b'National Conferences Offer Educational Opportunities to Help Owners Grow Their BusinessesDozens of sessions covering a variety of topics keptattendees of the 2019 national conferences busy. BY BEN QUIGGLE & JEFF CRIDERThe national conferences held in early Jason Reid, director of food and beverage atNovember, included the National Associa- Coney Island, a Cincinnati, Ohio, area amuse-tion of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC) ment park.Outdoor Hospitality Conference & Expo in Everyone has some sort of theft issue,Knoxville, Tenn.; Kampgrounds of America said Reid, who led a food service seminarInc.s(KOA)International Convention & Expo during LSIs Symposium. He said losses couldin Savannah, Ga.; and Leisure System Inc.s occur even with seemingly harmless behav-(LSI)SymposiumandTradeShow in ior by park employees, such as giving awayCharleston,S.C.Allthreedrewrecord food to a friend or even eating mistaken or-crowds and provided attendees an opportu- ders.nity to learn and have fun.If they give away free pizza that costs youStaff at Woodalls Campground Manage- $5, thats the same as taking $5 out of the reg-mentwas able to attend a number of the ses- ister, Reid said, adding that you cannotsions at all three conferences and below are allow employees to eat leftovers or mistakeshighlights from the sessions we were able to because it fuels waste.attend. Reid encouraged park operators to investProviding Food Service at Your Parkin a security camera system to deter theft andOne of the biggest causes of losses in food to closely monitor the ratio of cash to creditserviceoperationsistheft,accordingto card sales for each employee to identify em-ployeeswhowarrantfurtherscrutiny. Foodserviceoperatorsalsoneed to closely monitor how muchmoney they spend on food items.Most food service outlets try tokeep food costs in the neighbor-hood of 25% of sales, Reid said.That means a food service opera-tor should spend no more than$250 to produce $1,000 worth offood sales. Have your vendors work foryou,heexplained.TheycanJason Reid spoke on the importance of keeping records when break costs down for you.running a food service operation.Costs of food, waste, theft, andlabor all have to be factored in todetermine the profitability of a food serviceoperation.Once you have determined the total costof all food related items, divide that total byyour monthly revenue to calculate your costof sales percentage for the month, he said.If your cost is high, investigate what couldbe the culprit and make changes. You couldhave waste or theft issues, or a vendor couldbe charging you higher than expected prices.Use your monthly cost of sales percentageas a report card for how well your businessis being managed.Reid also encouraged park operators withfood service operations to take an inventoryof their food supplies at the end of eachmonth, so that they can determine how tominimize food waste and monitor their ongo-ing food costs.Dealing with Unruly CampersIt happens to every park operator eventu-ally. A camper has a bad experience and theycome to the front officeor maybe even log ontosocial media to voicewhat that bad experi-ence was. LarryBrownfield,KOAs director of fran-chiseedevelopment,Mike Gast and Mike Gast, KOAsvice president of com-munication, hosted a session titled Dealingwith Difficult Campersat KOAs conference.30 -February 2020 Woodalls Campground Management'