Managing food costs yet offering quality fare in your restaurant may seem like a difficult task, but there are ways to do it. Use these 10 tips to get your business moving and improving.
Continually shopping around for best prices may seem sensible, but if often takes up too much of your valuable time. By all means, check prices offered by suppliers and try to obtain good deals from your existing providers; primary suppliers may be open to working on a smaller profit margin if you give them more business.
Avoiding food waste depends on a variety of factors:
• Ordering appropriate quantities from suppliers
• Keeping portions consistently the same size
• Training staff to take orders from customers correctly the first time
If the cost of a certain item has sky-rocketed due to seasonal availability or is a consistently low seller, take if off the menu. You also have the option to raise prices, but customer resistance to price increases must be carefully ascertained. Balance your menu so you offer correct percentages of low-cost fare, based, for example, on rice or pasta, and more expensive protein-heavy items.
This may be a tedious task, but keeping tabs on how much each menu item costs to make, including hidden ingredients, is important. Once you have a system in place, it’s easy to continue with it.
Keeping a close eye on inventory is essential when a restaurant is controlling food cost. Inventory must be taken at least weekly, and even daily if necessary. The inventory must be tied to food cost to see what is being spent each day so the menu can be adjusted.
When deliveries are made, food needs to be stored so that the newest goes to the back, whether it’s stored in refrigerators, freezers or dry storage walk-ins. Make sure foods are stored effectively to prevent cross-contamination.
Being a hands-on owner is the best way to make sure your restaurant is not robbed blind. Check delivery notes immediately or get senior management to do so to make sure you’re not receiving short deliveries or lower quality items than you ordered. Scrutinize invoices as soon as you can for overcharges.
Staff, whether it’s the top chef, the trainee waitron or the floor cleaner, who are open to training, remember what they learn and who give of their best to their work, all contribute to the success of your restaurant business.
Something as simple as a cheap spatula lets cooking staff scrape out every scrap of soup or mashed potato from pots so that it all gets used up. Supply your workers with the correct tools so they can work efficiently.
Supply senior management and chefs with all the information they need with regard to food cost. Get them involved and you’ll be well on your way to building a cohesive, effective team.
Improving your restaurant food cost means plenty of active participation in the way your business is run, but the results make it worth it.
What methods does your restaurant employ to reduce food cost? Leave a comment below.
For more info on Ideal Software’s Inventory Management system follow the link IdealStockControl
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