Are your profits going down the drain?

Every day of our cruise I was horrified at just how much food and drink, and therefore profit, was literally being poured the drain.

The main culprit was a drink all you like coffee deal. At the start of the cruise you could purchase your own ‘souvenir’ mug, and refill it as often as you liked. At 250 NOK (approximately £27) this at first glance seemed a lot of money, but when you saw that it was 20 NOK for a single cup, 6 days at a probably 4 – 5 cups of team of coffee per day this didn’t seem such a bad deal.  Presumably some people would drink less and therefore this deal was a potential win-win.

However, here’s the rub: the mug provided were approximately 40% bigger than the standard cups, and the coffee machines were set to fill a standard cup. This meant that each time you went to fill your mug with coffee, instead of pressing for one measure, you pressed again for a second measure to fill the mug. Of course you don’t need to be a mathematician to realise that as the mugs were only 40% bigger 2 measures would be too much. What happens to the excess coffee? You guessed it, it goes down the drain.

So what on the surface seemed like a good deal for both parties, must have meant in reality that almost 1/3 of the coffee dispensed was ending up down the drain.

And this wasn’t the only area of waste. Where ever passengers helped themselves you saw waste that was avoidable:

Lack of labels or descriptions: On the buffets at breakfast and some evening meals there were several items not labelled. This meant that people would help themselves, then when they realised it was not what they thought it was, inevitably it got left on the plate. This included everyday items that I’m sure you may serve such as fruit juices – is it pineapple or it is grapefruit? They both look the same, but if you were expecting grapefruit you’re unlikely to be happy when you taste pineapple. Indistinguishable sandwich fillings, speciality breads and sauces, all can confuse our guests when they are not labelled.

Poor portion control: Little pots were provided for your jam, but the size of the pot encouraged you to take twice as much as needed, and most was wasted. And over-sized serving utensils meant that people took too much of meat dishes.

Lack of batch cooking meant that dishes got dried up and unappetizing towards the end of service, so people avoided them until they got replenished.

So if you have any self-service items such as at breakfast or drinks, take a look at what is being wasted and where you can make savings. Not only can this save money, but it’s better for the guest too. A win-win for both of you.

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