Gastronomic management tools

In the academic world, generally, teachers from the area of Efficient of Food and Beverages, we cover in our classes all those tools that constitute triggers of information on how the business is going and that facilitate, in one way or another, the taking of strategic.
It is indisputable that, internationally, tools such as Revenue Management, extended to the restaurant sector, the old Menu Engineers, the development of softwares that minimize data collection time, as well as the increasing advancement of technologies, both for the administrationAs for the “manufacturing” process itself, they become important resources for the restaurateur in their desire to know how the market behaves, to define their opportunities, to know their threats and strengths and to be able to distinguish well, those weaknesses that must be overcome in order to stay competitive in that changing environment.
El also information and their perception of quality, the relationship with prices, the image and brand of the establishment plays an important role. Knowing him thoroughly, how he thinks, what he aspires to and how he measures the service offered, becomes an essential resource for this type of business. However, many of the reasons why restaurants are given precisely by the misapplication of these tools management or for two reasons, which, as the author sees, he considers occur:
The first: The administrator or owner tends only to compare his business with that of the competition and on this basis designs his strategies and establishes prices seeking to compete, and does not internally evaluate his own restaurant in its full magnitude.
The second: The administrator or owner is based on the empirical or trained experience he has. Generally, there are people who only do and allow what they know to do or what they have learned in their training to be done, apply tools that may not be the most appropriate for their business, or measure profitability based on the patterns of others.
Managing a business and making decisions that will affect it, is not a matter of games. Knowing how to determine which tools can be used and knowing how to combine them is an important act for those who have this responsibility.
If we establish now, where the differences and similarities between one restaurant or another, we can see that they are all based on the same general principles of administration that any company, however, not all apply the same tools management To measure their results, not all offer the same type of service and comfort, they do not share their offers the same, nor do they buy from the same providers; therefore, it is clear that in this business what counts is the ability to interpret the results from the economic and financial analysis of the company and on this determine the policies and strategies to follow (purchases, prices, type of service, resources human, etc)
The consumer of yesterday is not the same as today, to the extent that media such as the Internet, advertising, pre-prepared foods, among others, are made available to them, they are acquiring a culture and a power over the services that are what motivate the change, because it is well said that it is not the functions of the meals that change, but that it is the customers who do.
Therefore, the application of tools management They must go hand in hand with what consumers want and for this reason it is important to first know what the customer wants and, from there, establish strategies to satisfy them and achieve the expected profitability.
There are several tools that due to their characteristics must be evaluated to be applied in the installation, in this article we show some of them, their characteristics, advantages and disadvantages. 

Tools of management

 The engineering mix of menu

Every restaurant bases its strategies in achieving your goals of costs, profit, marketing and customer satisfaction from a well-planned menu, with prices well established for the market segment you are targeting.
For many years specialists on the subject have combined and / or adapted various techniques such as Henderson's Marketing Growth Growth Matrix, combining them with the elements of the sales volume of products on Miller's menu or the margin of contribution to profit of Kasavana. and Smith with the objective of identifying which products should receive a different price or position in the offer and thus achieve the necessary sales averages to decrease the cost food, an adequate profit, satisfy the customer and make position itself in the restaurant market.
Professor René Gómez Eyía1 explained that: "It is the combination of these elements: percentage of food costs, sales volume, popularity and contribution margin, which should be used to design a menu that simultaneously achieves optimal total income, costs low food, high gross profits and good acceptance by our customers" 

Menu Engineering (Menu Engineers):

