Par in the restaurant industry has a similar meaning to par on the golf course except that, unlike Tiger Woods, you don’t want to come out under par. A par level for an item or ingredient is the amount you think you need to ensure that you don’t run out before your next delivery. It is calculated based on how much you need per $1,000 of sales. For example, if you used 30 pounds of salt in a week and your weekly sales were $16,000, your par level for salt would be 1.9 (rounded to 2) pounds of salt per $1,000 of sales.
Adding 15 to 20 percent to your par level provides a safety cushion to ensure you will not run out of an item and also controls the expensive situation of having too much on your shelves. Using the salt example, you would take the 2 pounds of salt per $1,000 dollars of sales and multiply it by 20 percent. This number becomes 2.4 pounds of salt usage per $1,000 of sales.
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