As Enevo's staff accountant, I wanted to weigh in on Geoff Aardsma's article that ran in both Fast Casual Magazine and QSRweb. What are the top five takeaways for bottom-line savings when looking at your trash? Cost savings, better waste services, and the value of dumpster diving!
Cost savings isn't always the ultimate goal. Waste is not cheap. In many cases, your hauler partners are giving you an affordable price for the service they schedule for you. So just beating up your haulers for better pricing is not necessarily going to help improve your waste and recycling operations. Where value can be added is bringing in a waste services company who can help you receive better service. There are opportunities to change the way you manage your waste and recycling to make it more efficient, consolidate invoices and making sure services are taken care of. Which leads me to...
You are paying for services you aren’t receiving. We have found that missed collections average around 9% - this is a 9% failure rate which would put many organizations out of business. Why a collection failure rate at this level matters to a restaurant is because you are paying for these missed collections in many cases. I manage the billing and invoicing for our clients and hauler partners and see the regular discrepancies between what our clients are being charged by the haulers and the service they are actually receiving. One restaurant site we manage was being charged for 7 days/week service and yet the dumpsters were never collected on Sundays.
You are paying for incorrect services. I’m putting on my accounting hat again to talk about this point. I see many additional charges on invoices that come through. These can be locked enclosure charges or extra pick up charges. In many cases, we have found the enclosure was locked because the hauler came on a different day than the restaurant’s regular service day. Or an extra pick up may have to be performed because the original one was missed in the first place. Not to mention that dumpsters are being serviced on average at 60% or below fullness levels, so you are overpaying for service.
I would consider myself a neophyte to the waste industry and that has allowed me to view things with a fresh perspective. My main conclusion is that, as a restaurant, you need to look at the overall value that your waste service provider is bringing you. As an accountant, I am detail-oriented and want clear, transparent pricing and I want to know that I am receiving the service I pay for. I value accuracy and accountability. We need to start expecting a higher quality from our waste service providers.