It’s not cheap to run a restaurant, but food is one of the biggest costs associated with it. It is therefore of utmost importance to keep your food costs within an acceptable percentage to avoid financial hardship and prevent having to pass on the costs to your customers. Here are 13 tips on how you can achieve this:
1) Take Inventory Regularly
Making note consistently and regularly of your food and supply inventories will enable you to maintain better control of the overall use and the costs that come with it. This is particularly important for high-cost products like meat and alcoholic beverages.
2) Price Your Menu Items Accordingly
It is important that you charge a reasonable amount of money for the items on your menu. If you do this, customers will be more likely to return or recommend you to their friends and family, helping you to maintain a generous profit. Charging too little will give you a high turnover but very little profit.
3) Control Portion Sizes
It cannot be stressed enough that you should make sure to serve foods in reasonable portions. Over-filling plates means customers are likely not to finish the food, and that excess food ends up being wasted.
4) Follow Proper Food Handling Procedures
Make sure that you keep all foods at their recommended temperatures and cook them properly to prevent contamination and avoid waste.
5) Reconsider Garnishes
Garnishes may look good but aren’t usually eaten. Choose garnishes that are less expensive or avoid using them entirely.
6) Record Food Waste
On a chart, write down foods that were made improperly, spilled or thrown out. This helps you keep better track of inventory and makes it easier to monitor costs.
7) Be Consistent
Making inventory purchases consistently helps you to keep your costs steady and keeps you well-supplied.
8) Build Supplier Relationships
Building a rapport with your supplier’s means that they’ll become familiar with your regular orders and you’ll have a better idea of the cost. Regular communication can also help you find out about food quality issues or price changes.
9) Teach Employees to Care
Once employees see how your profits can affect their paychecks, they’re more likely to take waste, portioning and food quality seriously.
10) Buy Local and In-Season
Purchasing locally produced, in-season goods doesn’t just support the local economy. It can also save you money on your bottom line by avoiding the massive costs of cross-country or international shipping.
11) Shop Around
If you don’t like the prices of one supplier, it’s good to look around for a better deal. Buying wholesale whenever possible can also help.
12) Avoid All You Can Eat
While the availability of unlimited food for a flat rate can draw in customers, it can also result in a massive amount of waste.
13) Set Menu Limits
It’s great to have exotic or classy menu items. However, offering them all the time can significantly increase your costs. Consider offering pricier items only on certain days of the week.
Do you have any other food cost tips for us all? Leave a comment below.