The guest’s order is written by the waiter in the docket (or jotter). The first and second courses are written in one page while the dessert is recorded on another page. The cashier makes sure everything is entered on the duplicate copy of the food and drink check then adds up the prices on the bill for the customer as soon as he finishes the last course.
Customer may pay to cashier at the cash desk on his way out, collecting his receipt immediately, or the bill is folded and presented to the guest from the left on a side plate. The guest checks and inserts the money inside the bill and returns it back into the side plate. The waiter pays to the cashier, collects receipt and returns his change and receipt without delay. If no change is required as guest gets up to leave, the waiter ushers him towards the door of the restaurant with appreciative words like “Thanks for your patronage. Sir/Madam” we hope to see you again.
The information contained on the bill are:(a) Date (b) Table No (c) No of covers eg. the number of customers attended to at the time (d) Signature of waiter/waitress who took the order.
Types Of Billing Methods
A bill is a written statement of money that a person owes for goods and services received. It is a piece of paper on which the price of the meal one has eaten is written and which he or she is given before paying. They are as follows:
1. Bill as check
This has two sheets attached together as one with the signature of the waiter on it. The upper one is the original while the copy under is the duplicate. It is this duplicate of the documented order that is issued to the customer as bill.
2. Separate bill
This could be in two forms
(a) Duplicate bill: Here two copies are attached together. A copy goes to the customer and the cashier retains the other copy.
(b) Triplicate bill: Here three copies are attached together as one, with carbon in between each of them. Whatever is written on the original top copy reflects on the two duplicate copies beneath.
After payment, the receipted duplicate copy is stapled to the duplicate bill (check). A copy goes to the customer, a copy to the cashier and a copy to the waiter.
3. Bill with order
This is done by a machine with preset electronic keyboard and a visual display unit. It provides customers instant service to the order made through the keyboard, billing at the same time by printing out a receipt or an itemized bill showing the items collected (ordered for). This is obtainable at bars, take away service methods like the vending machine etc.
4. Prepaid Billing method
Here customer buys a ticket or card for specilic meal or value (Amount) in advance. The number of guests expected is determined and service is given when the ticket or card is presented.
A third party issues customer the credit card to be exchanged for specific meal or value eg. Luncheon voucher. If the food supplied is less than the value indicated on the voucher, nothing will be done about it but if the food received is more than the amount on the voucher, the difference would later be paid to the supplier.
6. No Charge Billing Method
The customer receives the food without immediate payment. It is a credit transaction where customer is given the privilege for payment to be removed or paid later. After the customer has signed for the food received, the bill is sent to the person, firm or Company who authorized the comping or supplied the hospitality.
7. Deferred Billing
Here the bill guest receives is to be paid by the organizer of the event or function or by the individual at a later period. This term is used also for customers who have an account with the catering outfit e.g. Resident guests of a hotel. The cashier draws up a daily summary sheet (analysis sheet) to show the daily takings of each individual transactions. it is like selling on credit.
Control is effected by the control and accounts department pairing the checks used to order food and drink from the bar, stillroom and kitchen with the bills issued by each waiter.
8. The Single Order Sheet
Here the waiter takes the order and marks customers request. He verbally calls for the order over the Hot plate, prices the order sheet and gives it to the customer who pays the cashier as he leaves. Only one available copy of the order and bill are combined which the cashier keeps after payment for control purposes.
9. Menu Order and Customer Bill
Here a combination of menu order and customer’s bill on one sheet is issued to every customer. The customer’s order is written in the column next to the price column. If a party of two customers requested two onion soups, one omelete with chips and salad, one pepper fish and chips.
10. Billing Machine
This is a more recent control method used in catering establishments. A cashier is not needed for this as the waiter can, collect cash and issue receipt directly from the machine which is expensive to install. The advantage is that the cashier’s wages that is saved could be used to pay for the purchase of the machine within a short time.
11. Declined Transaction/Cancellation
This is a situation where a credit card which has been used to pay for food and recorded is cancelled or declined probably because it is on debit or expired. In such a case the waiter should ask for an alternative method of payment.
12. Wine check
A duplicate wine order is used usually pink in colour to differentiate it from the food check which is white in colour. The Bin number of wine and the number of bottles are indicated to help the bar and cellar staff to hnd the wine required (ordered for) without delay as each wine on the wine list has a bin number printed against it.
The bar staff takes the top copy (from the wine staff), merges order and duplicate copy to enable wine staff to locate which one is their order when he returns to collect the wine and drink. After service, the duplicate copy goes to the dispense bar.