Chapter 10 Catering management

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Chapter 10  Catering management Powered By Docstoc
					                               Catering management   Chapter 10

1     Introduction                                             1

2     Key concepts                                             2

         Why do gaming venues need catering?                   2

         Types of gaming venue catering outlets                3

         How to make catering easier to manage                 5

         How to control catering costs                         7

         Catering as a marketing tool                          9

         Accounting for catering                              10

         Contract catering                                    12

3     Further information                                     16

Appendix A - How to measure kitchen performance               17

Appendix B - Pricing procedures                               18

Appendix C - Draft job descriptions                           19

Appendix D - Contract catering considerations                 24

Appendix E - Function booking pro forma                       25

Appendix F - Why market research is important                 26

Appendix G - Budgeting for food costs                         27

    Gaming venue business toolkit

     1 Introduction
     The aim of this chapter is to provide gaming venue management and owners/directors with an
     understanding of catering operations within gaming venues.
     For many venues, catering is a major financial and operational challenge. The objective of this chapter
     is to highlight some of the myths associated with catering and provide ideas to assist gaming venues to
     better understand and manage their catering operations.
     In recent times, bistro service areas have proven to be the most successful catering option in gaming
     venues, as most of the food is served from bain-maries, enabling cooking in volume and fast service.
     Bright colouring, themeing and decorations can help to make a bistro service area more attractive.
     Many gaming venue owners/directors and managers leave the venue’s decision-making processes
     for catering to the chef and catering manager. Management should also include chefs and catering
     managers in the venue’s overall decision-making processes.
     Catering is often used as a marketing tool to attract customers. This is often done through price
     specials, in the belief that this will increase revenue in other areas, such as gaming and the bar. A
     gaming venue should carry out its own research to determine the effectiveness of price driven catering
     specials. Catering specials or deals are also used frequently in patron and membership drives, or as
     prizes in raffles and loyalty programs.
     Many gaming venues outsource catering. There are many legal issues associated with contract caterers,
     therefore advice should be sought from the gaming venue’s legal and financial advisors. We have tried to
     highlight some of these considerations in this chapter.

                                                                Catering management Chapter 10

2 Key concepts

              RELEVANT                                                           FURTHER
KEY AREAS                      DETAILS
              POINTS                                                             ASSISTANCE
Why do        To provide a     Gaming venues often wish to provide a total
gaming        total service    service. There is a close positive relationship
venues need                    between food sales and patron and
catering?                      membership numbers and beverage sales.
              As a point of    Catering provides an opportunity for the          Chapter 8 –
              difference       gaming venue to create a point of difference,     Marketing,
                               an identifiable personality for the venue.        promotion
                               Generally most venues could be seen as the        and patron
                               same, as many gaming venues have similar          development
                               machines but with catering it is possible to
                               do something different from competitors and
                               attract different market segments.
              To increase      Due to a combination of factors, many
              utilisation of   gaming venues do not make a profit from
              the venue and    their catering operations. However, often the
              make a profit    catering operation does contribute to patron
                               and member visitation.

              To make a        If a gaming venue wishes to have a family-
              gaming venue     friendly image, it should include a children’s
              more family      menu. Again there is a positive relationship
              orientated       between families patronising a venue,
                               membership numbers and increasing trade in
                               other departments.
              To cater for     Functions can be a profitable area of a
              member’s         catering operation, as you are dealing with
              and guest’s      a large group with defined quantities to
              functions        cater for – reducing waste and maximising
                               efficiency. Groups also tend to spend more
                               per head on beverage sales and provide
                               potential new patrons, who may not
                               otherwise have visited the gaming venue.
              As a marketing   Venue marketing is a very competitive             Chapter 8 –
              tool             environment. Food provides another tool           Marketing,
                               in the gaming venue’s marketing strategy.         promotion
                               Catering can be used as incentives for            and patron
                               membership, or to increase beverage sales.        development
                               Caution needs to be exercised though when
                               using discounted catering as a marketing
                               tool; food specials are discussed further in
                               this chapter.

    Gaming venue business toolkit

                       RELEVANT                                                          FURTHER
      KEY AREAS                         DETAILS
                       POINTS                                                            ASSISTANCE
      Types of         Bistro service   These are seen as offering ‘value for money’
      gaming venue     areas            to patrons and members. There is usually a
      catering                          diverse range of food options to cater for a
      outlets                           large cross section of patron’s tastes and
                                        preferences. It is important that the menu
                                        suits the venue’s demographic.
                       Café/lounge      Cafes offer a relaxed casual eating
                                        environment. People can eat when they
                                        like, usually from a range of cakes, pastries,
                                        sandwiches and light savoury meals.
                                        A significant advantage of cafe operations
                                        is generally the low labour costs. If adjacent
                                        to a bar they can be operated by the same
                                        staff in quiet times. Research has indicated
                                        that members and guests are not as price
                                        sensitive when eating in coffee shops,
                                        as they appear to be in bistros. Limited
                                        involvement with the kitchen also assists in
                                        the economical operation of a cafe.
                       Function         If a gaming venue can afford to invest in
                       rooms            function rooms they may find there is a
                                        very profitable market. Mark-up on function
                                        catering is considerably greater than
                                        the bistro operations and they are more
                                        economical to run.
                                        Functions also have the added advantage
                                        of increasing patronage in beverage sales
                                        to an audience that may not otherwise
                                        have attended the gaming venue if not for
                                        a function. Function trade considerably
                                        increases the overall catering volume, making
                                        catering operations within the gaming venue
                                        more economical.
                                        A staff member should to be designated
                                        as the venue’s function liaison person.
                                        Promoting functions would also need to be
                                        part of the gaming venue’s overall strategic
                                        and marketing plan.
                       A la carte       A la carte catering can be a challenging
                                        dining option. It generally requires high
                                        patronage, high spend and highly trained
                                        staff to manage the restaurant.

