Waste Tracking lets you see where you money is going in the kitchen. Without this tracking, your Food Costs may be artificially high for a period. And items that you thought were on the shelf, may be gone. Try to enter waste on a regular basis so that reciProfity and your physical inventory match. For more information on the Variance Reports and how reciProfity uses Waste Tracking click here.
Some waste is acceptable in this business, examples of are listed below.
Employee Meals: If you give your employees a free meal, or free drinks, this adjustment accounts for food and beverages consumed by them if you do not have a key on your POS to track employee meals. Track these items, and adjust them, so you have a paper trail for your tax return.
“Free Food”: Occasionally, you may give “Free Food” to current or potential customers. Examples include free dessert for a bad meal, Two for One deal where customers purchase one meal and get a second one for free, sampling plates for potential banquet guests, or the free peanuts set out on the bar. This adjustment accounts for the items consumed by customers with no corresponding revenue for the Inventory Items, if you do not track them with a key on the POS.
Some waste is more of an unpleasant fact in this business, but need to be minimized by an owner. Tracking these adjustments will help a manager make some important business decisions.
Waste: This is an adjustment that accounts for Inventory items not used according to a recipe or procedure. An example would be a chef cutting ribeyes into 16 oz steaks instead of 12 oz steaks. When he realizes his mistake, he re-cuts the big steaks into the smaller 12 oz steaks, with 4 oz of meat trim. This 4 oz trim is waste – and unless you use it somehow in the establishment, it will be a waste cost. Other examples include over-trimming produce items, and dispensing too much chemicals in the dishwasher.
You want to track waste to see where and when it is occurring. To prevent waste, you may need to retrain employees, re-write recipes, or change procedures in your kitchen. If you do not adjust reciProfity for waste, then your food cost will be tracking higher over time, and possible affect your yield and order calculations.
Spoilage: This adjustment accounts for food items that spoiled before you could serve them to a customer. You need to track spoilage to prevent it from reoccurring. By tracking it, you can determine if the spoilage is from short-date items from vendors, incorrect receiving practices, or improper storage procedures including temperature control and rotation. Again, employees may need to be retrained, or procedures re-written to prevent spoilage. And, like waste, it needs to be tracked and adjusted so that food cost is not artificially inflated.