The Waste Hiding in Plain Sight

By Brian Mitchell Principal, Mitchell Performance Systems | July 28, 2013

Co-authored by Evan Mitchell, Senior Consultant, Mitchell Performance Systems

** This is the third article in a series on improving revenue and profits from F&B

Hospitality is an industry of lean margins. And when margins are this lean, waste is the greatest enemy of profit. So it makes sense to do what can be done to eliminate waste in beverage service. To control stock and more effectively manage inventory. It makes sense to address over-pouring, spoilage, breakage and other areas of beverage waste.

Businesses spend significant funds on sophisticated software interventions to streamline stock control and pinpoint over-pouring problems. They spend significant funds on spoilage-minimizing technology, vacuum and gas wine-preservation systems, and the resultant staff training. These funds are seen as an investment, in preserving margins in the future. But there’s a far greater waste that doesn’t end up itemized on a stocktake or inventory report. It’s not the 3% over-pour on a beverage sale. It’s all of those other potential sales that are never made.

The aperitifs and cocktails… glasses of champagne, glasses of wine, entire bottles of wine… bottles of mineral and spring water… glasses and half-bottles of dessert wines… liqueurs, digestives, fine spirits… Sales never made.

Dozens of wasted sales each shift, hundreds each week, thousands every month… what’s that each year…? That’s the real and overwhelming cost to a business. So often not seen, it’s the hidden cost that’s hiding right out there in plain sight. And the tragedy is more than these wasted sales. The real tragedy is how relatively easy it is to avoid such waste. To ensure that a front of house team – any front of house team, your front of house team – is primed to recognize the sales opportunities where they arise, and even create opportunities themselves. To ensure that everyone on the floor, from manager on down, knows exactly where the opportunities lie, so that none of them are wasted.

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