Food and Beverage Cost and Sales Concepts

Average Check.

Average check is the result of dividing total dollar sales by the number of sales or customers. In the food service industry, this is also known as covers. The term cover is defined in greater detail later in the article.
Total Sales Of The Day


This average is determined as follows:
Average check = Total dollar sales / Total number of covers or guest

Figure shows total sales of $ 3,674 and 60 covers. Thus,

Average sale=$ 3,674 / 60

Note that appetizers and desserts are not included when determining the number of covers. The assumption is that each customer ordered an entree and that appetizers and desserts were additional orders placed by customers. This figure is for food only and does not include beverages. Many restaurants keep food and beverage figures separate when calculating average sale per customer.

The average dollar sale is used by food service operators to compare the sales performance of one employee with that of another, to identify sales trends, and to compare the effectiveness of various menus, menu listings, or sales promotions.

This figure is of considerable interest to managers, who are likely to be watching business trends. If the average sale decreases over time, management will probably investigate the reasons for the changes in customer spending habits. Possibilities include a deterioration in service standards, customer dissatisfaction with food quality, inadequate sales promotion, and changes in portion sizes.

Average Sale per Server.

Average sale per server is total dollar sales for an individual server divided by the number of customers served by that individual. This, too, is a figure used for comparative purposes, and it is usually considered a better indicator of the sales ability of a particular individual because, unlike total sales per server, it eliminates differences caused by variations in the numbers of persons served.

If the Hazelton had four servers on duty, and Tom, one of the servers, had 23 customers and total dollar sale of $946 on the Monday night of February 14, average sale per server for Tom would be calculated as follows:

Average sale for Tom=Total sales for Tom / Number of customers for Tom
=$ 946/ 23

The average sale per server for Tom would be compared with other servers’. If Tom’s average sale per customer was considerably lower than other servers, management might look into the reason why, and possibly decide to retrain Jim in the selling aspects of serving.

All of these monetary sales concepts are common in the industry and are likely to be encountered quickly by those seeking careers in food and beverage management. Yet several non monetary sales concepts and terms should also be understood