When to Use Void vs Comp in Your Restaurant

 In 1. David Scott Peters, Communication, Food Costs, SMART Systems, The Numbers

Knowing when to use a void vs comp in your restaurant affects your gross sales!

Do you look at your profit and loss statement and see a food cost, pour cost or labor cost that seems too high?

What if I tell you it’s possible they’re not high, but the way you’re reporting the information you put in your POS system makes them appear that way.

I see one mistake a lot. Confusion over whether to void vs comp an item.

Comps are items or discounts taken off the bill on products that are actually delivered to the table. Items that are not made and taken off the bill are voids.

So why is it so important to understand the difference between a comp and a void? Because how you book gross sales, comps and voids affect so many other calculations in your operation that are necessary to run profitably. If you do it incorrectly, you are making decisions based on faulty intelligence, ultimately making bad decisions that will cost you money.

Think about it this way: If you are voiding items that are delivered to the customer instead of recording them as a comp, you will reduce your gross food sales. These voids make it so that the sale never happened.

By reducing your gross food sales, your food cost calculation will show that more food left the shelves without a sale. This will have the same effect as wasted or stolen products, depleted inventory with higher food cost.


The kitchen runs on recipe costing cards that say if you sell an item at the price set in the menu, and they follow that recipe to a “T,” with no waste, no theft and no spoilage, they will run an ideal food cost percentage based on item-by-item sales mix.

If you void food sales that have been delivered to the guest, rather than comp them, and the sales amount does not show up in gross food sales, it will look like the kitchen manager or chef isn’t controlling costs.

The same is true if you record the sales in the gross food sales category AFTER the comp amount has been removed. In the case of a 50-percent-off coupon, the result will be doubling that recipe’s cost of goods sold percentage.

This too will look like the kitchen manager or chef isn’t controlling costs.

To learn more about systems that affect your restaurant food cost,  read our special reportBreaking Away from the Insanity: How to easily take control of your restaurant and make more money. Download it hereVisit our YouTube Channel for hundreds of videos. 

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