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Mr. Cowan. That is right.
Mr. ANDREWS. If this is the reason why you have to overstaff, to take care of these people who choose to stay at home rather than coming to work, wouldn't you be better off deleting those people and keeping those that come to work with regularity?
Mr. Cowan. Yes, and we have done that on a small scale. They are usually the first ones to go off our payroll. They are usually in the lower ranks, the porters, pot washers, and so on.
Mr. YATES. Do you have difficulty getting people in the lower ranks?
Mr. Cowan. $1.60 per hour. I called an employment agency the other day for porters and the man who answered said, “Mr. Cowan, they are not looking for that kind of job any more.” It is pretty difficult to get people for these jobs.
Mr. YATES. How many porters do you have working in the House restaurants?
Mr. Cowan. About 20 or 25 at the moment overall in the organization.
Mr. YATES. Do you need all of these?
Mr. Cowan. Except in one unit where the business varies to such a degree-the catering services-on some days we may not need the porters, but 3 days a week we might. For instance, last Friday there were no banquets or anything scheduled. We had these men on the payroll. We were able to use some of them in other units where people didn't show up, but on quite a few days there is no need for a great staff in the banquet department, but when you need them, you need them.
Mr. Yates. But shouldn't the cost of that go into the banquets?
Mr. Cowan. Some of it does. That part of it that comes after 4 o'clock does.
Mr. Yates. The banquets are a special consideration. By “special consideration” I mean that is not your usual operation. You are talking about luncheons in the Speaker's dining room?
Mr. Cowan. And the facilities in the Rayburn Building
Mr. YATES. But inasmuch as those are special considerations shouldn't you cover the full cost of those?
Mr. Cowan. In our prices we try to. If they happen after 4 o'clock in the afternoon ordinarily the full cost is charged to the party being served.
Mr. Yates. Why shouldn't the full cost be charged for a luncheon in the Speaker's dining room?
Mr. Cowan. The overtime cost is what we try to charge to the party in its entirety. But those that are on the Government payroll from 7:30 in the morning until 4 o'clock in the afternoon, I figure the man is here, he is working, and the Member of Congress should not be charged for his full services. That would eliminate him from the Government payroll and throw the entire cost on the Member of Congress.
Mr. ANDREWS. You say in the morning they have to be here anyway and one of the things you said was there weren't many people for breakfast. The other day we had breakfast and it was the same that
is usually served-orange juice, a couple pieces of bacon and eggs and one muffin and coffee-for which we paid $1.75. You can get that for less than $1.75 any place, so you are charging adequately for these breakfasts.
Mr. Cowan. And the price that goes in the coffer is $1.25 and the waiter's fee should not be much over 25 cents per person.
Mr. ANDREWS. What do you mean by the waiter's fee?
Mr. Cowan. We ordinarily add a $5 waiter's fee in multiples of 20 guests, which should average 25 cents per person.
Mr. ANDREWS. He gets this on top of his salary?
SOME FACTORS CONTRIBUTING TO DEFICITS Mr. Yates. What are the factors contributing to this deficit? We started out in this interrogation by talking about where possible reductions in services could be made. We talked about attrition rather than firing and started with the lowest rank, which is porters. You talk about 20 porters. I would guess for all the restaurants you might need 20 porters, I don't know. Where is your single greatest labor cost?
Mr. Cowan. I can't tell you exactly where the greatest single labor cost is, Mr. Yates.
started out in tices could be the lowest
MEMBERS' PRIVATE DINING ROOMS
Mr. Roof. What do you mean, percentagewise?
Mr. YATES. Total number of employees. You have them broken down by classes, don't you?
Mr. Řoor. Personnel costs, percentagewise, it would be in the Members' private dining rooms. That is the greatest cost.
Mr. YATES. What makes up that cost?
Mr. Cowan. The cost ratio is what he is talking about as related to sales.
Mr. YATES. You used the plural, Members' dining rooms.
Mr. Roof. We are talking about the Members' private dining rooms, the one in the Rayburn Building and the one across the hall from the main restaurant in the Capitol.
Mr. YATES. I would imagine the one in the Rayburn Building would be the greatest cost?
Mr. Cowan. They are comparable.
Mr. Yates. Do you have a separate kitchen for the Members' dining rooms?
Mr. Roof. No.
Mr. Cowan. In the case of the Rayburn Building dining room, the manager of the catering services, their salaries are allocated to the Rayburn dining room and the Rayburn cafeteria. A big cost of
the Rayburn dining room would be the manager and assistant manager of the catering service who double as supervisors of the private dining room and of the catering staff. Then we have this big staff of porters.
CATERING SERVICES AND COSTS
Mr. YATES. Aren't you telling us you do not recover the cost of catering? What you are doing is using the head staff of the private dining rooms for catering and charging their services beyond the time that the Members get their regular service to the regular service time? Isn't that what you are saying?
Mr. Cowan. Their salaries are prorated between the Rayburn cafeteria and the Rayburn dining room. After 4 o'clock in the afternoon
Mr. Yates. But they don't get any more as a result of handling the banquets or special parties than they do for handling the dining room, do they?
Mr. RooF. Except tips.
Mr. Roof. It doesn't cost the restaurant any more. It is something the Members pay.
Mr. Cowan. If a Member chooses to give a manager $20 or $25 for special consideration, it doesn't cost the Government anything.
MEMBERS' PRIVATE DINING ROOMS
Mr. YATES. You say the greatest item of cost is the Members' private dining rooms?