                                                              Catering management Chapter 10

            RELEVANT                                                           FURTHER
KEY AREAS                     DETAILS
            POINTS                                                             ASSISTANCE
            Food themes       Food themes are popular, whether they
                              are used at particular times such as a grill
                              night or fish and chips night, or when a
                              catering outlet themes one particular food
                              style, such as a steak house, seafood cove,
                              Italian, pasta, or hamburger joint. They allow
                              a gaming venue to accentuate a point of
                              difference from a competitor and inject some
                              personality into the venue’s décor.
            Snack bar and     Small gaming venues with low-volume, and
            take away         large venues wishing to add variety, could
                              consider a snack bar.
                              Snack bars are generally self-contained and
                              don’t require kitchen back up. Due to the low
                              capital cost and low running costs, they can
                              be operated whenever the need arises. In
                              the case of large gaming venues, snack bars
                              provide an increased opportunity to trade at
                              various time frames at low-cost.
            Food for social   There is no research that indicates that those
            visitors          who visit simply for a social outing have
                              any particular food preferences. However,
                              empirical theory would suggest that they
                              tend to prefer fast low-cost meals or snack-
                              type meals.
                              Gaming venues should carry out a survey
                              amongst patrons and members as to their
                              food preferences, and try to meet their
                              expectations. Few venues make the effort to
                              determine dining preferences for members.
                              A venue that does embark on this research
                              could give themselves a marketing edge over
                              their competitors.

    Gaming venue business toolkit

                       RELEVANT                                                           FURTHER
      KEY AREAS                         DETAILS
                       POINTS                                                             ASSISTANCE
      How to make      Management       For many gaming venues, catering
      catering         structure        management can be a significant issue; there
      easier to                         are many factors contributing to this problem.
                                        One of the significant issues is the
                                        management structure of the venue’s
                                        catering operation, and where it fits in their
                                        overall management structure. The majority
                                        of senior management in the gaming venue
                                        industry tend to have come through bar,
                                        gaming or administration streams. Few have
                                        come through the catering stream. This has
                                        resulted in a lack of catering experience in
                                        many gaming venues’ senior management.
                                        Senior management need to have a good
                                        understanding of catering operations and
                                        to include the chef in the venue’s overall
                                        decision making processes.
                                        Regular meetings between the venue’s senior
                                        management and catering staff also assist in
                                        better managing the catering operation.
                       Job              Detailed job descriptions are imperative for      Appendix C at
                       descriptions     chefs and catering staff in order that both the   the end of this
                                        gaming venue’s management and catering            chapter – Draft
                                        staff have a clear understanding of their roles   job description
                                        and responsibilities.
                       Reporting        Chefs and catering managers should be             Appendix A at
                       procedures       required to provide weekly profit and loss        the end of this
                                        estimates including overall sales, estimated      chapter – How to
                                        cost of sales and labour. This will provide the   measure kitchen
                                        gaming venue’s senior management with an          performance
                                        indication of the venue’s catering operation
                                        on a regular basis, giving time to take any
                                        remedial action that may be necessary.
                       Policy manuals   The owners/board, senior management
                                        and catering management should write and
                                        maintain a catering policy manual that details
                                        policies on such issues as pricing, menus,
                                        health and safety, maintenance, industrial
                                        relations and food hygiene. The policy
                                        manual would provide clear guidelines as
                                        to the manner in which the gaming venue’s
                                        catering operation is to be conducted.

                                                              Catering management Chapter 10

            RELEVANT                                                          FURTHER
KEY AREAS                    DETAILS
            POINTS                                                            ASSISTANCE
            Procedure        Catering can be the most labour-intensive
            manuals          department in a gaming venue. It is the
                             only area that has to manufacture its own
                             product, and the high labour component
                             means that the margin for human error is
                             greater than any other department.
                             Consistency is also a key element of a
                             successful catering operation whether it is
                             consistency in quality, presentation style,
                             portion control or recipes.
                             The way in which the potential for human
                             error can be reduced, and a degree of
                             consistency maintained, is by using a
                             procedures manual. The manual would
                             include such areas as cleaning procedures,
                             recipes, food presentation formats, staff
                             ratios, ordering, storage, stock takes and
                             invoice processing. The responsibility for
                             producing and maintaining a procedures
                             manual should be allocated to the chef,
                             catering manager or operations manager.
                             A procedures manual is a vital tool at a
                             time of significant staff change in a catering
                             operation. The manual enables new staff
                             to quickly understand the venue’s catering
                             processes and procedures.
            Staff meetings   A successful catering operation requires the
                             cooperation of other departments; namely
                             kitchen production staff, catering floor
                             staff, bar staff, functions staff and gaming
                             venue operational management. These staff
                             members should meet weekly to discuss
                             issues in the week just completed and to
                             discuss plans for the following week.
                             Constant communication is vital in the
                             complex area of catering; it also provides
                             non-catering staff with an understanding of
                             the catering operations and opportunities
                             it may provide for up-selling in
                             other departments.

