Projecting Food & Beverage Counter Profits
By Joanna Harralson Vice President Operations, The Insight Group International | November 02, 2008
Whether your property has a morning coffee n' croissant cart or a more extensive food & beverage take-out venue, are you certain that the correct safeguards are in place to protect your profits?
Here are some questions that could uncover weaknesses that can result in your venue's bottom line being compromised.
- What policies are in place for food & beverage counterpersons who are in a position to extend group sales/convention discounts?
- Is there a posted menu complete with pricing?Is there visual verification by way of register video display monitors?
- Are receipts (closed checks) issued after every transaction?
- Does each shift have a dedicated cashier responsible for the cash drawer or the does the team access the cash drawer randomly?
- Is there a dedicated tip container or do staff allow tips to remain in the cash drawer until the end of the shift?
- Is the cash drawer counted at the end of the shift by venue staff or are blind drops utilized?
- What about placing to-go orders at a restaurant host podium?
- In the case of a free-standing coffee cart, can a simple inventory system be used to start the accountability process?
Group Discounts Mis-Applied
Why would we start this discussion here? Group discounts can be useful, but when misapplied by counterstaff, profit losses are the result.
Recently a large business hotel hosted a convention that extended discounts to the attendees for the various venues. A food & beverage integrity shop was conducted with associated auditing at the food and beverage counter and revealed that the 20% convention discounts were extended to non-convention guests after the correct non-discounted amount was tendered by the unsuspecting guest. That's right! The non-convention guest tendered the correct/regular amount for the purchased item and after this guest departed staff applied a 20% discount when finalizing the register transaction and closing the check.
Obviously, a conventioneer badge will suffice for the deserving discount. The solution is making sure that staff have signed off on group discount verification procedures and know them to be regularly enforced.