Food and beverage control systems can help you introduce the same financial rigour to your dining establishment or catering company that you’ll find in manufacturing operations. What is a food and beverage control system?
A food and beverage control system is a means of computerizing best practice within a restaurant or catering operation. It gives managers a better idea of the flow of food through the restaurant, enabling them to plan cash flow and stock control more effectively. At the sharp end, it provides chefs with a more structured way of planning menus, taking into account nutritional and financial considerations. Importance of food and beverage control system
In areas like manufacturing, companies keep close tabs on the manufacturing cost and value of their products. And yet in dining establishments, the core product -- the food -- is often not subject to the same scrutiny. Food control in many establishments is chaotic and unstructured. Restaurant budgets are often based on what was achieved last year. Ideally, chefs should be able to cost out each item on a menu, creating a clear picture of the cost of each sale to measure against its revenue. This helps you to understand which the most profitable items are, and whether you are keeping food wastage low enough to hit the profitability targets that you have set yourself. Putting in place a proper food and beverage control system will help you to make more intelligent decisions that help to cut the overall cost of sale for an establishment while maintaining profits. For example, if you find that your overheads are too high, you may be able to cut items from the menu that have a higher cost-to-revenue ratio. Features of food and beverage control system
There are several key features that dining establishments should consider when purchasing a food and beverage control system. You may find that these features fall under different products or modules within a single company’s offering: •Market lists
One common mistake made by restaurants is to purchase ingredients from suppliers without any clear rules. Creating a database of suppliers and ingredients will enable you to manage ingredient pricing more effectively. •Nutrition
More applicable for specialist dining establishments (such as those in hospitals) or catering companies, the ability to provide nutritional information on the food you serve can offer you a competitive edge, and reassure customers particularly in areas such as school dinners, for example. •Recipe management
Many chefs either work from memory without any clear recipe, or have incomplete recipes that they do not follow.
Codifying recipes helps you to manage your ingredients more effectively, while building in standard estimates for wastage (such as the yield after peeling and chopping vegetables, or the wastage caused by evaporation and transfer of a cream sauce from bowl to bowl). This will help you to price your food more accurately. If you know exactly what a meal costs to make, you can price it more accurately to undercut the competition while still making a quantifiable profit.
When looking at recipe management, consider the ability to nest recipes, because most recipes are made up of multiple others. And a function to scale recipes easily for different quantities will be invaluable for busy chefs. •Stock control and purchasing
Some food and beverage control systems give you the chance to inventory your food and create purchase orders for more so you can maintain a minimum level of perishable stock and free up your capital. Such systems can also be used to create work lists, so that staff taking delivery of orders know exactly what to expect on any given day. •Reporting
Reporting is a key asset in any food control system software. In addition to providing preconfigured reports, the best systems will let you customize reports to suit your own particular requirements. Reporting can...