    Gaming venue business toolkit

                       RELEVANT                                                           FURTHER
      KEY AREAS                       DETAILS
                       POINTS                                                             ASSISTANCE
                       Training       As in most other gaming venue departments,          Chapter 8 –
                                      training and product knowledge is vital in a        Marketing,
                                      successful catering operation. Staff must be        promotion
                                      able to discuss and explain the dishes on           and patron
                                      the menu, with emphasis on the ingredients          development
                                      included. Members and guests expect
                                      staff to be able to make recommendations
                                      in catering areas more so than in any
                                      other department.
                                      Good customer service skills and the
                                      ability to deal with complaints are also
                                      a prerequisite for staff working in the
                                      catering area.
                                      The best way these issues can be dealt with
                                      is through constant structured staff training.
      How to         Departmental     Catering department budgets should be
      control        budget           developed by catering, operational and
      catering costs                  administration management staff in order that
                                      they have a sense of ownership. This is a
                                      bottom-up process not a top-down process.
                                      A 12 month budget should be broken down
                                      to monthly and weekly budgets, enabling
                                      catering staff to compare their actual trading
                                      against this budget, and report significant
                                      variances to management.
                       Weekly stock   Due to the perishable nature and wide variety
                       take           of produce and suppliers in the catering area,
                                      weekly stock takes are the most appropriate
                                      method of controlling stock. Stock take and
                                      calculations should include non-catering staff
                                      in order that the process is at arm’s length.
                       Costed         Catering rosters should be costed based on
                       timesheets     the budgeted sales for a given week. This
                                      will identify any possible areas of excess or
                                      insufficient staffing, in order that labour costs
                                      are in line with budget expectations. Naturally
                                      changes should occur on timesheets when
                                      unanticipated circumstances arise.

                                                             Catering management Chapter 10

            RELEVANT                                                          FURTHER
KEY AREAS                   DETAILS
            POINTS                                                            ASSISTANCE
            Pricing and     Pricing and profit margin should be a             Appendix B at
            profit margin   management policy. The manager should             the end of this
            policy          price individual dishes, determining the          chapter – Pricing
                            margin of profit they require, above the cost     procedures
                            of sales and wages. To assist, the chef
                            should provide management with individual
                            plate cost and labour component for each
                            dish on the menu. Management may require
                            a profit margin of 25% above the cost of
                            sales and labour.
                            Once management has established a margin
                            and profit over costs, it is then the role of
                            the chef to achieve that profit over the mix of
                            menu items. This is not to say that every item
                            should have a profit margin of, say, 25%;
                            there may be some dishes on the menu that
                            can carry a margin in excess of 25%, and
                            some may require a lesser percentage.
            Preferred       Consistency in price, quality and supply
            suppliers       can often be negotiated by the process of
                            selecting a preferred supplier. This requires
                            the gaming venue management to call
                            fortenders from the major catering supply
                            areas such as meat, fruit and vegetable,
                            seafood, dry goods and cleaning chemicals.
                            An indication of the gaming venue’s
                            anticipated value of purchases in each area
                            should be supplied to the tenderers along
                            with the period of supply. In small venues
                            it may be desirable to appoint only one
                            preferred supplier in each area, whereas in a
                            larger venue two or three preferred suppliers
                            may be selected in order to maintain
                            A person needs to be nominated to
                            check invoices against tendered prices to
                            ensure compliance.

    Gaming venue business toolkit

                       RELEVANT                                                       FURTHER
      KEY AREAS                     DETAILS
                       POINTS                                                         ASSISTANCE
                       Separate     In medium to larger gaming venues it is
                       purchasing   worth considering the purchase of catering
                                    products being placed by persons other
                                    than catering staff to ensure this process
                                    is at arm’s length. In large venues this
                                    process could be delegated to a purchasing
                                    officer who may also be responsible for the
                                    purchase of liquor and other requirements.
                                    Allocating catering purchases to non-catering
                                    staff also relieves the catering department of
                                    a clerical function.
      Catering as a To attract      Catering is often used as a marketing tool
      marketing tool members and    to attract customers. This is often done
                     customers      through price specials in the belief that this
                                    will increase revenue in other departments.
                                    A gaming venue should carry out their own
                                    research to determine the effectiveness
                                    of price driven catering specials. Catering
                                    specials or deals are also used frequently in
                                    membership drives or as prizes in raffles and
                                    loyalty programs.
                       Specials     Specials are only a special if it is considered
                                    so in the eyes of the members or guests, not
                                    because the gaming venue’s management
                                    believe they are specials. All too often
                                    gaming venues reduce the overall price of the
                                    catering menu, to the point where this overall
                                    price reduction becomes the norm, making it
                                    difficult to raise prices when profits become
                                    too low.
                                    Few members or customers would notice
                                    the reduction of 5% across a whole menu.
                                    A better way to promote price specials in
                                    the catering area is to promote specials, that
                                    are say, 50% cheaper and are only available
                                    for a limited time or limited occasions. This
                                    enables the gaming venue to control the
                                    price discount – customers will remember a
                                    50% discount on an item.

