On Wednesday I was invited to address the Year 12 food tech class at Pakuranga College. How awesome! We spoke about how JUK started, organic growth, following your passion and the importance of the being smart when it comes to purchasing and costing, having minimal waste and following your dream no matter what it may be.
For their current class assignment, the students have been asked to create a selection of recipe cards to accompany food relief parcels in the Pacific. These parcels must feed a family of four at $2 a head, over five nights.
Working out how to be smart with leftovers; thinking about how to use of grains and carbohydrates for comfort and full tummies; being culturally sensitive when it comes to herbs and spices; purchasing in-season produce and then putting everything through a system so you can track costings; making sure you're charging for labour and utilities; these were all important points I covered with the students. It made me think about the costing structure we have in place at JUK and how systems can be put in place to make the daily grind so much easier to manage and track.
It's so important to keep all of your ducks in a row... making sure the numbers are accurate and in the right place, as well as making sure all accounts are filed on time. This sounds like quite a daunting task but I think the key is keeping up to date throughout the year, something I learnt quickly when my dinner numbers boosted from 2 to 200!
The software we use day-in and day-out with Xero has made regular reconciling, monthly accounts and up-to-date reports easy to manage and, with the end of financial year fast approaching, having these sorted makes the process much faster (and easier!). As we all know, I barely have enough time in the day to check my emails let alone sort through accounts for the end of financial year.
From talking to the students about being smart around in-season produce, planning and processing costs, I not only (hopefully) taught them a thing or two but I was able to kick into gear what needs to happen for our own end of financial year - which luckily isn't too much of a headache when you have a great system like Xero supporting you!