Apart from the weekly sales, F&B costs and wage totals, these 4 additional figures will give an accurate, honest snapshot of how things are working, and what’s possible for improvement…
1. Spending per Customer: it’s a simple figure and I find most operators don’t check it. Or they guess. Divide the total sales or sales in a category by the total number of customers – simple. It’s often less than you think, and a reason why guess work can be misleading. You will need an accurate customer count to do this – what needs to change to get this?do you have that?
Opportunity: look closer and divide separate dessert and beverage sales by the number of customers – there may be some surprises. I often find dessert sales are disappointing, in spite of a good offer. Fix it with better menu presentation, sales training and more popular offers. Lots of opportunity here with people who are already seated!
2. Staff Costs on the Quieter Shifts: sometimes it’s hard to predict customer counts, and you’re staffed up ‘just in case’. But there is a consistency over time that can be determined, and the roster needs to be trimmed.
Opportunity: when you have real-time rostering with costing built-in, the wage cost for a shift is obvious, and can be seen immediately to supervisors. If you’re still flying blind on this, you’ll find detailed control harder to manage. Set a cost % per shift that must not be exceeded, then help the roster supervisor to do their very best.
3. Carrying Cost of your Stock: add it all up, and if you’re a bit overwhelmed by the thought of a big stocktake, find the 20 food products you spend the most on, and just count them. It can be amazing how much overstocking can happen, especially if you have ample storage – it tends to fill up. For liquor, it really needs to be a careful weekly ritual or you will have pilfering – thieves know if the boss is watching.
Opportunity: if you’re in an urban area with 5 or 6 day deliveries, there’s no reason why stock holding can’t be brought down to 3-4 days. If you’re carrying a week’s supply, that’s a massive amount of cash that should be in the bank, not on the shelves.
4. Individual Sales (and Tips) of Staff: are you counting and measuring this? Most POS systems make this possible, but you may need to adjust how it’s used. It’s not about high-pressure (although some staff could do with some of that), but seeing who performs best, and contributes the most to sales.
Opportunity: reward and praise these people, and get them coaching other staff on how to do a better job. We can all learn from their combination of charm and persuasion. People who consistently earn less than others, even with coaching, will need to move on…
photo at Billy Kart, Brisbane…