                                                                 Catering management Chapter 10

               RELEVANT                                                           FURTHER
KEY AREAS                       DETAILS
               POINTS                                                             ASSISTANCE
               Increasing       All too often, catering operations in gaming
               beverage sales   venues are looked at in isolation from
                                beverage sales. In catering operations that
                                make a concerted effort to deliver good
                                customer service for beverages to diners,
                                a significant increase in beverage sales has
                                been achieved.
                                When looking at the viability of a catering
                                operation, consideration should be given to
                                the beverage sales that are generated by the
                                catering operation, which would not be made
                                if there were no catering operation.
Accounting     Catering         It is management’s role to establish a            Chapter 3 –
for catering   accounting       catering accounting policy. This would            Financial health of
               policy           include how they wish the catering                a gaming venue
                                accounts to be presented, what items
                                are to be included and how discounting
                                catering promotional expenditures are to be
                                accounted for.
                                Many gaming venues’ catering operations
                                show a loss because specials, advertising
                                and some overhead costs that may have
                                been used to promote other areas of the
                                venue, have been disproportionately applied
                                to the catering department.
               Promotional      Promotional costs, discounts and specials
               costs            need to be assessed as to why they are
                                being offered and whether the cost has been
                                applied appropriately.
                                For example, a gaming venue conducts a
                                function for a local charity and allows them to
                                use a room free of charge, as well as giving
                                them a discount of three dollars per head for
                                a meal. The cost of room rental, which may
                                normally be $200, and the $3 meal discount
                                should be charged to the gaming venue’s
                                donation or charity account and credited
                                to the catering account. This ensures the
                                catering department receives true value for
                                the goods and services they supplied, and
                                the annual reports would rightly show the
                                true value of community benefit contributions
                                made to local charities.

     Gaming venue business toolkit

                        RELEVANT                                                             FURTHER
       KEY AREAS                          DETAILS
                        POINTS                                                               ASSISTANCE
                        Advertising       Advertising costs should be considered in
                        costs             the same way as specials and discounts.
                                          The gaming venue may run a large
                                          advertising promotion built around a food
                                          special with the intention of attracting traffic
                                          to the venue to promote and generate sales
                                          in other areas.
                                          If attracting general traffic is the aim, the
                                          advertising costs should not be levied against
                                          the catering department simply because
                                          it was a food advertisement. These costs
                                          should be applied to the gaming venue’s
                                          general advertising costs, or divided amongst
                                          the departments which would benefit
                                          financially from the advertising campaign.
                        Beverage sales Many departments within a gaming
                                       venue have an interrelationship with other
                                       departments. This is very much the case
                                       between catering and beverage sales. If
                                       gaming venues consider the results of the
                                       catering department in isolation from sales
                                       that may have been generated in other
                                       areas, such as room rental, then the true
                                       value of the catering department could be
                                          This is particularly relevant in the case of
                                          functions. The ideal situation is for gaming
                                          venues to be able to separately identify
                                          beverage sales that have been generated
                                          directly from a catering operation.
                        Overhead          There are many ways that gaming venues        Chapter 3 –
                        apportioning      allocate overhead costs, such as courtesy     Financial health of
                                          buses, power, cleaning, maintenance and       a good venue
                                          advertising to departments. The arbitrary way
                                          in which these costs are often applied has
                                          a significant impact on profitability of each
                                          department, particularly so in the case of
                                          As the majority of overhead costs in a
                                          catering operation are beyond the control of
                                          the chef the management should focus on
                                          the percentage of profit after cost of sales
                                          and labour to measure the performance of
                                          the catering operation.

                                                                 Catering management Chapter 10

            RELEVANT                                                           FURTHER
KEY AREAS                      DETAILS
            POINTS                                                             ASSISTANCE
            Discounting        Many gaming venue catering operations
            policy             show a trading loss because of a lack of
                               control, accountability and procedures.
                               Management should establish a discounting
                               policy, which amongst other things, would
                               determine who is authorised to provide
                               discounts, for what purpose discounts
                               may be given, an indication of the sort
                               of discounts that may be given, and an
                               indication of maximum discount levels.
            Review             Clear guidelines need to be given to catering   Appendix C at
            management         management staff in setting out their           the end of this
            responsibilities   responsibilities, particularly as they relate   chapter – Draft
                               to purchasing, stock control, pricing, food     job descriptions
                               quality, hygiene, customer service, cost of
                               labour and departmental profitability.
                               A review of the gaming venue’s catering
                               staff’s job descriptions may be required to
                               ensure accountability.
Contract    Why choose         Gaming venues choose to contract out their      Appendix D
catering    contract           catering for many reasons. Some of the main     at the end of
            catering           reasons are as follows:                         this chapter –
                                                                               Contract catering
                               •	 lack of in-house catering management
                               •	 endeavouring to reduce catering losses;
                               •	 minimising capital infrastructure costs;
                               •	 reducing staff on-costs;
                               •	 industrial relations issues;
                               •	 fixed pricing; and
                               •	 to transfer risks.

