Back Office

Employee Appreciation

The other day, I was talking to a young woman who worked her way through college by bartending at a busy restaurant. I asked her if all the second-hand cigarette smoke she had to inhale in order to do her job bothered her. She answered in the affirmative, but said there was something else thatMore »

Hiring Store Manager

I’m thinking of hiring a store manager and want to know your opinion on promoting from within or bringing someone new into the company. I’ve done both and it is definitely an easier transition to promote from within if you have the right candidate. One of the problems you could face occurs when the employeeMore »

Operator Expense Breakdown

Operator Expense Breakdown

Chances are, your employees think you strike it rich with each sale. They don’t realize you have to keep your lights on, buy more cheese and market to keep customers. If you make a $10 sale, they think you’re putting $10 in your pocket. Boy, wouldn’t a 100 percent profit margin be nice? If youMore »

Get a Grip on Labor Costs

Right behind food cost is your second most expensive controllable expense: labor. Labor cost, or L/C, is usually referred to as a percentage of gross sales. I stayed on top of hourly labor like a hawk. My point of sale system served as my time clock and provided real time labor amounts in dollars asMore »

Employee Theft Warning Signs

One of my first assignments as a consultant was to implement a turnaround for a group of pizzerias. They were hanging on by a thread. They had cashed in all of their CDs, 401ks and charged their credit cards to the max. I had made several visits to the operations. They were buying their food at good pricing andMore »

Cross Training

The more your crew can do, the better your operation will run. In baseball, triple threats — players who can hit, field and run brilliantly — are rare gems. Entertainers who can sing, dance and act are called triple threats. In our world, my definition of a triple threat is crew people who can “makeMore »

Common Number Problems

Independent operators get a failing grade on a huge issue: they do not have readable financial statements. For the moment, I won’t even consider the problem of getting information too late to be of any real help. Some operators just rely on their accountants to work up the figures and accept what they are given.More »

Cross Train for Rushes

Big Dave Ostrander Crunch Time Remedy Cross training covers all your bases By Big Dave Ostrander Its late afternoon Friday. Within an hour, the phones will be ringing off the wall. Your best crew is checking and double checking stock levels and doing their last minute prepping and fine tuning of their work stations. Then theMore »

Cost of Delivery

History tends to repeat itself. Ten years ago, I wrote an article regarding my personal experiences dealing with soaring delivery costs and associated expenses. Big Dave’s Pizza had a sales mix that approximately half dine-in and half delivery. This ratio, now more than ever, is critical. In the past decade, associated delivery expenses and wagesMore »

Cheese Prices

Did you ever get the feeling you were being overcharged for cheese? How does your supplier set the weekly price of cheese? How do the big chains buy their cheese? What does Block Plus stand for? Why does my cheese seem to be soft and wet sometimes and dry and hard at other times? WhatMore »