Restaurant Operations Key Words and Concepts American service — Food is dished onto individual plates and served to guests. Average guest check — Average amount each group spends. Back of the house — Support areas behind the scenes in hotels, including housekeeping, laundry, engineering, and foodservice. Balance sheet profit — Reflects how a business's assets and liabilities relate to the owner's equity at a particular moment in time. Beverage cost percentage — A ratio calculated by dividing the cost of beverages sold during a given period by beverage sales during the same period. Budgeting costs — The process of forecasting sales and costs. Chef de rang — The station server in charge of service for approximately four tables. Greets guests, describes and takes menu orders, supervises service, and completes the preparation of some dishes on the gueridon and carves, slices, or debones dishes for guests. Cooking line — Consists of a broiler station, window station, fry station, salad station, sauté station, and pizza station. Contribution margin — Key operating figure in menu engineering, determined by subtracting food cost from selling price as a measure of profitability. Control — To provide information to management for decision-making purposes and to protect the corporation's assets by watching each and every dollar all the way to the bank. Controllable expenses — Expenses that can be controlled by means of cost-effective purchasing systems, a controlled storage and issuing system, and strict control of food production and sales. This is usually watched over by management. Curbside appeal — Visual appeal/cleanliness designed to encourage people to dine in a particular restaurant. Demi chef de rang — Assistant station server, assists the chef de rang, takes beverage orders, and serves food. Employee recognition — Recognizing employees for their efforts. First in-first out (FIFO) — The supplies that are ordered first are used first. Fixed costs — A cost or expense for a fixed period and range of activity that does not change in total but becomes progressively smaller per unit as volume increases. Food cost percentage — A ratio comparing the cost of food sold to food sales, which is calculated by dividing the cost of food sold during a given period by food sales during the same period. French service — Restaurant service in which one waiter takes the order, does the tableside cooking, and brings the drinks, while the secondary or back waiter serves bread and water, clears each course, crumbs the table, and serves the coffee. Front of the house — Comprises all the areas the guests will contact, including the lobby, corridors, elevators, guest rooms, restaurants and bars, meeting rooms, and restrooms. Also refers to employees who staff these areas. Gross profit — The remaining amount after the total cost of food and beverage is deducted from the sales. Guest counts or covers — The number of guests dining in a restaurant. Haute cuisine — Contemporary cuisine. Hostess — A greeter and "seater" at the entrance of a restaurant. Income statement — Statement that shows that sales and expenses for a month or a year. Kitchen layout — The setup of a kitchen according to the business projection as well as the menu design. Kitchen manager — Person who manages the kitchen department. Labor cost percentage — Similar to food cost percentage, except it related to labor. The formula is: labor costs divided by net sales x 100 = the cost %. Maître d'hotel — Head waiter. Net profit — Profit after rent and other occupation costs are deducted. Operating ratios — Ratios that indicate an operation's performance. Par stock — Level of stock that must be kept on hand at all times. If the stock on hand falls below this point, a computerized reorder system will automatically reorder a predetermined quantity of the item. Prime cost — The cost of food sold plus payroll (including employee benefits). These are a restaurant's largest costs. Product specification — The establishment of standards for each product, determined by the purchaser. (For example, when ordering meat, product specification will include the cut, weight, size, percentage of fat content, etc.) Production control sheets — A checklist/sheet itemizing the production. Purchase order — An order to purchase a certain quantity of an item at a specific price. Purchasing — The act of buying all items necessary for the operation of a business. Receiving — The back of the house area devoted to receiving foods. Restaurant forecasting — Usually done by the accountant, who calculates all costs and prepares taxes. Russian service — Restaurant service in which the entrée, vegetables, and starches are served from a platter onto the diner's plate by a waiter. Suggestive selling — Employees suggestively sell products and services of the operation. Uniform system of accounts — A system of accounts used in the hospitality industry whereby all accounts have the same codes and all accounting procedures are done the same way. Variable costs — Costs that will vary according to the volume of business.