     Gaming venue business toolkit

                        RELEVANT                                                          FURTHER
       KEY AREAS                        DETAILS
                        POINTS                                                            ASSISTANCE
                        Catering know   One of the most frequently asked questions
                        how             about gaming venue catering is ‘should the
                                        venue do its own catering or should it be
                                        contracted out?’. There is no easy answer to
                                        this question. Factors that should be taken
                                        into consideration are:
                                        •	 catering experience of the gaming venue’s
                                           senior management staff;
                                        •	 amount of control the gaming venue
                                           wishes to exercise over its catering
                                           operation, particularly as a promotional and
                                           marketing tool;
                                        •	 ability of a contractor to meet all the
                                           legal and regulatory requirements of
                                           the gaming venue’s catering operation.
                                           From a risk perspective, do they have
                                           the necessary infrastructure to meet their
                                           employer responsibilities – insurance,
                                           superannuation, workers compensation,
                                           taxation, public and professional liability;
                                        •	 availability of experienced and reputable
                                           contract caterers.

                                                                    Catering management Chapter 10

            RELEVANT                                                             FURTHER
KEY AREAS                      DETAILS
            POINTS                                                               ASSISTANCE
            Legal              There are many legal issues associated with       Gaming venue’s
            responsibilities   contract catering, therefore advice should        legal advisors
                               be sought from the gaming venue’s legal
                               advisor and from industry associations.
                               Amongst the many legal issues that need to
                               be resolved are:
                               •	 product liability insurance;
                               •	 work health and safety regulations;
                               •	 payment award wages;
                               •	 staff on-costs (particularly payroll tax,
                                  workers compensation, superannuation
                                  and income tax);
                               •	 equipment ownership;
                               •	 equipment maintenance;
                               •	 hygiene procedures;
                               •	 customer service standards;
                               •	 performance criterias;
                               •	 asset register; and
                               •	 licensing division issues.
            Marketing and      Catering is a key promotional and marketing
            promotional        tool in many gaming venues. In the case of
            flexibility        contract caterers, many marketing issues
                               need to be resolved and addressed in the
                               contract. Some of the issues which would
                               need to be considered are:
                               •	 promotional flexibility;
                               •	 negotiation of specials prices;
                               •	 shared advertising costs/apportioned
                                  advertising costs;
                               •	 themed occasions; and
                               •	 children’s menus.

     Gaming venue business toolkit

                        RELEVANT                                                          FURTHER
       KEY AREAS                          DETAILS
                        POINTS                                                            ASSISTANCE
                        Customer          Quality customer service is becoming an
                        service control   increasing element of a successful gaming
                                          venues’ competitive edge. When considering
                                          contract catering, customer service
                                          standards need to be established and form
                                          part of the contract arrangements. It should
                                          include such areas as:
                                          •	 trading and service times;
                                          •	 portion control and food presentation;
                                          •	 staff presentation;
                                          •	 staff skills competency; and
                                          •	 customer service standards.
                        Functions and     Functions and cafes may be separate areas
                        cafes             of the catering operation, which may or
                                          may not be included as part of a catering
                                          contract. Functions and cafes can be the
                                          most profitable areas of catering operations.
                                          It may be possible in some circumstances
                                          for the gaming venue to maintain one or both
                                          of these operations. If the gaming venue’s
                                          decision is to include these areas in the
                                          catering contract, then there are operational
                                          details which will need to be set out in
                                          the contract.
                        Contract          There are many general issues that need         Appendix D
                                          to be included in the catering contract. It     at the end of
                                          is for this reason that gaming venues are       this chapter –
                                          advised to seek professional advice when        Contract catering
                                          the catering contract is being drafted. An      considerations
                                          example of some of the issues the contract
                                          needs to cover are:
                                          •	 the parties involved;
                                          •	 term of the contract;
                                          •	 cancellation clauses;
                                          •	 persons responsible;
                                          •	 review processes; and
                                          •	 conflict resolution processes.

                                                  Catering management Chapter 10

3 Further information
Food Safety Victoria
Phone:     1300 364 352              Website:
Address:   GPO Box 4057              Email:
           Melbourne Victoria 3001

     Gaming venue business toolkit

      Appendix A
      How to measure kitchen performance

      Checking kitchen numbers is essential to know how your business is performing. So how can you do it
      quickly and easily? You probably have a lot of the figures already – they just need to be gathered up and
      reviewed. Most chefs are keen to get regular, accurate information about how their team is performing
      and they can help to get much of it for you.
      Here are a some ways to find out how you’re travelling:
      1. Food cost percentage can be measured quickly by adding up food purchases and measuring them
         against food sales. This is based on the assumption that you are not holding much stock (as it’s
         perishable. This method will get you very close to a true figure, and the little you lose in accuracy is
         more than made up for by having more regular results (say, weekly) to check.
      2. Cost all key recipes. They should fit overall profit guidelines, and they need to be written down
         and costed accurately. A simple database program or excel template can do this easily. It takes
         commitment to do it properly, so help the chefs with standard forms, or get someone to do it as a
         special project. There’s always good and bad news when you do recipe costing – some items are
         more profitable than you expected, and some are a lot worse.
      3. Add up all food purchases for the week – how much was the total bill? Sometimes this is a useful
         figure to show to those staff who think the business is made of money!
      4. Work out food costs per-head. It can be useful to see how much it costs to feed an average
         customer. If your menu and sales style is consistent, this should remain much the same each week.
         If it starts to go up, find out what’s happening!
      5. Work out the kitchen labour percentage. It’s only fair to measure kitchen productivity by comparing
         kitchen labour against food sales, not total sales (alcohol and beverage sales may be influenced by
         other factors).
      6. Count kitchen labour hours – how many hours worked in each section? Compare this against sales
         to measure productivity.
      7. Work out the total stock value – how much are you holding? It should be less than a week’s use, but
         can slip if you are storing frozen seafood or cryovac meat.
      8. Check the main selling items each week. Do you know what the best (and worst!) sellers are? Think
         about the 80/20 rule – that 80% of your sales come from 20% of your menu items. Chances are
         you could drop a few items off the menu and sales would not be affected at all, but costs would go
         down because of fewer unique stock items being held.
      9. Finally, organise your administration staff to get the figures out quickly – most of them should be
         available by Tuesday morning for the previous week. If mistakes or wastage happened, you can
         usually track it down from these reports.

