Kitchen economics: Restaurant technology
The aim of the kitchen economist is to manage raw materials, from procurement to stocks. He/she is responsible forwriting technical sheets, drawing up the price list, analysing margins and profitability. The bursar ensures the supply and checks the state of the stocks. This professional has control over stocks, negotiates products, sends orders, receives and checks goods.
In a restaurant, the commissary corresponds to the management of catering products, particularly in the kitchen. The bursar's office takes into account the quality and quantity of products, stock management and the budget for goods and foodstuffs.
In a restaurant, a bursar may be appointed. This is the job of the bursar, who is responsible for the management and quality control of goods and stock.
This is a very important job in the restaurant industry, as it involves checking that the stock is up to date and in sufficient quantities so that services can be provided in an organised manner in the dining room.
The bursar works in collaboration with other members of the staff and personnel, in particular with the chef, in order to establish the budget and the quantities to be ordered.
The missions of the kitchen commissary
To guarantee the proper operation of a restaurant, the kitchen team relies on the skills of the bursar. Their mission is to ensure the management of raw materials and the costs they generate.
In small establishments, when it is not provided by theoperator, the commissary is assumed by the chef. In larger structures, the bursar is a position in its own right. The mission of kitchen bursar is privileged in the communities:
- central kitchens,
- and schools,
- or health care institutions.
Constitution of the mercurial
The mercuriale is the list of ingredients (food and beverages), raw materials needed for cooking or directly sold to customers. This mercurial often contains the order unit, the unit price, the supplier, the product references.
To establish this, we must therefore:
- Cataloguing beverages and ingredients.
- Decompose food into product categories.
- Search for suppliers,
- Compare prices,
- Master the conditioning and measuring units,
- Negotiation with suppliers.
Drafting of technical data sheets by the kitchen commissary
First of all, the technical data sheets are, in a way, the manufacturing processes and the document allowing to order the right quantities of raw material and to establish the cost price of a dish or any recipe made from several products. Then, the sub-recipes (or sub-sheets) are the basic recipes to be integrated into the main technical sheets (example: sauces, fillings, bases, pastry doughs, etc).
The dosages are also used to calculate ratios for beverages. The dosing standards define the doses in centilitres of aperitifs and digestives served in catering establishments.
The role of the commissary will be to follow these different steps:
- Create the data sheet from the recipe
- Linking the ingredients in the data sheet to the mercurial
- Costing, portion costing
Menu construction, menu enhancement
In order to elaborate a card or a menu, a theme, dishes, recipes, among others, are chosen, but also the selling price stage. Here are the phases where the person in charge of the bursar's office intervenes:
- Calculate target sales prices based on the cost price
- Valorize the prices of the card
- Calculate ratios and gross margins
Kitchen bursar: Managing supplies from suppliers
Finally, stock control will enable the accounting of foodstuffs in order to establish periodic management charts. The stock also makes it possible to trigger orders below a certain alert threshold. Even if these orders are made by eye for small structures, a visual control is necessary. The bursar determines the exact need for goods. The organisation of the orders obviously depends on the size of the company.
The inventory cost is calculated from the periodic inventory. This inventory is also necessary for the calculation of the gross margin.
New software such as Koust is indispensable for optimal management. It avoids long and tedious calculations and allows cost control and the fight against waste.
Koust will help the commissary to monitor consumption through several steps
- Constitution of the mercurials
- Negotiation with suppliers
- Choice of suppliers
- Placing orders with suppliers
- Set up a manufacturing procedure using data sheets
- Calculation of theoretical cost prices
- Material ratiomonitoring
- Control of the evolution of commodity prices
- Consumption monitoring by detailed invoice entry
- Checking the difference between target and actual consumptions
- Valuation of stocks through physical inventories
In the restaurant business, this job is therefore very important. It guarantees the profitability of your restaurant. By working with other staff members such as your chef you ensure the quality of the products you sell.
In some restaurants, a commission can be paid to the staff in charge of this job if the budget and profitability of the restaurant are well respected.