Take a minute to step into the shoes of your employees. Working once or twice a week part-time, and starting part way through the day, your staff don’t necessarily know how long prepped food has been sitting. Only proper communication can ensure they know what ingredients are good to use, and which ones aren’t.
Print make/ready/discard (MRD) slips from your POS system to label each prep item with the date it was made, when it is ready to be used, and when it needs to be discarded.
MRD slips are a simple way to minimize waste and protect your customers by using the “first in first out” method to ensure that stock doesn’t sit and go bad. Since each make/ready/discard slip includes the make date, a quick glance tells your employees which prepped items need to be used next.
How do you know how much to prepare ahead of time? Take advantage of the forecasting tools in your POS system to build a detailed prep plan. Your POS system’s forecast should project sales based on upcoming events and past sales history.
SpeedLine users can take it one step further. Define day parts and prep items, and auto-generate a Prep Plan to see the exact amount of each prep item needed for the sales forecast—right down to the count of crusts to pre-sauce for dinner, if that is part of your high-volume workflow.
Controlling Food Cost
Finally, knowing exactly how much was prepared, and how much should have been prepared and sold will help you track your prep variance. Are you regularly over- or under-prepping?
In SpeedLine, the Store Manager Prep Variance report shows the difference between what was forecasted to sell, and what actually sold. By checking the report regularly, you can fine-tune your prep plan by adjusting the numbers in the Store Plan.
Since prep plans are based on the ingredients included in each menu item, the variance report can also indicate when you may have issues with portion control in your restaurant. If portions are out of whack—with cooks adding too much cheese to each pizza, or too many pepperoni slices, for example—your prep plans will inevitably vary from the actual inventory used.
Make/ready/discard slips and prep plans are simple tools to control inventory costs proactively. Want to learn about forecasting and inventory control? Read Forecast for Profit »».
Posted by Elizabeth Kelly
As the Marketing Specialist for SpeedLine Solutions Inc., Elizabeth is the Managing Editor for On Point: The Restaurant Technology Blog. Have an idea for an article? Send her a message!| Author's website