Why is Clean Data Important?
It has happened at least once in every restaurant. EOD is run and something is just off about the total cover count for the night. After some investigation, it is clear that there was a single check or two where a table number, room number, etc. was entered into the cover count field and now your numbers are inflated.
Cover counts are important in understanding guest volume and average check, scheduling accurately for demand, and mentoring servers. If it's a widespread problem across your organization, large errors on individual checks can make average check data unreliable.
These mistakes are a lot easier to spot after the fact - when comparing daily or monthly average checks, but in this article we'll talk through recommended best practices to ensure the correct cover count is being entered the first time.
Cover Count Best Practices
- Define your cover count standards
The GAAP Accounting standard states that every single guest in the establishment counts as one cover, whether they're only grabbing a drink at the bar, that guest is a child, or a diner. Whatever your standard is, making sure it is clearly defined will help with this process.
- Communicate the cover count standards to the team
Make sure entering accurate guest counts is a service standard in your restaurant. During pre shifts, communicate to the team why accurate cover counts are important and what the rules are around entering them. If you plan to implement audits (mentioned as a later best practice), share that with the team ahead of time.
- Hold the team accountable for accurately entering cover counts
Mistakes happen, but if the mistakes are coming from the same person frequently, than they need to revisit your standard operating procedures. Make sure the management team is aligned and working together.
Use the Avero Service Team Reports to look at cover counts by server or by party size:
- Audit guest counts throughout operations
Audit guest counts through your POS during operating hours. You already spend time on the service floor coaching your team. This is one of the areas that you can observe to see if they are following procedures. Simply open a check and compare if the cover count entered on the check matches your count.
- Stay on top of cover totals at EOD
If you notice unusual total guest counts while checking out a server at the end of the shift, review their checks for any necessary adjustments. These are easier to complete the same day, when they are entered, versus spending time on later in the office.
However, if you miss it before your data loads in Avero and you notice a check that has an incorrect cover count, use this article for help on correcting them: