All your preparation is done. Your social media plan is in place, you’ve booked groups and office parties in for their Christmas ‘do’ at your venue. You’ve finalised the perfect menu specification, recruited and trained extra staff and you’re finally looking forward to welcoming lots of happy customers in over the upcoming festive season.
But how do you make sure you’re not left with a hangover of excess stock and no profit to show for all this hard work? Let’s look at the two key challenges during Christmas:
- profit erosion
Here’s why they are important as well as some solutions for fixing these festive woes:
1. Delivery days: A challenge unique to 2018. If your regular delivery day is a Tuesday or Wednesday, you may have a delivery on the 18th or 19th December. That stock will need to last until the next delivery, which will fall around 8th or 9th January. Speak with suppliers to change delivery days or get extra top ups if needed. It’s quite tricky to predict quantities for such a busy spell. Get it wrong and we could run out of key items over New Year or you could end up with too much stock in January.
2. Consumption data: Use EPOS or till sales data from last year and the recent World Cup to get useful consumption data when putting together orders. Alternatively a good stocktaker can go through this information with you. Those casks of Santa’s pale ale will just not cut it in January.
3. Product sizes: Many keg beers, ciders and stout are now available in 30 litre kegs which might be a better option. Also order splits rather than full cases for slower selling wines and spirits.
4. Stocktakes: If your stocktake is normally during mid-late December it can be tempting to postpone it because “we are too busy up to Christmas”. Absolutely avoid this. Speak with your stocktaker and organise to have it either earlier in the month or change the day of the week it is booked for. A stocktake prior to your busy spell will give peace of mind or highlight problems sooner.
5. Internal Line Checks: In line with the above, this is the best time to carry out line checks – even on the highest selling ten items. Use the stocktake module on your EPoS system or use a simple Excel spreadsheet. This will flag up any issues earlier.
6. Reconcile income: This will be the first really big cashless Christmas with increased use of Apple Pay, Android, contactless, plus Deliveroo etc. 70% + of revenue is predicted to be via cashless means this year. Even so, there will still be a lot of cash to get into the bank as well as a greater range of payment methods to keep on top of. Make reconciling all payments (both the amount and method) part of your daily routine. Are there suspicious levels of no sales, voids, error corrections or correcting payment method records on your tills? If so, investigate!
7. People: Take the opportunity to refresh staff training in pouring methods for wine, beer and spirits. Even just a 5% over pour can have a really negative impact on yield.
8. Pricing: Have you checked selling prices of key items recently? If popular items like prosecco are 50p behind target gross profit – selling hundreds of these will see you lose £££. Download our gross profit calculator for free to help with this.
9. Food: An important area – food cost price inflation is tracking as high as 9% in August and more food cost price increases are on the way. Take the time to revise Christmas menu specifications: selling prices are harder to change.
If you need help from a professional stocktaker in the run-up to Christmas, then get in touch with us by filling in the form.