There are several ways to make adjustments to a customers bill and also many reasons why this might be needed. Understanding the best practice for each reason will help to maintain accurate reliable reporting and to honestly keep track of the occurrence or reoccurrence of these events within the business.
Often when a new manager or staff member comes on board, there is an increase in the use of these events, and often it is not because there are more errors or complimentary items being provided, but in fact a misunderstanding by the user on the best way to process such events.
Following is a detailed description of what the intended use of each of the function is, links to relevant guides that can help with configuration, a reference as to where these events will be reported and some examples of appropriate uses of them.
WHAT IS A REFUND
A refund is processed when an account has been paid for by a customer and the money needs to be returned to them.
There are several ways to process a refund in WaiterMate (See the following guides);
A refund from closed accounts would be used when the customer needs to have their Tax invoice amended and reissued. If this was on a previous day, the sales for that day would be adjusted to reflect the refund. This is the most accurate way to process a refund from an accounting point of view as the item/s originally sold will no longer be included as sold items.
A quick refund is a way that a refund can quickly be processed without the need to find the original account. This will report as a negative sale on the day or shift that it was processed and not amend the original sale in anyway.
The takings for either process will always reflect the refund on the day or shift that they were processed as the funds were returned to the customer so should longer be included in the takings for that day.
WHEN TO PROCESS A REFUND
A refund is designed to return payments made by a customer for an item that they either did not receive or were returning. This means that the item was never actually 'Sold' to the customer and should not be reported as though it was. If the stock control module is in use, a refunded item can either be returned to stock or wasted. Be careful not to waste an item if it was never actually received by the customer or is being returned to stock.
A refund will be recorded in OfficeMate in the 'Refunds' report. The refund will be shown on the day that the item/s were originally sold and not for the day the refund was processed unless they are the same day or shift. This will also be reported to the 'Sales to takings' report in OfficeMate as a negative 'Sales from the Future' figure. This is to highlight that sometime after the trading day a refund was processed that effected that days sales.
It will also be shown in the 'Takings' reports in WaiterMate for the day that the refund was processed, so that it is noticeable to anyone reviewing the reports that a refund occurred.
Similar to the takings report, the 'Sales by Category' report will include the refund on the day that the refund was processed. This is to indicate the event of a refund on that day.
Refunds can be seen in the transaction Journal in OfficeMate.
WHAT IS A DELETION
A deletion is when one or more items are removed from an account in WaiterMate prior to payment being received.
An item can only be deleted once the item has been saved to an account. This would mean that if the item would normally print a 'prep' docket, then this would already have been printed. Although configurable, usually an additional prep docket would print to the same printer it initially printed to, to indicate that the item was no longer on order.
WHEN TO PROCESS A DELETION
Deleting items from an account should only be done if the item needs to be removed from the customers account prior to presenting them with the tax invoice. This would include events where the item was never actually received by the customer. Usually this only occurs when the customer changes their mind about the order and they did not receive it or if the item was ordered and it was not actually available.
Deletions are reported to the 'Deleted Item' report in OfficeMate. It will also be shown in the 'Takings' reports in WaiterMate so that it is noticeable to anyone reviewing the reports that a deletion occurred.
Deletions can be seen in the transaction Journal in OfficeMate.
WHAT IS A DISCOUNT
A discount is a way that the item can be sold at a reduced price to a customer. A discounted item will remain on the customers tax invoice, with the discounted price, even if this means the item is valued at $0.
Discounts can be performed using a variety of methods including preset discount buttons in both percentage and dollar amounts and also as custom discounts. Usually having some preset discounts, helps restrict the types of discounts used and makes discount reporting easier to analyse. Preset discounts can also be individually restricted to certain user groups. For example, this might be used when you want the wait staff to access a 'Coffee' discount but not a 'Complimentary' discount.
There are several ways to configure and perform discounts (see the following guide);
WHEN TO PROCESS A DISCOUNT
A discount should be used when the customer is to be sold the item at a reduced price to what the usual sell price for that item is. This indicates that the item was in fact sold, but the customer did not pay the usual price for it. There could be a range of reasons such as a customer complaint, a special, loyalty, promotions or staff allowances.
Discounts are reported on a variety of reports including the 'Discount' report in OfficeMate and the takings and sales reports in WaiterMate. The Officemate reports can be refined by a range of methods including discount type, user and date filters.
In the OfficeMate 'Discounts' report, there are a couple of things to be aware of. If an individual item is discounted, then the item name will be shown along with the cost of this discount. However if a whole account is discounted, it will not display the individual item but it will display the account type and the cost for the total discount for this account.