                                                                        Catering management Chapter 10

Appendix B
Pricing procedures

Menu Item _________________________________
Number of Portions __________________________
Date of Calculation __________________________

                                                          Cost of                Total cost per
 Quantity          Ingredient
                                                          ingredients            ingredient used

 Total costs of ingredients
 Divide total cost of ingredients by the number of portions
 Total cost per plate
 Mark-up 300%
 Selling price (i.e. total cost of goods + mark-up)

Total cost of ingredients divided by number of portions = total cost per plate
Total cost per plate divided by 100 and x 300 = 300%
Add total cost per plate to the 300% = selling price to achieve margin of 75%

     Gaming venue business toolkit

      Appendix C
      Draft job descriptions

      Catering manager

      To be typed on gaming venue’s letterhead

      Job specification
      (Dated: __________ Review: ________)
      Position:           Catering manager.
      Objective:          To ensure the profitable, efficient and harmonious operation of the kitchen and the
                          gaming venue’s food production.
                          To ensure the efficient and economical control of kitchen products and ensure all
                          administrative procedures are adhered to.
      Responsible to:     General Manager
      Liase with:         General Manager, Head Chef, Functions Manager, Promotions and
                          Marketing Manager.

      1. Promote and execute profitable production of all food requirements.
      2. In consultation with the General Manager and Chef be responsible for all pricing of food sold in the
         gaming venue to maintain budget margins within the venue’s general policy.
      3. Institute and maintain a system for overall consistency and quality control.
      4. Delegate precise responsibilities to the Chef and monitor compliance.
      5. Ensure hands-on supervision of kitchen as required and as appropriate with regards to the
         Chef’s role.
      6. Ensure a high standard of food presentation is maintained in all food outlets.
      7. In consultation with the Chef and Functions Manager write all food menus.
      8. Supervise the receipt and checking of all deliveries.
      9. Supervise the cleaning and maintenance of all kitchen, food service and storage areas of the
         gaming venue.
      10. Maximise economic in-house food production.
      11. Oversee the purchasing of all food products at best possible market price irrespective of supplier.
      12. Seek new product suppliers as necessary.
      13. Supervise all stock-takes and stock control procedures.
      14. Manage all stock-takes in association with the Chef, including:
          •	 preparation of updated stock-takes sheets, including new items and new prices;
          •	 physical stock take;
          •	 input of stock-take count;

                                                                        Catering management Chapter 10

Appendix C

    •	 investigate stock-take discrepancies, errors and major variances;
    •	 print copies of final stock-take for office kitchen records (Note: Stock takes should be done
       alternatively with the Chef. One other person from another department should assist at each
15. With the approval of the General Manager, supervise all kitchen and food service equipment
    maintenance; and
16. Liaise with and regularly meet with guests as appropriate.

1. In consultation with the General Manager and Chef, appoint all staff required and assist with
   induction for new staff.
2. Ensure a high standard of appearance and discipline for all staff.
3. Hold weekly kitchen staff meetings.
4. Prior to any staff counselling or warnings, the issues and procedures must be discussed with the
   General Manager.
5. Encourage and assist staff to enter culinary competitions.

1. Ensure all necessary accounting procedures as required by Assistant Manager are carried out.
2. Be aware of all award wages and conditions and legislated industrial relations and ensure
3. Be aware of Apprenticeship requirements and ensure compliance.
4. In consultation with the Chef, cost and produce staff rosters within budget expectations.
5. Ensure time sheets are checked and signed by a senior staff member after each shift.
6. Be aware of Health Department regulations and ensure compliance.
7. Be aware of all Work Health and Safety standards and requirements and ensure compliance.
8. Liaise with General Manager, Assistant Manager, Functions Manager and Promotions/Marketing
   Manager to promote business.
9. Attend staff management meetings as required.
10. Be aware of month end dates.
11. Ensure that at least two competing preferred suppliers are used for major product groups,
    particularly in meat, seafood, fruit and vegetable.
12. Make sure the Assistant Manager has approved all new suppliers and the office has processed
    all forms.
13. Monitor cost of sales and wage percentages and make sure they are in line with budget
    expectations. Significant variances must be reported to the Assistant Manager.
14. Produce weekly goods cost analysis.
15. Produce weekly wage cost reports.

