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Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Professional Recipe Model - Substitutes and Sides

It is very important to understand your POS setup with regard to the many items which do not have a selling price.  Buried in the data, you will find counts on substitutes, extras, holds, etc.  Customer choices, for starches, sides, toppings, dressings and condiments, attract the attention of the experienced eye.

A popular substitute can be exploited.  One of my clients offered a lackluster potato salad with any burger or sandwich.  The wait staff would ask their guests a simple question:  "Would you like fries instead of the potato salad?"  Most regulars knew the correct answer was "Yes."  The shoestring fries were excellent.  The fries substitute was an upgrade which added $1.25 to the check.  If you decided you should have ordered the fries once your sandwich arrived, the same up charge price of $1.25 would appear on your check.

When building the recipes to handle the burger and the fries upgrade, I prefer to approach the task from the view of my favorite POS report - Product Mix (PMIX).  The counts from the POS tally will be used to calculate ideal usage and to update perpetual inventory counts.

Let's start with the burger platter.  The plate consists of a dressed burger patty on a bun, the potato salad, two leaves of iceberg lettuce, a tomato slice, three pickle chips and a sprig of parsley.  I create two sub-recipes to handle the batch of potato salad and the burger setup.  The burger setup can then be used to create recipes for cheeseburgers, pastrami burgers and bacon burgers, etc.

The burger menu item would be tied to 1 burger setup, 1 portion of potato salad and 1 portion of average condiment usage.

Moving forward, we need to address the fries upgrade.  This substitute has a separate key on the POS.  We will get the exact count of substitutes ordered for any given time period.  In this operation, it is possible to order fries as an a la carte side dish for $2.95.  The recipe for the substitution requires 1 portion of fries.  This portion would include shortening and salt used in the preparation and 1 ounce of ketchup.  To account for the substitute, you should subtract 1 portion of potato salad.

If the net cost of the fries minus the salad is $0.25, the cost of sales is 20%.  More importantly, your burger customers are contributing an extra dollar of gross profit.

This approach calculates the ideal usage perfectly since the potato salad is counted in the burger order and subtracted in the substitute.  The net potato salad consumption is zero in the real world and in our recipe model.

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