A few years ago (1982), two North American scientists Michael Kasavana and Donald Smith developed a technique called Menu Engineering, in which instead of depending on the cost of the food product, they proposed increasing the average contribution margin based on the menu mix. It was devised with the intention of knowing the preferences of the clients in relation to the offer, as well as identifying those products that must receive a different price or position in order to achieve the necessary billing averages, decrease the total percentages of cost food, receive an adequate profit and provide optimal customer satisfaction to ensure a good position in the market.
This is a technique that is characterized by its speed and ease of analysis of its results, although it requires Supply Chain stable that guarantees the presence of the offer on the days that the analysis is carried out and that all the products (menu items) will be in place for when requested by the client.
From the practical experience gained from its application, I consider it necessary to take into account the following aspects: 
    • The application of this technique should be done when the menu has an aging period that makes it known to restaurant customers.
    • The time period should never be less than 15 days, the longer this time, the more reliable the data for the analysis will be.
    • The entire menu of an installation and separate homogeneous plate groups must be worked on. The menu in its entirety informs about its behavior for customer satisfaction and when working homogeneous groups of dishes (starters with starters, red meat with red meat) you see the competition of each dish within its group and its level performance.
    • The calculation of the average popularity must be based on the analysis of the geometric mean of the group of dishes analyzed since it is based on the average of the sales index and the presentation index. 
The basic questions to ask the administrator when applying are:
    1. How many dishes of each product are sold?
    2. How many times are the products presented in the time period of the study?
    3. How popular is each product?
    4. Which is the food cost of each offer?
    5. What is the unit price of each dish on the menu?
    6. How much money do you earn with each plate served?
    7. What are the total costs, prices and contribution margins of each dish served?
    8. What is the average popularity of the menu product?
    9. What is the average contribution of the menu product?
    10. What is the classification of each product according to profitability and popularity
To facilitate this work of calculations we must make a table with the primary indicators that we need and those obtained by the previous calculations, which will have the columns that we relate below:
    1. Product.
    2. Quantity of units sold.
    3. Sales index.
    4. Number of presentations.
    5. Presentation index.
    6. Popularity index.
    7. Unit cost of the product.
    8. Unit selling price.
    9. Unit contribution margin.
    10. Total cost.
    11. Total sale.
    12. Total gross profit margin.
 1      2 3 10  11  12 
 Products  CUV  IV  CPre  IPre  Ipop  Cu  Pv  MBGplato  CTotal  VTotal  MBG Total
And the calculation methodology is as follows:
A)  Sales index: indicates the proportion that corresponds to the sale of a product within the total.
B) Presentation index: indicates the proportion with which a product appears in the offer with respect to the total number of presentations as a whole, during a given period. tools
C) Popularity Index: indicates the level of acceptance of each product within the general letter. It is obtained from the relationship between the sales index and the presentation
D) Average Popularity Index: It is the average index of our offer by the client.
E) Gross Profit Margin per plate: it is obtained from the difference between the sale price of a product and its
F) Gross Total Profit Margin: is obtained from the difference between the sale price of a product and the cost thereof. tools
G) Gross Weighted Profit Margin: It is calculated from the sum of the MBGT of each product, divided by the number of products
Once each of the calculations has been carried out, a graph is prepared that responds to the following structure:
From the following analysis:
Gross profit margin
 Popularity index
 Product classificationto
Some of the actions to be carried out according to the classification of the dish are the following:
Product type  Basic Features Particular actions to undertake
 Estrella High MBGP and high IP.

Products or services requested. At the same time they have a high MBGP.
They contribute greatly to the fame of the tourist destination.
    • Maintain rigid quality standards.


    • Keep advertising attractive.


    • Test the price elasticity, if the demand almost does not decrease, then the sale price can be increased by approximately 5 to 10%.


 cow Low MBGP and high IP.

Popular (highly requested) products, but have a low MBGP.
They often attract customers for their reasonable price and thus offer a solid source of income.
    • Test the price elasticity if the product is very sensitive to variations, propose a selling price that facilitates it, and control costs.


    • Do not make the maximum efforts in advertising and promotion for these products.


    • Try to lower product costs to increase your MBGP.


    • Take into account the possibility of reducing the offer without changing the price, without having an important influence on the demand.


 Unknown  High MBGP and low IP
    • Eliminating the product, especially if its IP is very low, requires a lot of work and does not contribute to the image of the offer in general.


    • Carry out more publicity and promotion.


    • Lower the sale price, especially if you have a very high MBGP (take into account the elasticity of demand).


    • Limit the total number of unknown products in the global to 20% of total products.


 Perro Low MBGP and low IP.

Product that loses money, is not popular and has a low MBGP.
    •  Delete the product.


    • Increase the sale price to reach the unknown level at least.


Article published in the magazine the 22 of January of 2009
I am a dreamer and in my dreams I believe that a better world is possible, that no one knows more than anyone, we all learn from everyone. I love gastronomy, numbers, teaching and sharing all the little I know, because by sharing I also learn. "Let's all go together from foundation to success"
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