Writing the prep list in the morning is a very important task. The morning prep list is a vehicle for which food and labor dollars are spent. In many cases, the person who writes the prep list is not an owner or a member of upper management. And, the opening manager will often take a lashing from customers, co-workers and supervisors when prep levels are out of whack.

If you don’t prep enough, you will run out of product and disappoint guests. One shouldn’t discount the impact on guest satisfaction and sales when menu items are not available.  When stock starts running out during the heat of the battle on a Friday night, the opening manager is wide open to ridicule.

On the other hand, if you over prep, you run the risk of spoilage, a poor food cost and/or poor food quality. And, high food cost isn’t the only casualty of over prepping (or ruining batches). You must take into consideration the labor it took to produce the item or items that are being tossed. When you throw away prepped food, you are throwing away the labor dollars spent to create those items as well as the food cost dollars.  Either scenario is a major impediment to a successful restaurant.

So what is the solution? When the boss starts asking why there is too much or not enough prep, do you say that you made your best guess? They might think that your best guess isn’t good enough. The best way to determine proper prep levels is to look at past sales. For example, if it is Monday and you want to know how many ribeyes are needed, look at the ribeye sales for the past four Mondays, average them out, and add 20%. Now you have your par or build-to amount. Most opening kitchen managers don’t have a crystal ball. So, this is the work around for not being psychic.

Obviously, this system will need some adjusting for special events (local tourist event or sporting event), holidays (Mother’s Day and Valentine’s Day, New Years’ Day) , and seasonality (Graduation Week, etc..).

This practice can be a little time consuming, but well worth it. When this system is used, the opening manager, and the restaurant is empowered with a true information. If menu items run out or are left over, at least you have peace of mind that you did your best without a crystal ball. And if the boss asks why prep seems off, you can explain your thought process with words that don’t include “best guess”. Good luck and good prepping!

Zach

P.S. You can look to Cloud Dine’s Restaurant Operating System software for help and quick data for prep pars.

Nexus 7 2013-003

 

One concern we’ve heard from restaurant owners and managers with using Android tablets for their point of sale is that they are worried employees would play games and text friends while working. Worry no longer. Android 4.3 (codename: Jelly Bean) came out in late July and now includes restricted profiles. What does this mean? It means that the owners and managers can now restrict access to just work applications.

Here’s what google has to say about restricted profiles. (from https://support.google.com/nexus/7/answer/3175031)

About restricted profiles

As the tablet owner, you can create restricted profiles that limit the access that others have to features and content on your tablet. For example, you can create restricted profiles to prevent family members who may have access to your tablet from viewing mature content.

You can use restricted profiles for several purposes, including these:

  • Parental controls. Selectively restrict family members from accessing mature content.
  • Kiosk. Set up the tablet to demonstrate selected apps and features to customers.
  • Retail. Let customers explore tablet features, but prevent them from browsing or playing games.
  • Point of sale. Limit employees to the use of selected sales and register apps.

 

Thaddeus


Photo credits: Nexus 7 2013-003 by Thomas Lok Attribution-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic License

dollars

Good News! Hewlett-Packard recently announced their entry in to the Android tablet market with their new HP Slate 7. Retail pricing is just $169, even cheaper than the $199 Nexus 7 or the $329 iPad mini. It’s slated for release in April 2013.

So why is this good news?

Because it lowers the cost of our system. Cloud Dine Systems uses tablets and cloud computing to power our point of sale system. The cheaper tablets makes our system even more affordable.

The best news? Tablets might get even cheaper.

In India, the government  is providing subsidized Aakash 2 tablets to university students for Rs. 1,130 (about $20 US Dollars) and commercially for Rs. 3,999 (about $75 US Dollars). They are only available in India currently, but hopefully, in the next couple of years, similarly priced tablets could be available worldwide.

Thaddeus

Photo credits: Dollars by vovan13 ©iStockphoto.com

looking through

In simplest terms, our vision is to create the definitive restaurant operating system that will make restaurants more profitable, more efficient, and ultimately create a better dining experience.

So what does this mean?

We want to provide restaurateurs a comprehensive and integrated set of tools to clearly see, manage, and optimize their restaurant from soup to nuts. If it’s affecting the restaurant, we want it to be part of the restaurant operating system. It’s a fairly ambitious vision that will take time to completely realize.

Right now, we are working on the core set of services for the restaurant operating system. We will be making it available soon. Over time, we’ll be adding additional services (35 identified to date) to complete the vision. It will include the features of a traditional point of sale (A POS with the functionality restaurants have been hoping for), plus a whole lot more.

Yes, it’s ambitious. Yes, it’s going to be a lot of work. But it’s time we brought the restaurants of the world into the information age. Restaurants deserve better information technology than they have been forced to cope with and we are going to bring it to them.

Our dream is to reduce the restaurant failure rate, reduce burnout, and give restaurateurs and staff a better life. Our vision of the restaurant operating system is a vital tool to help do that.

Thaddeus

Photo credits: Looking Through by ultracuerpo Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic License