Why record Wastage?

Information supplied by: WhiteBox UK Ltd

CONDUCTING LOSS TESTS

Do you know the impact your loss and waste are having on your bottom line? Managing losses and waste in your establishment is a crucial control that, if left unattended, can hurt your bottom line!

Product loss occurs when you buy product from a vendor and then trim it or cook it prior to using it for production. Product waste occurs when product is discarded due to spoilage.

What is a Loss Test? A loss test determines the ‘net’ weight of your product after trimming or cooking. For instance, you order fresh chicken from your vendor. You cook and shred that chicken prior to using it in a club sandwich on your menu. Your staff weighs 3 ounces of chicken for the sandwich during production.

What cost are you affixing to the portion of chicken going into your club sandwich? You cannot accurately cost your club sandwich portion using the gross/raw cost.

Conducting a loss test will determine your net/actual cost. To determine your loss:

  • Weigh your chicken prior to cooking (this is your ‘gross’ weight)

  • After cooking and shredding, weigh the shredded chicken (this is your ‘net’ weight)

  • ‘Gross’ cost divided by ‘net’ weight = ‘net’ cost (or, cost per cooked pound)

Use this waste tracking spreadsheet to help you calculate loss tests for all of your food products. The formula is always the same: Gross cost divided by net weight. By knowing your net cost, your plate cost will be accurate. Tracking your product losses will also help you monitor the product you are receiving from your vendors.

Why Record Waste? Recording waste is another essential control that can get overlooked. It is true that there is everyday waste (from extra prepped salad or cooked fries at the end of a busy lunch rush, to closing down the line at night) that is incurred in any restaurant or bar. But by using a waste tracking sheet to monitor everything that gets tossed out, you will be in a better position to control problem areas as they occur. Build a waste tracking spreadsheet using the following headings:

  • Date

  • Item wasted

  • Reason for waste

  • Employee name

  • Manager name

The principle is simple: every time product gets thrown in the garbage without being served to a customer, it gets recorded. Hang the waste sheet right above the main garbage bin. You will immediately have better control over your waste. You will be able to identify consistent problems – does the same individual overcook items regularly? Does food from the same fridge get thrown out due to spoilage? It might be time to retrain that employee, or to have that appliance serviced. Managing your losses and waste are two very simple procedures that, when managed properly, can really help you control your costs. Once you start doing these simple tasks, you will be able to minimize your losses and cinch up your bottom line.

 

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