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The meaning of Positive Variances

Getting positive variances does not only happen in fairy tales

Félix avatar
Written by Félix
Updated over a week ago

What does Positive Variances mean ?

Opposite to Negative Variances, Positive Variance means that your Theoretical Inventory is LOWER than your Actual Inventory. It also mean that your Theoretical Usage is HIGHER than your Actual Usage. To explain better, here is a quick example: 

>You sell Soda Bottles
>You start the month with 40 Soda bottles
>You registered sales of 18 Soda bottles throughout the month
>You received 2 X 24 Soda bottles from your supplier throughout the month
>Theoretically you should have 70 Soda bottles at the end of the month
>You counted 94 Soda bottles at the end of the month
>You then have a +24 Soda bottles variance

How can this be ?  
Answers to this questions can be multiple. Unfortunately we cannot pin point exactly the answer for you. Here are possible solutions to help you find where your discrepancies come from.


  • Make sure you or your team has counted the item properly. Give it a second count just to make sure. Since ending counts become beginning counts, a simple mistake in the end count might come back and create discrepancies. 


  • Have all invoices been added to Piecemeal ? A mistake in the amount registered in the invoice will affect your on-hand. 

Menu Items

  • Don't forget that menu items are linked to your Inventory Items. If the menu items are not linked correctly to your inventory items or recipes are not using the correct inventory items, positive variance are sure to become an issue. 


  • The world famous "MISC BEV" or his not too distant cousin "MISC FOOD" button will naturally create positive variances, get rid of it. 

  • Not having the specific button for what your employee need to sell, might lead to "punching" the wrong sales item in the POS. (i.e not having a button for "Vodka & Tonic" might lead to staff punching "Gin & Tonic" just to be able to give the bill to the client


  • Have your supplier order been checked ? Positive variance might come from your supplier delivering more than you ordered on the invoice. 


Positive Variance are the product of mistakes made somewhere. Finding them will allow you to get better variance control. It's not because they are always positive that you are making money. Some money-losing negative variances might hide behind theses positive variances.

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