101 Ways to Deal with Food Cost – Part 2

Ideal Software Stock ControlIn Part 1 of Ideal Software’s popular “101 Ways to deal with Food Cost” series, we dealt with 33 Possible Food Cost Problem Areas. Here is Part 2 of our series “101 Ways to deal with Food Cost” – “Back to Basics”.

The food is great, the service fabulous and the restaurant is busier than ever but are you wondering why the bottom line isn’t all it should be? Check your FOOD COST! Here are possible food cost problem areas:

Organizational and structure component charts

Use organizational charts to know and understand who does what in your restaurants on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. How can this structure improve? Are jobs allocated in the most productive manner possible? Written job descriptions are good tools to use for this. You can find example of job descriptions and a questionnaire for writing job descriptions at www.hrnext .com.

Use a Checklist for yourself

Create a checklist of items you perform every day and organize your time Of course, variations from this checklist will always occur, but you will cover the basics a lot faster with a guide in hand. This will save you and your staff time and confusion.

Controlling large operations

The larger the distance between an owner or manager and the actual restaurant, the greater the need for effective cost-control records. This is how franchisers of restaurant chains keep their eyes on thousands of units across the world.

Related: 6 Tips for Controlling Labour Costs in the Restaurant Industry

Give managers information

Many managers of individuals operation assume that since they’re on the premises during operating hours, a detailed system of cost control is unnecessary. Tiny family operations often see controls the same way and view any device for theft prevention as a sign of distrust towards their staff. This is shortsighted because the main purpose of cost is to provide information to management about daily operations.

Theft prevention

Prevention of theft is a secondary function. Cost controls are about knowing where you are going. Furthermore, most waste and inefficient cannot be seen; they need to be understood through the numbers.

Utilize the same chart of accounts to compare your operation with others

Ratios enable you to compare the operating data of a specific hotel or restaurant to average for a group of similar establishments. You may, for example, compare the food cost and food sales of a particular restaurant with average sales and costs of restaurants of a similar size.

Teach employees

Management must be involved in the training and supervision of all employees. For any cost control system to work, employees must be trained and know what actions are expected of them. It is management responsibility to supervise employees and see that they receive this training.

Related: Motivating Staff in the Restaurant Industry [INFOGRAPHIC]


Daily involvement and communication is needed in order to succeed. Employees must follow all procedures precisely. If they do not, they must be informed of the specific deviations from these procedures and correct them. This is a daily task that involves hands on management style.


Any control initiated is only as good as the manager who follows up and enforces it. There is no excuse for not completing each control procedure every day. A deviation in your controls or involvement can only lead to a loss over the control of the restaurants costs.


Many of your cost-control procedures can be tracked through a computerized accounting system. 

For more info on Ideal Software’s Stock Control system for monitoring your Food Cost IdealStockControl



To view Part 1 in our series “101 Ways to deal with Food Cost” 33 Possible Food Cost Problem Areas

To view Part 3 in our series “101 Ways to deal with Food Cost” The Menu & Standardized Recipes

To view Part 4 in our series “101 Ways to deal with Food Cost” Purchasing & Receiving

To view Part 5 in our series “101 Ways to deal with Food Cost” Safety & Security

To view Part 6 in our series “101 Ways to deal with Food Cost” Technology

To view Part 7 in our series “101 Ways to deal with Food Cost” Budgeting & Organizational

To view Part 8 in our series “101 Ways to deal with Food Cost” Energy Tips

To view Part 9 in our series “101 Ways to deal with Food Cost” Menu, Recipes and Portion Control


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101 Ways to Deal with Food Cost – Part 3