Mature new small business owner calculating online restaurant bill expenses and taxes

To Monitor your Expenses follow these Steps

There is absolutely no reason for stock items not to balance between items used and items sold.

Especially items that are packed singular or used as it is received from the supplier. a Can of coke is a simple example. 

Balancing of items becomes slightly more complicated when you manufacture and pack an item. a Garlic roll is a simple example that I can use. The roll arrives at your store separately from garlic the butter and the tinfoil used to wrap the item. 

When items are not balancing on your reporting sheets it is a clear indication that something is not done correctly somewhere in your business.

Below are the steps to follow to investigate the possible cause(s) of poor stock balancing: 
  • possible variances and differences are an indication of an error or a problem.
  • go back and check why to investigate either.
  • overs are as bad as shortages.
  • if you do not find the error in the count, recount. investigate manufacturing documents.
  • if you do not find the error in the re-count get another person to check.
  • go back to the invoice if you still haven’t found the error and check the capturing of the invoice.
  • after checking the invoice check the capturing details.
  • if you still do not find the error go to surveillance cameras and check the recording of the delivery.
  • double-check if the stock actually came into your store.
  • there is always a reason, always go back to analyse the process until you find the cause.
  • do not leave a difference without the correct explanation.
  • stop/breathe/think/act/repeat
  • check for potential punching/ capturing/ counting mistakes
  • check the staff bags etc. not nice to do however sometimes you will be shocked to see what you find.
  • do not feel rushed this is where most inaccuracies originate from.

The discipline to go back and check is the most difficult self-driven discipline to teach yourself. The only way to make this habit stick is by repetition. 

The discipline is to do it NOW, do not leave the double-check until later, or hope that another person will do it and find the mistake. The buck stops by ME! The sooner you learn to work with self-respect and self-discipline the better.

Call the managers that worked during the other shift. Interrogate the staff working on both shifts and create the understanding that sleeping dogs are not left undisturbed. 

This singular habit may and will in certain months mean the difference between a profit or a loss. You can choose! 

Discuss budgets and expense categories in advance and then compare actuals to budgets:
  • Consultation in advance with management
  • Consider leave
  • Public holidays
  • School holidays
  • Food cost
  • Wages FOH
  • Wages BOH
  • Incentives
  • Cleaning chemicals cutlery and crockery
  • Water
  • Uniforms
  • Stationary
  • Marketing
  • Insurance
  • Wood
  • Gas
  • Electricity
Start off with your estimated sales budget:
  • Management can pick up in quiet times, serve tables or cook meals
  • Wages is the only expense that you can manage per day per shift per hour
  • If you see you are under you have to decide if you need to cut more
  • If you see that you are spending more than your allowed budget you know you have to make a plan immediately
  • Sink or swim/adapt or cross-train your staff to be able to work in all the sections of your business
  • Implement different staff combinations
  • Do not shrug the matter off and think it will fix itself on another day
  • Hours are real money. Imagine you could take R20 from the till for every hour – You would be saving hours left right and centre
  • Time sales analysis will tell you how much and at what time your sales were on a given day in the past
  • Per hour you will be able to guestimate your staff requirement
  • If the history shows that a certain day was busy always consider the day before or the following day, breakfast too
  • Consider the time required to clean between shift changes
  • Consider compressed work weeks in your planning consultation with your staff in advance
  • Consider averaging out hours over a three month period with your staff in advance

Comparisons and double-check systems are tedious, time-consuming and it becomes repetitive. It is exactly the repetitive tenacity of the person tasked with this responsibility that will ensure success in the end. There is never a better time than right now! The discipline to follow up on discrepancies is the difference between success and failure.

Marius Joubert
Author: Marius Joubert

Founder of the first true community for the restaurant and hospitality industry.

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