A permanent concern for all administrators, in any of the sectors in which they work, has been precisely the control of costs; and this has been reflected in the intense search for alternatives that allow identifying where leaks occur and being able to contain them; in order to reaffirm the validity of the, always alluded to, business principle of obtaining the maximum profit at the minimum cost.
In particular, in service companies, and fundamentally in catering companies, cost control becomes a mechanism, worth reiterating, control over the rest of the activities that are generated by the different areas and that somehow, directly or indirectly, they guarantee the final service to the client. This becomes, in my opinion and to use a metaphor, the thermometer that measures and regulates the temperature the organization.
For a company, no matter its size, to be profitable, formal goals or standards are set such that its financial results are positive, starting in the first instance to define a budget that is contrasted with the different records of each of the operations that occur in the organization and that facilitate the taking of strategic
and the adoption of measures that contribute to the achievement of planned objectives.
Therefore, it can already be said that cost is the value of the resources used to achieve a specific planned objective.
But seen in this way, the cost would only be a necessary expense that must occur and must be assumed; but if you look at it from the angle of the role it plays in economic and financial results; as well as in the image that they contribute to society, customers and, of course, the competition; the costs would be more than that necessary expense to photograph the efficiency in which the organization is capable of generating benefits.
It is useless for a company to identify and improve processes, select its suppliers exquisitely, manage inventories, rationalize human resources, invest in training, prepare technical files and scandals; if not there is a economic awareness of the workers who work in the industry, and more than conscience, sense of belonging by the organization. This is the first great need that the administrator must be able to satisfy his restaurant, so that each one of the actions that he implements has results. For this reason, the personnel selection process must be carried out “with clamps”, using street jargon.
Regarding the diversity of costs, any book that deals with the subject refers to two types: fixed and variable costs. Somehow, following the logic of the different conceptions that have been issued about them and landing them properly to the activity of restoration, I will approach them in a quite simple way:
In the restoration activity, although the total fixed costs will always be the same, whether it occurs or not, they will not be the same for all units; however, the unit variable cost if it is constant per unit, hence it can be said that the fixed cost per unit is fixed for a given period and with a certain level of use of installed capacity, and that the fixed cost is proportional to the periods or stages within the management
of food and drinks.
In this type of activity the possible variable cost to control
efficiently is the cost of food since its variation depends only on changes that occur in the price and quantity of raw materials used in the preparation of the dish. Therefore, it becomes the main factor for fixing the cake cost1
of a plate, considering that the expense per man-time, as well as other general expenses such as depreciation, energy, etc., are almost constant.
In this way, it is proposed that the cost of food will oscillate between 25 and 40 percent, constituting labor and general expenses between 35 and 55%, to obtain a net benefit between 5 and 20 %.
Considering this, it can be said that costs will have a great influence when deciding on the type of menu and the variation of offers to be made; the selection of suppliers and even the hiring of staff.
But just as important as the analyzes that allow identifying those costs that are influencing the results of the organization, it is beneficial for the company to identify what factors affect them, and then proceed to reformulate the actions that, as previously stated, lead to the achievement of the proposed objectives.
In this sense, and combining actions with objectives, I consider that there are several important elements that contribute to their control:
The first is Prepare a detailed, analytical budget on solid foundations. The budget becomes an important control tool. The different deviations that occur in it when analyzing the planned with the actual executed, the administrator can identify the areas and periods in which the greatest expenses occur.
The second, that when setting the menu to be offered, they have the technical sheets of the different elaborations, updated and with the maximum of admissible and objective specifications.
As a third element, that the installation does not focus only on what you spend, but on what you have left at the end of each day
and evaluate the state in which these stocks are to be represented or used the next day. This will really allow control
the daily cost that has generally been incurred, as something normal that happens in kitchens, some ingredients can be lost in the manufacturing process; for example, an X sauce is prepared, which constitutes a base for various elaborations and has no outlet at all.
In the fourth position I place setting the cost index for food and beverages
. Once the administration
If the goal is set that food and beverages will work at a certain percentage of costs, it will be able, to the extent that each of the expenses in the different elaborations - sales, occur, to measure the behavior of the different products.
The formula to calculate the operational index of the different offers is simple, you divide the manufacturing cost by the sale price and you will obtain a value, which will tell you that the item you are evaluating operates at an equis (x) cost index. .