Furthermore, if using price levels to sell items at a reduced price automatically such as for takeaway prices or happy hour, then the items will also be included in this report along with the costs so that these instances can be reviewed. As genuine discounts often need to be reviewed without these figures being effected by price level, it is easy to 'filter out' these types of discounts.
Custom discounts will only be grouped in this report if they are of the same value. This often makes the data in the report hard to analyse and isolate the reasons why the items were discounted, therefore it is much better to use preset discounts where possible.
If an item has been discounted, even by 100%, it will still be reported in sales reports including the 'Item Sold' report in OfficeMate. In this report, it is possible to ungroup items so that the individual prices can be reviewed, otherwise the items will be grouped with the same item that was sold at different prices and the average of the price will be what is displayed. The 'Sales' for this item may actually seem lower than the menu price for this item because they are being reported at the actual price they were sold at.
Discounts can be seen in the transaction Journal in OfficeMate.
Manual Price Changes
WHAT IS A MANUAL PRICE CHANGE
It is possible to manually change the price of a menu item as a 'Once Off' in WaiterMate. This is effectively another way to apply a custom discount or surcharge to an item as required where there is no appropriate preset discount or surcharge configured.
This can be done by ordering the item in WaiterMate, entering the modifier screen for this item, selecting the price field and then setting the price.
If the item price in actually incorrect, the item should not be manually overridden, it should have the item price adjusted. Usually this is done in Officemate, however it is possible to make a permanent price change in WaiterMate. (See guide below);
WHEN TO PROCESS A MANUAL PRICE CHANGE
Manually changing the price of the item should be required only in rare circumstances. This behaves exactly the same as if a custom discount or surcharge was used for the item, therefore that would be the preferable method to use. If there is no preset discount or surcharge, and the item needs to be charged at a different price as a once off, then this method could be used, but with caution.
Manual price changes will report exactly the same as a custom discount or surcharge. They will be shown in all of the reports that other discounts and surcharges are reported to, however they can be a little ambiguous as to the reason that they were used and often are not really intended to be a discount or surcharge at all. This method can make the discounts and surcharge figures seem inflated simply because the price of the item has been set up incorrectly and not amended.
The following examples are some of the ways that will improve how these occurrences are reported and tracked by handling each example appropriately.
In the examples, there are several discounts of the same value, but labeled differently. Having multiple discounts of the same value, but intended for different purposes, make the discount reporting much easier to identify issues or the cost of certain types of discounts and general analysis.
|Examples of Reason||How to Process||Suggestion of Pre Set Up Discounts etc.|
|The customer changed their mind and no longer wants the item, but it has not been made yet.||Delete the item from the account||N/A|
|The customer is not happy with the dish they received.||Preset 100% Item Level Discount||100% Complimentary Discount|
|The staff have a meal allowance.||Preset discount (Item or Account Level)||100% Staff Meals Discount|
|The customer is returning something purchased on a previous day.||Refund from Closed Accounts||N/A|
|The manager wants to sell the customer an item at a lower than usual price and there is no appropriate pre set discount.||Custom Discount or Manual Price Change||N/A|
|The manager wants to give away products as a promotion.||Preset 100% Item Level Discount||100% Promotion Discount|
|There is a loyalty program where every 10th coffee is free.||Preset $ Amount Discount||$4 Coffee Loyalty Discount|
|The customer left without paying their bill.||Preset 100% Account Level Discount||100% Walk Out Discount|
|The customer did not pick up their order.||Preset 100% Account Level Discount||100% Non Pick Up Order Discount|
|The owner wants to keep track of their own or managers spend.||Pay items to a debtor and later discount them off (a debtor adjustment)||
Debtor under their own name AND
100% (Name) Discount
|The staff come in on their day off.||Preset % Amount Discount||10% Staff Off Shift Discount|
|The price of an item in WaiterMate is wrong.||Permanent price change in WaiterMate||N/A|
|The customer received the wrong order.||Preset 100% Item Level Discount||100% Complimentary Discount|
|The customer was dissatisfied with the service.||Preset % Amount Item or account level Discount||10% Customer Discount|
|Friend or Family come in for a meal.||Preset % Amount Item or Account level Discount||10% VIP Discount|
|Already paid for the meal, but were not satisfied.||Refund from Closed Accounts||N/A|
|Ordering a smaller portion||Order the item at a reduced quantity. manually change price if required.||N/A|