     Gaming venue business toolkit

      Appendix C

      16. Be aware of members of the gaming venue, staff rules, gaming venue policies and procedures as set
          out in staff handbook and ensure they are complied with by all staff.
      17. Be aware of the members of the venue’s management board committee.
      18. Maintain job specifications for all kitchen and food service staff.
      19. Be aware of the rules in the member’s handbook.
      20. Be aware of and comply with all issues contained in the gaming venue’s administration policy.
      21. The offer of gifts or benefits from suppliers is to be dealt with in accordance the gaming venue’s
          administration policy.
      22. Carry out any other tasks associated with the role of Catering Manager as directed by the
          General Manager.

      Divulging gaming venue information
      The gaming venue requires that you will not, (either during or after your employment with gaming
      venue Name) without the venue’s written consent, divulge any information concerning the venue or any
      associated venues or any of their dealings, transactions or affairs that may come to your knowledge
      during or in the course of your employment with the gaming venue.

      I, employee’s name, have read and understand this job specification and accept the position of Catering
      Manager at gaming venue Name, under the terms and conditions set out in this job specifications and
      the accompanying letter of offer.

      Signed: ____________________________________________ Date: ______________________

      Witness signature: __________________________________ Date: ______________________

      Witness name: _________________________________________________________________

                                                                        Catering management Chapter 10

Appendix C

Draft job descriptions

Head Chef

To be typed on gaming venue’s letterhead

(Dated: __________ Review: ________)

Position:               Head chef
Objective:              To assist in the profitable, efficient and harmonious operation of the kitchen and
                        the gaming venue’s food production.
Responsible to:         Catering Manager
Liase With:             General Manager, Catering Manager, Functions Manager, Promotions and
                        Marketing Manager.

1. Ensure hands-on supervision of kitchen at meal times as required.
2. Ensure a high standard of presentation is maintained in all food outlets.
3. Monitor food and labour usage to increase profitability and reduce wastage.
4. Ensure all necessary accounting procedures are carried out.
5. Ensure cleanliness of the kitchen, refrigeration and dry store areas.
6. Supervise stock control and ordering.
7. Place orders as directed.
8. Check and sign staff time sheets after each shift.
9. Be aware of award wages, conditions and ensure compliance.
10. Be aware of the Health Department regulations.
11. Be aware of all Workplace Health and Safety standards and requirements and ensure compliance.
12. Be aware of Apprenticeship requirements and ensure compliance.
13. Ensure clean and tidy appearance of all staff.
14. Liaise with the Catering Manager, Promotions Manager and Functions Manager to promote
    business, profit and harmonious relations.
15. Carry out stock-takes as directed.
16. Assist with the induction of new staff.
17. Be aware of member’s rules.
18. Be aware of all gaming venue staff rules and venue policies and ensure all kitchen staff comply
    them with.
19. Carry out any other task that is associated with the kitchen or food production as directed from time
    to time.

     Gaming venue business toolkit

      Appendix C

      Divulging gaming venue information
      The gaming venue requires that you will not, (either during or after your employment with gaming
      venue Name) without the venue’s written consent, divulge any information concerning the venue or any
      associated venues or any of their dealings, transactions or affairs that may come to your knowledge
      during or in the course of your employment with the venue.

      I, employee’s name, have read and understand this job specification and accept the position of Head
      Chef at gaming venue Name, under the terms and conditions set out in this job specifications and the
      accompanying letter of offer.

      Signed: ____________________________________________ Date: ______________________

      Witness signature: __________________________________ Date: ______________________

      Witness name: _________________________________________________________________

                                                            Catering management Chapter 10

Appendix D
Contract catering considerations

Why contract?                         Customer service
•	 Lack of catering know-how          •	 Hygiene and cleanliness standards
•	 Reduce costs                       •	 Trading and service times
•	 Minimise capital infrastructure    •	 Portion and quality control
•	 Reduce staff on-costs              •	 Staff presentation
•	 Less industrial relations issues   •	 Staff competency
•	 Fixed pricing                      •	 Staff customer service standards
•	 Transfer risks                     •	 Functions coordination

Promotions and marketing              Legal issues
•	 Promotional flexibility            •	 Public liability
•	 Negotiated specials price          •	 Work health and safety
•	 Shared advertising costs           •	 Award wages
•	 Themed nights                      •	 Staff on costs
                                      •	 Equipment ownership
Who pays what?
                                      •	 Equipment maintenance
•	 Rent
                                      •	 Performance bond
•	 Gas and electricity
                                      •	 Asset register
•	 Cleaning costs
•	 General insurance                  The contract
•	 Advertising costs                  •	 Parties involved
•	 Licences and registration          •	 Term of the contract
•	 Rates and taxes                    •	 Cancellation clauses
•	 Laundry                            •	 Persons responsible
•	 Capital cost                       •	 Review process
•	 Repairs and maintenance            •	 Performance standards
•	 Contract legal costs               •	 Legal issues
•	 Coffee shop
•	 Children’s meals

     Gaming venue business toolkit

      Appendix E
      Function booking pro forma

                                          Venue Name
                                     Function booking form

      Contact person:                                        Today’s date:

      Member/customer:                                       Phone:



      Email:                                                 Fax:

      Function details

      Name of function:                                      Date:

      Type of function:                                      No. attending:
      Room booked from:                arrival time:         Finish time:

      Menu requirement:

                                                             Food price

      Drink requirement:

