead. So, in theory, its a smaller consideration than a mainstream school. My concerns are more with over production and incorrect portioning TBH.

    ( its a special school for kids with severe and multiple learning difficulties)
     
  8. kronin323

    kronin323

    Messages:
    47
    Likes Received:
    24
    Exp:
    15 yr Hospitality Professional (retired), current Home Cook
    The thing is there's not just waste, there's also shrink. IMO the best way to monitor it is through inventory management - you set your par levels based on your business volume, you order to par, you figure out how much product was actually used by doing manual inventories then doing the math (beginning inventory + purchases - ending inventory = total product used). Then from your POS you know what you sold and can extend that to what you should have used, then look at the variance between the two. Where it shows a problem, you address it specifically. That covers both waste and shrink.

    But keeping waste buckets and the like on the line does still serve a purpose - it motivates the staff. Since they know waste is being paid attention to diligently like that, they pay more attention to it, too.