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Cost Control at Beaches

On our final day at work at the Beaches resort, I chose cost control as my final department.  Fortunately, on a Saturday morning, the head of the department was there working.  Employees generally worked five days a week at the resort, but certainly not on a M-F 9-5 schedule.  Days off were pretty random, and seldom back to back days.

To many students, this department might be wildly boring, but I was fairly fascinated by their procedures.  Right out of the gates, we did liquor control.  A guy with a cart rounds up all the empty bottles from each of the resort’s 10 bars, and he brings them back to a dumpster, where someone from the cost control office meets him, and cross checks a list from each bar of what needs to be replaced.  We then observe as all of the bottles are tossed into the dumpster, thereby preventing one of those empties from recirculating and being counted twice.   Any discrepancies are noted, and then the lists are taken back to the cost control office where the list is checked against an IOU book (if something is out of stock), and then stickers for each bar are issued, and the lists and stickers are then given to the stock room.

In the stockroom, alcohol is kept in a separate locked area, complete with video cameras.  The stock guys, then issue new bottles, check them off the list, and put a sticker on each bottle for the bar where it is to be delivered.  The bar guy then picks up the new bottles and delivers them around the property to the various bars.  The inventory is updated by the stock guys, and any new orders are placed as needed.  Pretty interesting process, and it allows tight controls to be placed on liquor.  I was somewhat shocked to learn that the average beverage cost per guest per day was less than US$6.00!  But I suppose that counts all kids and non-drinkers as well.   The control control manager said she implemented a similar process for wine at another resort and the wine costs were reduced dramatically.  Things not accounted for tend to have a tendency to disappear!

A chicken delivery truck came in towards the end of my visit, and 30-40 massive bags of chicken were delivered, and cross checked against the original order, and the bill of sale from the truck driver.  Each bag was weighed and adjusted, and a “meat tag” was stapled to each by cost control.  Security was also on head to double check everything and make sure it was in agreement.  The chicken was then rolled off to the storeroom where a separate freezer is there just for poultry.  I was told this was a small delivery, about one third of normal, due to it being a weekend.  The resort goes through a LOT of chicken….wow!  I was also surprised to learn daily food costs per guest were around US$16.

So again, if one estimates a daily rate paid by guests, the average occupancy, and then major cost centers like food & bev, housekeeping, etc, It wouldn’t be too hard to get a handle on finances.

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