                                                             Drink price

      Equipment requirements:

                                                             Price quoted:
      Seating & table

      Other information:

      Name of staff member
      completing this form:                                  Date:

                                                                         Catering management Chapter 10

Appendix F
Why market research is important

Effective market research can be used to help you do a better job of solving problems and making
decisions. While most good restaurateurs know a lot about their customers, market research techniques
add to that base of knowledge and help organise the information. Market research ensures that the
information is timely. It can provide you with what you need to:
•	 reduce business risks;
•	 spot problems and potential problems;
•	 identify and profit from sales opportunities; and
•	 gather basic facts about your market to help you make better decisions.
As a restaurateur you have a handicap in attempting to see your own restaurant as your customers see
it. You are biased about your operation and dedicated to making it a success. This dedication and close
attention to the day-to-day running of your establishment make it difficult for you to see your operation
through the eyes of a patron. Market research can broaden the base of experience gained through
your own observations and can help protect you from your own biases. At the same time, it helps bring
meaning to what is otherwise ‘interesting information’.
The following are some typical questions and decisions in which market research can be of help to you.
•	 Should I promote my restaurant in limited, local areas only, or over a broad radius?
•	 Why do I sell more of an entrée some days than others, and what can I do about it?
•	 How do I decide which menu items should have price increases?
•	 What is it about my restaurant that is attracting new, first time customers?
•	 For my operation, what is the relative importance of food quality, service or décor? Which should I
   emphasise and which might be given less emphasis?
•	 How do patrons see my restaurant in comparison with competitors? Which operational areas are most
   in need of improvement? Which are strongest and thus of greater value for promotion?
Much of what market research tells you will simply confirm what you already believe, and that is
important. You should not, however, be too surprised to find market research telling you that some
things, which used to be true, are no longer true. Market research consists of simple procedures, which
can help you anticipate the correctness of marketing, sales and product decisions. If errors are made in
such decisions resulting losses can easily be too great for a company of any size to bear comfortably.

     Gaming venue business toolkit

      Appendix G
      Budgeting for food costs

      Budgeting is essentially the planning process by means of which budgets are evolved for a gaming
      venue as well as the various departments/sections of a gaming venue. Hence when one budgets, one
      plans future operations in respect of a definite period of time.
      A budget is a statement expressed in monetary terms, reflecting the policy of a gaming venue and
      determining gaming venue operations in respect of a particular trading period. Most budgets are
      expressed in monetary terms, e.g. cash budget, sales budget, labour cost budget, budgeted profit and
      loss account. A budgeted trading account may, and often does, show in addition to the budgeted gross
      profit, the budgeted percentages of gross profit for various departments of a gaming venue.
      Budgetary control is not a matter of paper work. Its most important ingredients are the planning, which
      goes into the preparation of budgets and its effectiveness in the control of catering operations.
      All that can be attempted in the remainder of this section is an outline of those operating budgets, which
      are most relevant to food cost control.

      Sales budget
      The purpose of the sales budget is to pre-determine the volume of sales in respect of a trading period
      and thus, subsequently, enable an assessment of the sales performance of the gaming venue at
      the end of that period. The budgeted volume of sales will influence budgeted food costs and labour
      costs. The budgeted volume of sales will depend on past performance, current trends and any limiting
      factors, which may be in operation. Several different limiting factors in gaming venues and catering
      establishments are seating capacity, management policy, efficiency of management and labour,
      consumer demand.

      Cost of sales budget
      The cost of food and drink is usually pre-determined as a percentage of revenue, and it is normally
      regarded as sufficient to maintain the cost of sales at the pre-determined level. As a result, the budget
      cost of sales is incorporated in the budgeted trading account.

      Labour cost budget
      Labour costs are budgeted for in relation to the budgeted volume of sales. Quite obviously, the higher
      the volume of sales the higher the total cost of labour and vice versa. Labour costs are, however, the
      nature of a semi-fixed cost; it must not be assumed that a given increase in the volume of sales must
      necessarily result in a proportionate increase in labour costs. When sales are rising many components
      of the total cost of labour remain fixed, e.g. management and supervisory salaries. A labour cost budget
      must, therefore, be approached analytically with due regard to the fact that some labour costs are fixed
      and others tend to vary in the same direction as the volume of sales. The labour cost budget has to
      show a separate departmental labour cost for each department of a gaming venue and, in this way,
      assign responsibility for labour cost ceilings to the departmental managers concerned.

      Budgeted trading account
      The purpose of the budgeted trading account is to pre-determine, in respect of a particular trading
      period, the volume of sales, the cost of sales and the gross profit.

                                                                      Catering management Chapter 10

Appendix G

Budgeted profit and loss account
The purpose of the budgeted profit and loss account is to pre-determine, in respect of a particular
trading period, all income and expenditure of a business as well as the net profit to be earned. The
budgeted profit and loss account must be drawn up so as to show what is important and pertinent,
e.g, departmental gross profits, labour cost percentages, the overhead cost percentage and the net
profit. The budgeted profit and loss account would be compiled from the separate operating budgets
already drawn up in respect of sales, labour costs and overheads. Because it summarises a number of
separate budgets it is, as already explained, a master budget. At the end of the trading period covered
by the budgeted profit and loss account, a report should be prepared showing any variances between
budgeted and actual results.


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