By Wayne Miles – Regional Business Development Manager
After a busy and successful festive season it can be all too tempting to put the feet up and relax into January. Or like many, it’s a case of pulling on the running shoes or investing in any number of other New Year’s resolutions that will help us be our best ‘us’. Similarly, it’s a great time of year to plan for the year ahead and ensure that it’s our best year of trading yet.
We’ll find ourselves recruiting and training staff. We’ll be seeking suppliers of the latest food and drink trends, working on menus and planning marketing strategies to attract more guests to our venues. But, how do we maximise our stock control over the next twelve months to gain maximum profit from all of the hard work?
Here are our seven New Year’s resolutions to stick with that’ll help you make 2019 your best yet!
At quieter times of the year we suggest keeping a lower stockholding as it will aid cash flow and ensure you do not run out of items or disappoint guests in the busier moments. We would always aim for eighteen days on wet and seven days or below for food. Ask your stocktaker to give you guidance on bringing them down if you need.
It’s shaping up to be a good year and although we won’t hit the heights of 2018’s World Cup, the busier times will include Nations league football on the 5th to 9th June 2019 and the Rugby world cup from 20th September to 2nd November 2019. One of the quieter times, to reduce stock holding in advance is the school summer holidays that generally run from 26th July to 2nd September 2019.
Instead of discounting excess stock, we’d suggest you use multi-buy promotions – the German discount supermarkets use this to great effect – why can’t you?
Cost price increases
These traditionally happen in January to April. Ask yourself whether now is an opportune moment to renegotiate with existing suppliers or source new ones?
The 80/20 rule
Well it works for Mark Zuckerberg – and we believe it can help us too. The rule states that 80% of your sales will come from 20% of your items. I personally recommend you ask your stocktaker to help identify your 20%, found in your monthly stock reports and then get the gross profit right on these items. For help, use the GP calculator that’s available for download, or ask your stocktaker for guidance.
Review recent data
Has your gross profit increased in the past year? If not, why not? It’s always a good idea to identify waste levels. From there, aim to reduce them by half. According to WRAP data, each food & beverage venue in the UK wastes £10,000 of food and drink per year. That could make a big difference in itself and it’s worth talking to your stocktaker to see if they can uncover some quick wins on waste and shrinkage. Why not challenge your stocktaker to help you improve your gross profit by 3% this year?
Do regular health checks
Forget the running trainers and don’t hit the treadmill! However, do check the health of your ‘voids’, ‘no sales’ and payment methods. Ideally, reconcile these daily or at the least weekly and investigate any issues that arise. Like exercise, spending 30 minutes several times a week on this could save you a big business health problem further down the line.
If we invest time on these simple stock control steps right from the beginning of the year and engage with our stocktaker, we can help ensure we maximise our venues’ potential and put more money in the bank.
Here’s to a happy and profitable 2019!