You may have heard it referred to as a product mix, sales mix, or a menu item sales report—a PMIX has many names, but one major purpose: to provide insight to effectively manage food cost. That insight changes when using the PMIX daily versus weekly and monthly. Many successful operators use it frequently, but perhaps not as comprehensively as they should. This deeper dive will help you leverage this valuable report to ensure your restaurant is achieving its best food cost possible.
The daily PMIX provides quick insight for managers, shining light on crucial metrics including daily prep usage and menu item performance by day of the week.
Daily Prep Usage
One leading practice to identify and stop waste is to check the variance between actual and theoretical prep usage. This exercise should be performed daily by someone who has an intimate working knowledge of ingredients, recipes and station prep schematics, like a kitchen supervisor or manager.
Start by checking how many of one item you sold on the PMIX, then compare that to actual prep usage in that specific station on the line.
Example: If you sold 12 orders of mahi mahi tacos yesterday, there should be an equal depletion of the prep for mahi mahi tacos on the line. So, if a full pan of cabbage mix yields 24 orders of tacos and the pan was full yesterday, there should be approximately a half pan left. If there is less on hand, you just uncovered a problem you need to research. Are the cooks adding too much cabbage to the tacos? Was the cabbage thrown away due to over-prepping? Use the daily PMIX to pinpoint waste.
Menu Item Performance by Day of Week
Another leading practice is to keep your historical PMIX reports in a binder tabbed by day of week (i.e. Mon, Tues, Wed, so on.). When filling out your daily prep list, you can make informed decisions of how much of an item to prep based on trends.
Example: looking at the PMIX for the past four Sundays you notice that you sell 50% less buffalo
wings than on Saturdays. Since you spotted this trend, you’re able to flex your par for buffalo wing prep between Saturday and Sunday, consequently reducing waste and improving freshness.
A weekly PMIX will provide insight into activities performed less frequently, like ordering or product shelf life analysis.
Viewing your rolled-up menu item sales quantities for a full week will provide helpful insights into
setting order pars. It’s a good idea to start with analyzing your most expensive food items and adjust your order pars accordingly.
Example: if you know you sell an average of 100 orders of mahi mahi tacos per week and there is 4 oz of fish per order, you know you’ll need about 25 pounds of fish on hand per week, assuming a 100% yield.
Product Shelf Life Analysis
The magic balance in a restaurant is to produce fresh food without excessive waste and labor, and shelf lives help maintain that balance. The goal for operators is to prep enough of something to last its full shelf life. Analyzing the weekly product mix to make sure you’re prepping to hit the shelf life “sweet spot” will help you manage food quality, reduce waste AND save labor.
Example: if there are 20 ingredients in your ranch dressing and it has a 4-day shelf life, you can see how prepping ranch every day would be a waste of valuable time. Oppositely, if you’re prepping too much and it doesn’t taste as good after four days, you’ll risk wasting it or serving an inferior product to your guests.
Running a monthly PMIX is a great way to analyze the performance of each of your menu items.
Menu Item Performance
The science of menu engineering is complex. Basically, it all starts by categorizing menu item
performance based on popularity and profitability. Knowing which category each of your menu items fall into will help you make informed decisions about what action to take to improve your menu’s performance. Here are the four groups along with examples of possible actions to take:
- Star: high popularity, high profit—this is a winner! Keep it.
- Plow horse: high popularity, low profit—think about reformulating the item to improve margin
- Puzzle: low popularity, high profit—highlight or reposition on the menu, or run a promotion.
- Dog: low popularity, low profit—replace with a different item on your next menu rollout.