Mr. Roof. I said percentagewise, proportionate to the sales. For instance, for the first 10 periods in the Members' dining room in the Capitol the labor cost is 194 percent of sales. In the Rayburn Building it is 161 percent. In the large dining facilities in the Capitol it is 139 percent.
Mr. Yates. How does it happen you charge the Members' private dining rooms such a high proportion compared to the Capitol dining room?
Mr. Cowan. Because the manpower costs are so high and compared to the low sales volume. Whereas we had in this 10-month period $15,000 of sales in the Members' dining room, we had $150,000 of sales in the congressional restaurants, about 10 times as much.
Mr. Yates. Should the same standards be applied in both cases? Is that good accounting?
Mr. Brady. They have to be on duty whether they get customers or not. That is the problem. You have to have the facility open.
Vr. YATES. And the facility is open for the Members whether the House is in session or not, both the House restaurant and the Members' private dining room, and I would guess they don't get more than 20 on a Friday when the House is not in session?
Mr. Cowan. Not more than 20.
Mr. YATES. What about closing the private dining room in the Rayburn Building on those days? This would only save $2,500 a year, closing the Members' private dining room on Friday alone.
Mr. Cowan. Yes, sir.
Mr. YATES. And $2,300 in the Rayburn Building. That would be a total of about $5,000 out of a $400,000 deficit. That is not a very significant saving, is it?
FOOD COST PERCENTAGE Mr. YATES. What about food cost? Mr. Cowan. Food cost is one of the most reasonable things we have. It was 43 percent overall in the 10 months for the whole organization. Up to this point I have been right proud of it. I think it is the most reasonable thing we have. The labor cost is 80 percent of sales. It can be cut some by these recommendations here and it can be cut some more in different departments by attrition.
LOSS ON BREAKAGE, ETC.
Mr. ANDREWS. How many plates and cups and silverware did you buy this year because of breakage?
Mr. COWAN. Up to this time our costs were $14,000, 1.4 percent of sales. That is pretty close to standard in the restaurant business, I understand, 1.5 percent of sales is accepted as a minimum.
Mr. ANDREWS. In other words, it costs you more in breakage than you would save by closing the Members' private dining room in the Capitol and closing the Members' private dining room in the Rayburn Building, really. What does this $14,000 cover?
Mr. Cowan. That is for total replacement, breakage, disappearing stuff, and so on.
LABOR COSTS Mr. ANDREWS. How do you come back to the fact that we have three reputable firms that say they can run this House restaurant facility with no cost to the Government? One of them even says they might make a profit to the Government.
Mr. Cowan. I don't know, sir. I told you in the main meeting that I could not do it under present circumstances and even if we change circumstances some I still could not do it. They say they can do it. Maybe they can. I doubt it very much.
Mr. HENLOCK. Their labor rates might be less. That we do not know from their proposals.
Mr. ANDREWS. We have no way of knowing that at this time but I assume when we got down to negotiating with them we would say they would have to keep on our employees with the benefits they now have. You can't kick out somebody who has seniority and has served the House well.
Mr. HENLOCK. That point has not been discussed fully. It might alter the picture with them if they knew not only would the employees have to be retained but their salaries would have to be kept at the present rates.
MEMBERS' PRIVATE DINING ROOM Mr. Yates. I can't understand the high cost of the Members' dining room.
Mr. Roof. It is a question of having to have people there to serve a maximum load.
Mr. YATES. You have one meal. You don't have breakfast or dinner. It is open for 2 hours.
Mr. ANDREWS. And the service is not even that fast. If you go in that dining room with guests and sit down you are lucky if you have service in 20 minutes.
Mr. COWAN. We have eight part-time employees, a cashier, a checker, and a pantry girl. And we have two full-time employees. One is a porter-dishwasher, who takes care of the vacuuming of the rugs in the main dining room early in the morning and touching it up later and helping serve the lunches. Then we have a full-time pantry woman who assists on the special functions. We do use this room for special breakfasts about three times a week. She comes in to cook for them.
Mr. ANDREWS. She cooks for them?
Mr. Cowan. Yes. She cooks on the grill for these special breakfasts, these congressional prayer breakfasts, for instance.
Mr. ANDREWS. Do they need a special cook?
Mr. Cowan. They want a special order and this lady cooks for them, after which she does other preparation duties.
Mr. YATES. How much do you charge them?
Mr. Cowan. Well, at lunchtime on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday we may have 300 Members there in two sittings, but yet our sales average about $1,500 every 4 weeks and our payroll in there is $3,000 every 4 weeks.
Mr. Roof. In other words, your labor cost is twice as much as the sales.
Mr. Cowan. And eight of these people are part time.
Mr. YATES. What you are telling us about is just the peak operation and your costs go on at other times?
Mr. Cowan. On Monday and Friday.
Mr. YATES. In the morning or evening the cost is still going on, isn't it?
Mr. Cowax. Yes.
Mr. YATES. How do you correct this, by stopping service in the House restaurants at 2 o'clock?
Mr. Cowan. No.
Mr. Cowan. It would save a lot of money in personnel cost, how much I don't know.
Mr. YATES. Would it save anything in food cost?
Mr. Cowan. It might a little bit because if these waiters and busboys have to wait around there until later in the evening they will eat another meal and this will add to the food cost.
Mr. Yates. But if you know the restaurants will be closed by 3 o'clock you don't have to buy as much food, do you?
Mr. Cowan. I wouldn't think so, no, sir.
Mr. RooF. But proportionately that would not make any difference because you would not have any sales.
Mrk you donut if you will add to that