Food & Beverage

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Waste factor

When calculating recipe and portion costs, allowances need to be made for unavoidable waste when calculating the recipe yield. Failure to do so will result in understating portion costs. Subsequently, instead of figuring on 100% yield from a recipe, assume that only 98% will be actually used, allowing 2% for evaporation, over portioning and quality control waste. This percentage of waste will differ depending on the menu item. There is a higher allowance for waste on items prepared from scratch than on items that are purchased pre portioned.


Although diets based on animal based foods are generally the most valued sort of human nutrition, millions of people around the world choose to practice vegetarianism. Vegetarianism is defined as ‘a dietary pattern that is characterized by the consumption of plant food and the avoidance of some or all animal products’ (Perry, McGuire, Neumark Sztainer and Story, 2001, p. 406). The staples in a vegetarian diet are vegetables, fruits, leafy greens, grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds. Vegetarians are, however, a heterogeneous group that consists of a range of vegetarian types.

Variable costs in foodservice

Total variable costs change based on the number of customers patronizing a foodservice establishment. As the number of customers increases, the total variable costs for that restaurant also increase. Conversely, if the number of customers decreases, the total variable costs decrease. However, over the short term, the variable cost per customer will not change. This means that for each customer who patronizes the establishment, total variable costs will increase by the same amount, on average.

Tables per server

Tables per server numbers indicate how many tables are assigned to each server or server station in a foodservice operation. For example, if a restaurant has 50 tables, it may assign four or five tables to each server. Typically, fine dining restaurants assign fewer tables per server than casual dining restaurants and as a result offer a higher level of service. Some foodservice managers prefer assigning a certain number of seats to each server rather than assigning a certain number of tables.

Table D’hoˆte

The literal interpretation of ‘table d’hoˆte’ is ‘table or offering of the host.’ It stems from a bygone period when nobility and people of means entertained their guests in their homes (See also prix fixe).


Protecting a foodservice organization’s investment in inventory depends on its having effective and efficient storage facilities. Storage is a vital function that is given too little attention: well planned and well managed storage areas encourage employee productivity, reduce product loss, and improve food safety.

Standard cost accounting in foodservice operations

Cost accounting relates the expenditure of a food service organization to its food and beverage sales. Cost accounts, while they can be directly related to financial accounts, are concerned with the detailed make up of cost in identifiable output for purposes of pricing, budgeting, control of food and beverage production and service, purchasing and control of food and beverage materials, and control of labor expenditure, rather than the overall financial results of the foodservice operation.


Shrinkage is the loss of assets in a foodservice operation, usually food or liquor. As Geller (1992) underscores, this loss is usually the result of inadequate internal controls.

Seasonality in foodservice

In terms of foodservice, seasonality has two meanings. The first refers to the time of year a product is in its highest period of abundance, availability, quality, and usually lowest price. Seasonality often refers to produce, but it can also refer to protein types of entre´e dishes. Examples include, but are not limited to finned fish, shell fish, wild game, and turkey.