A successful holistic food and beverage control system is essential for any size food and beverage operation. Controlling food and beverages essentially mean controlling the behavior of the people and processes responsible for the costs. It is defined as the direction and regulation of the costs and revenue generated by a food and beverage establishment’s catering operation. What is the definition of a food and beverage control system? This article will tell you exactly what to look for.
What exactly is a food and beverage control system?
A food and beverage control system automates best practices in a restaurant or catering operation. It provides managers with a better understanding of the flow of food through the restaurant, allowing them to better plan cash flow and stock control. At the most basic level, it gives chefs a more structured way of planning menus that takes nutritional and financial considerations into account.
A food and beverage control system is important for an F&B business
Food and beverage control is a critical process that tracks the movement of food and beverage products from the point at which they are purchased to the point guests consume them. It is the system by which management reviews and evaluates the entire food and beverage operation’s activities.
Importance of food and beverage control system
Creating a database of ingredients and suppliers will allow you to manage ingredient pricing better.
More relevant for specialized dining establishments such as catering companies, the ability to provide nutritional information on the food you serve can give you a competitive advantage and reassure customers, especially in areas such as school dinners.
Many chefs either work from memory with no written recipe or have incomplete recipes that they do not follow.
A food and beverage control system allows you to manage ingredient pricing better
Coding recipes allows you to manage your ingredients better while also incorporating standard estimates for waste (such as the yield after peeling and chopping vegetables or the wastage caused by evaporation and transfer of a cream sauce from the bowl to bowl). It will allow you to price your food more accurately. If you know exactly how much it costs to make a meal, you can price it more precisely to undercut the competition while still making a quantifiable profit.
Consider the ability to nest recipes when looking at recipe management because most recipes are made up of multiple others. A function that allows users to scale recipes for different quantities easily will be extremely useful for busy chefs.
Stock control and purchasing
Some food and beverage control systems allow you to inventory your food and create purchase orders for more so that you can keep food costs to a minimum and losses to a minimum.
Six objectives of food and beverage control system
A food and beverage control system‘s goals can be summarized as follows:
Analysis of income and expenditure
The research focuses entirely on the revenue and expenses associated with food and beverage operations. The revenue analysis of such variables as the volume of food and beverage sales, the sales mix, the average spending power (ASP) of consumers at various times of the day, and the number of customers served is normally done by each selling outlet.
One of the goals of a food and beverage control system is an analysis of income and expenditure
Departmental food and beverage expenditures, portion costs, and labor costs are included in the cost analysis. Therefore, each outlet’s performance can represent gross profit and net margin (i.e., gross profit minus wages) and net profit (i.e., gross profit minus wages and all overhead expenses such as rent, rates, insurance, etc.).
Establishment and maintenance of standards
The establishment of standards specific to an operation, such as a chain of steakhouse restaurants, serves as the foundation for the operation of any food and beverage outlet. Unless standards are established, no employee will be aware of the standards that must meet, nor will management effectively measure the employee’s performance.
Establishment and maintenance of standards serve as the foundation for the operation of any food and beverage outlet
An efficient unit would have the set standards in manuals, often referred to as SOPs (standard operational procedures), and should be readily available to all staff for reference. After establishing the standards, the management of an operation is always faced with maintaining these standards. It can be aided by conducting regular checks on the standards achieved through observation, analysis, and customer comments. And if necessary, conducting training courses to re-establish the standards.
One important goal of food and beverage control is to provide a solid foundation for menu pricing, including special event quotations. As a result, it is critical to set food menu and beverage list prices based on accurate food and beverage costs, other major establishment costs, and general market considerations such as average customer spending power, competitor prices, and market prices.
Prevention of waste
Targets for revenue, cost levels, and profit margins are set to meet an establishment’s performance standards. To achieve these performance levels, it is necessary to avoid material waste caused by factors such as poor preparation, overproduction, failure to use standard recipes, and so on. It can only accomplish with an efficient control method covering the entire cycle of food and beverage control, from the organization’s basic policies to management control after the operation has been completed.
Prevention of fraud
A food and beverage control system is required to prevent, or at least limit, potential areas of fraud by customers and employees. Customers commonly commit fraud by purposefully walking out without paying, unjustifiably claiming that the food or drink they had partially or completely consumed was unpalatable. They indicated that they would not pay for it, disputing the number of drinks served to pay with stolen cheques or credit cards. Staff fraud commonly involves overcharging or undercharging for items served, as well as stealing food, drink, or cash.
A control system’s primary responsibility is to provide accurate, up-to-date information to prepare periodic reports for management. This information should be sufficient to provide a comprehensive analysis of performance for each outlet of an establishment compared to previously established standards (e.g., budget standards).
A food and beverage control system’s primary responsibility is to provide accurate, up-to-date information
When running a business, information overload can be a major issue. Management is frequently presented with many reports and statistical data that they may not know how to use or do not have the time to act on.
Therefore, appropriate control must apply depending on the size of the operation; for example, a minor operation may not require daily, weekly, and periodic reports, whereas a larger operation, will most likely require them so that management can take both corrective measures and preventive action quickly.
Special problems of food and beverage control
Controlling food and beverages is more difficult than controlling materials in many other industries. The following are the primary reasons for this:
- Perishability of the product: Food, whether raw or cooked, is perishable and has a finite shelf life. As a result, the caterer must ensure that she purchases produce in the correct quality and quantity about estimated demand. It is properly stored and processed (beverages are less perishable, contributing to easier control).
- Business volume unpredictability: Most catering establishments experience sales volatility. The volume of business fluctuates from day to day and from hour to hour in many establishments. It creates fundamental issues regarding the quantities of commodities to be purchased and prepared and the necessary staffing.
Control of food and beverage is more difficult than control of ingredients in many other industries
- Menu mix unpredictability: Caterers must frequently offer a wide variety of menu items to customers to compete and satisfy a specific market. Predicting menu item preferences while keeping customer volume in mind can be difficult. As a result, effective forecasting as part of the overall food and beverage control system is required.
- Food and beverage operation short cycle: The speed with which catering operations are carried out, compared to many other industries, leaves little time for many control tasks. Items ordered one day are frequently received, processed, and sold the same or the next day. As a result, cost reporting is done daily, or at least weekly, in larger catering establishments. Further issues, particularly with perishable foods, are that because the product has a short shelf life, items cannot purchase very far in advance of their need, and the problem of availability during production times relative to the price that can afford to concern the selling price.
- Departmentalization: A good deal of food and beverage operations have multiple production and service departments, each with its own set of products and policies. As a result, the ability to generate separate trading results for each production and selling activity is required.
To summarize, it is critical for an F&B business to track their food and beverage expenses daily and implement a process that fine-tunes the operations and provides a guideline to management. If you look after your numbers, the numbers will look after you. That is why the food and beverage control system is critical.