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Any good business owner knows the basic data points driving the successes of their business: ‘What are our total sales?’ ‘What are our costs in labor?’ ‘Where are our profit margins in food and products?’ Getting answers to these questions is easy enough, but how can you make sense of those outliers? Do your final calculations reveal a loss in income or material goods that can’t be accounted for? For a detailed, ground-level view of what’s happening, you need to dig deeper and use exception reports.

Exception-based reporting provides the other half of the financial picture: where is your capital (stock or cash) going? Technology has enabled restaurant owners and managers to tie POS data to profit and loss. Unfortunately, loss in quick-service or fast-casual restaurants can occur in many ways. You need a forensic tool that automatically monitors every transaction against inventory and cost to uncover each loss. Gain visibility into potential losses through Exception-Based Reporting. Here are 5 restaurant exception reports you should review every morning.

Exception Reports to Review Each Day:

1. Restaurant Transaction Reports
While reviewing standard sales reports is a given, a careful review of some of the reports listed below may uncover anomalies in sales. You can mark these transactions for further investigation.

2. Voids, Comps, and Discount Reports

While there is no set number of voids, comps, and discounts expected, a detailed examination may show an excessive occurrence. Cross-reference these items by location, by shift, and by a staff member. As a resut, you may find a trend.

Let’s break out Voids. Voids can represent training issues for order-taking employees. When transactions are voided out, there may be a need to take a quick look at the reason why it was voided.

  1. It can be a focal point for loss when the food is actually given out because either a) the cashier is stealing the cash payment from the transaction or b) the cashier is not properly closing the transaction.

Both of these scenarios result in inaccuracies with inventory management systems.

3. Discount/ Loyalty Rewards / Gift Cards Redemption
These transactions can be like the above. It is best to review them from many different perspectives in case a trend arises. Are there inconsistent amounts redeemed or several redemptions by a single staff member?

Physical punch cards are not going away, according to QSR magazine. If your POS system has the capability to search by discount amount, and then break it down by employee, you can easily filter to see if certain employees have higher than normal discounts. In terms of loyalty rewards, many times a reward is a particular item on the menu. In the same manner, a search can be made for a particular item. If an employee is seen having many discounts for a particular item, it’s a good opportunity to have a conversation to understand why.

4. Refund Reports
According to one operator, “A refund represents the point of no return for a customer’s experience. We are returning the funds used to cover the cost of the food that went out the door. Now, not only are we out of the sale but also the inventory”. Even inputting refunds to correct an error will still impact the bottom line because unlike retail where a refund means you’re adding product back into inventory to resell. In Food Service, that product doesn’t return to inventory; there’s no reselling food.

As an operator, it is best to have operational controls in place to limit the ability to do refunds

5. No Sales / Re-opened Transactions
Is your POS set up to allow the drawer to open for reasons other than cash transactions; can you re-open a transaction after being tendered? If so, are controls in place to prevent every employee from accessing these functions? Smart thieves will know the cost of your products and quickly rack up losses for your company. If an employee can open the drawer to make change without ringing in a transaction this is an open invitation for theft. Or if employees have the ability to manipulate a transaction after the customer has left they then have the ability to take the cash right out of the drawer.

Exception Reports are a Good Investment

An exception-based recording system can advance your efforts in identifying points of potential fraud, it can prevent it. It has been estimated that an exception-based reporting solution can “bring a positive ROI within one year.”

With Envysion’s Exception-Based Reporting you can view trends in an easy-to-read dashboard form. You can also dig deeper into the data by viewing video and receipt activities simultaneously, as the transaction occurred. The benefits of such a robust system will create higher visibility into your daily business and across weeks and months by providing:

• Real results – Instead of reviewing spreadsheets, receipts, or relying on a worker’s memory
• Targeted metrics – run at any time using a variety of parameters.
• Dig deeper with video – Envysion provides authentication of the reporting metrics with video and audio history of the highlighted activities.

To learn more about Envysion’s Reporting Solutions, schedule a demo today.