Control in catering establishments is used to enable the management and staff to know what is happening to the food and beverage service and other related incomes. Therefore, the control system in any catering establishment covers the sales of all food and beverages sold which in turn helps to attain a maximum return.
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FUNCTIONS OF CONTROL SYSTEM
- The control system monitors the area where food and beverage sales take place.
- It helps to reduce the rate of fraud and wastage to the nearest minimum.
- It ensures all credit sales are paid for.
- It gives a breakdown of sales and incomes received as well as initiate any kind of adjustment and Improvement required.
- It ensures efficient control of all items issued from the various departments.
METHODS OF CONTROL IN CATERING ESTABLISHMENT
The following are the four basic methods of control system in catering establishment:-
- Order taking methods
- Operational system
- Sales summary sheet
- Billing methods.
ORDER TAKING METHODS
There are five types of order taking methods which are:-
- Single order sheet
- Service with order
- Triplicate Checking Methods: This control method is used largely in a medium or large first class catering establishment. The food check consists of three copies; each copy has the same serial number on them and the copies are of different colours for easy identification. The following are written at the four corners of the check by the waiter or waitress.
- The table number
- Number of cover
- Signature of the waiter/ waitress.
After order is recorded on the triplicate booklet, the first copy goes to the kitchen or dispense bar on the basis of which the order is prepared. The waiter picks up the order, the booklet copy is dropped into the control box, and the control box is maintained by the food and beverage control department to prevent any f6rm of fraud. The second copy is used by the cashier to prepare the bill (two copies of receipt is made, a copy is given to the guest while the other copy is retained by the cashier which is submitted along side with the sale summary of the day) while the third copy is held by the waiter for reference purpose.
- Duplicate Checking Method
This kind is used in a small hotel, cafeteria and restaurants. It is used where table d’hote menu is in operation and sometimes a very limited alacarte menu. Two copies are made, the first is sent to the kitchen in which the order is prepared after which the waiter drops the copy into the control box for auditing by the control department. The second copy is retained by the waiter as a means of reference during the service. When the guest asks of the bill, the waiter or cahier sum up everything bought on the same check and presents it to the guest.
iii. Pre-order: This is where the order is taken few days before the actual service is being rendered. Most time the quantity or type or for required is clearly stated.
- Operational Statistics: This is also referred to as operational statistic measure. It helps in providing information on food and drink ale in detailed manner. The information helps to reconcile sales of item with the gross profit. It also helps in showing the profit and lost made by the hotel establishment.
- Sale Summary Sheet: These are also known as bill summary or record of the restaurant sales. The sheet is prepared by the control department by bringing together all bills and food checks from the food and beverage sectors within the hotel in which the omissions or errors are verified.
- Billing Method: This is also a method of control system in catering establishment. It is the various methods of preparing bills for guests such as bill as check, voucher, no charge and deferred, prepaid, etc
FACTORS THAT AFFECT CONTROL SYSTEM
- Menu with a large number of dishes
- Dishes with large number of ingredients
- Problems assessing customers’ demand
- Frequent fluctuation of food prices because of inflation and fall in demand and supply
- Regular changing in menu
- Raw materials purchased incorrectly.
FACTORS ASSISTING CONTROL SYSTEM
- Menu is constant
- If the standardized recipes and purchasing are used
- If the menu has limited number of dishes
- Avoiding spoilage as a result of improper storage
- Control portion carefully
- Take advantage to use foods in season.
GENERAL EVALUATION QUESTIONS
- Explain the following: (i) Operational statistic (ii) Sales summary (iii) Billing method (iv) Order taking method.
- Mention five factors affecting menu planning
- List the factors that assist menu planning.
- Mention and explain five bar equipment.
- Define food commodities and give three examples of it.