Unlimited buffet inventory

4
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Joined Apr 8, 2017
Hello fellow chefs/cooks. I have a delima regarding inventory/cogs that i need help with.

I recently took over a kitchen at a higher end bowling alley. We have a restaurant, lane side service and banquets. We do around a million dollars a year between all three and i have 4-6 guys under me in the kitchen. We do everythimg from breakfast buffets to birthday pizzas to sliced prime rib.

I came from a larger hotel with 250 rooms and 140k sqaure feet to a bowling alley where not a single other person had a degree in anything remotely close to the HRA industry. Just like the horror stories weve all had i walked into no inventory no staff and a few sales reps ordering for us. In the last few months i have turned things around.

I have created a decent inventory system for them and heres my questions.

I track 2 different food cost percentages.

First (beggening inventory + purchases - ending inventory) ÷ sales. = end of month actual food cost.

Then using a sysco website i have my restaurant recipes plugged into, i update my cost of each item to get that items ideal food cost. Then in a spreadsheet i take my sales report and plug in the number of each item ive sold to find out what i should have spent over the month.

I compare those two different numbers and ive been roughly 2% off since ive started this.

So heres the delima. Thats the restaurants side. I also sell unlimited banquets. But we don't track how much is actually used in each banquet and my general manager wants to know what i should be spending on each banquet and which are the most profitable.

For example we have a tailgate buffet with a few different unlimited items like bone-in wings. The customer can get as many as they want for 1 hour, along with other items. So if they run out of wings 20 minutes into their event i give them more. Not a problem. But, then my cogs goes up. But we dont track how much they get. I just give them enough and after the buffet is over theres hardly any waste because this isnt my first rodeo. Im pretty dialed in to the amounts people eat. But my general manager wants to how much im axtually spending on each buffet everytime. Everytime. But we dont track it.

So how do you find out the cogs on an unlimited untracked buffet?

Obviously it has to be tracked and im supposed to do what our micros system isnt doing?
 
4,474
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Joined Jun 27, 2012
. But we dont track how much they get
I cannot believe you just said that.

You may be giving away the house.

Catering prices are based on either weight or piece and if the "unlimited" amts that are going out are netting yall zero $$ then you will need to up your pp price.

Count/weigh before....

Count/weigh after....

Subtract the bottom from the top.

mimi
 
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4
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Joined Apr 8, 2017
Thank you for the reply but i know i am not giving away the house. My restaurant and catering inventory are the same. Using EoM inventory i know im running between a 28 and 35% food cost. That is based on all purchases and all revenue. But my GM is wanting to know what our food cost should be exactly. Maybe im just used to per person amounts fluctuating. And thats the difficult part. We have a tracking system using our PoS for restaurant sales, but we dont have a tracking system in place for our banquets and they want me do this manually. Which quite frankly seems like waaaaay to much work considering everything else i have to take care of.
 
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Joined Feb 8, 2009
 
Thank you for the reply but i know i am not giving away the house. My restaurant and catering inventory are the same. Using EoM inventory i know im running between a 28 and 35% food cost. That is based on all purchases and all revenue. But my GM is wanting to know what our food cost should be exactly. Maybe im just used to per person amounts fluctuating. And thats the difficult part. We have a tracking system using our PoS for restaurant sales, but we dont have a tracking system in place for our banquets and they want me do this manually. Which quite frankly seems like waaaaay to much work considering everything else i have to take care of.
Going back years ago I was trained in management my a Japanese man who was GM of three restaurants and catering in a busy complex in Hawaii. He was harder than Hell on me because he wanted me to succeed. He throw a lot of work my way, most of it had to be done at home on my own time after working a 12 hour day. I asked him once " When you give me a job to do how fast do you expect me to get it accomplished". His answer to me was, when his boss ask's him for something he gets it to his boss ASAP. I never asked that question again and I always remembered his answer. I don't think when you applied for the job with your GM you told him that you would not have time to give him the information he needs to accomplish his job. It may be time to think of how you got to be where you are today. I don't think it was by telling your bosses no..........Good luck.......ChefBillyB
 
982
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Joined Jun 23, 2015
Food cost between 28 and 35 percent and you are doing a million a year? That is 70000 dollars a year unaccounted for.  If I were the GM I would say get your pencil and paper and figure out where the money is going.  Food cost too much work, what were you hired for setting pins?
 
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Joined Aug 21, 2004
Maybe I am missing something, but I don't understand why it is hard to track how much food goes out to a buffet. The initial amount is obviously figured out ahead of time, so you just need to track any additional amounts during the event. Sounds like about 5 minutes of work to me, but maybe I am over simplifying it because I am a numbers guy with an eye for detail which makes it second nature to me.

Bottom line is, bottom line is always expressed in numbers, and for a reason. Without good ones, the business is not sustainable. ROI has to be worthwhile to whoever owns the business, otherwise why own? If ROI is at an unacceptable number to owner and the answer to "why own?" is "hell if I know"...odds are greater that I will find myself out pounding the pavement looking for employment.

You can't control numbers, if you don't know what the numbers are. One of mentors, who came to this country as a busboy and became a millionaire, once told me "Watch your cents/sense and the dollars take care of themselves". Words I lived by and served me well when I opened my restaurant.
 
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4
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Joined Apr 8, 2017
 
Food cost between 28 and 35 percent and you are doing a million a year? That is 70000 dollars a year unaccounted for.  If I were the GM I would say get your pencil and paper and figure out where the money is going.  Food cost too much work, what were you hired for setting pins?
I might be missing something here. How do you get the figure 70,000$ is missing? My cost of goods changes on a monthly basis.
 
982
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Joined Jun 23, 2015
Sorry the way I read your post I thought you did not know if it was 28 or 35.  Why do you have such a difference in food cost from month to month?  It might be fun to graph out monthly food costs and events.
 

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