Buy Your Way to a Profitable Restaurant – The Importance of Correct Purchasing


Stock control and cost control are vital aspects of most businesses, and it’s important that as a restaurant, you control your stock precisely. In an industry beset by thin margins, this means being able to analyze the stock you need and the stock you already have in order to maximize profits.

Analyzing Costs

The first step is to consider the value that your current suppliers offer. Are they the cheapest in the market? Are they the most efficient? While it’s often tempting to go for the lowest cost, if the supplier doesn’t deliver the right products in the right quantities, you’re suddenly left unable to use other items that you’ve already ordered.

While a certain amount of variation is expected, given the seasonal nature of many products, one would expect a large company to be able to deal with that variation and deliver accurate quantities when you need them.

Cost control is a major part of doing business, and if one supplier is cheaper with identical delivery accuracies, it’s normally worth using the cheaper supplier.

However, you can often negotiate bulk discounts if you are buying larger quantities. In this case, it can often be worth contacting suppliers directly if you need a substantial amount of one product. Negotiation is key, and accepting a slightly higher price on one product can make purchasing another product in bulk worth it — assuming you need it.

Related: Is Your POS Making You Money?

Accurate Stock Control

Ensuring that your stock levels are accurate is paramount, particularly with respect to perishable items. For example, if you have large quantities of meat — traditionally one of the larger costs for a restaurant for catering service — you want to maximize your use of it.

If you are wasting large amounts because it is out of date, your costs increase substantially. This is why taking advantage of bulk offers is not always practical, particularly for perishable items.

On a similar note, perishable items always have a just-in-time philosophy — it is not advisable to store large quantities of those items because they will eventually go off before you have a chance to use them.

A good stock control or point of sale system should give you hard data as to what you use when. For example, you should be able to check last year’s sales figures of similar items, factor in differences in menu and local conditions (whether, local advertising and local competition, for example), and then make accurate judgments as to what you will sell this year on similar dates.

Related: More or Less Suppliers – Which is Better for Your Restaurant

Reducing Costs

When factoring in the above considerations, you are able to make accurate purchases and make profits even on relatively small margins by reducing the amount of waste that you experience and also reducing the amount of storage space you need.

Similarly, you can reduce electricity costs and staffing costs by anticipating when you will be at your busiest thanks to the data provided by your point of sale system.

Essentially, controlling your costs provide higher profits and make your life easier. Reducing the amount of stock you have and employing a just-in-time philosophy ensures that you spend more time serving your customers and not sorting out expired products.

Food cost too high? Find out how we can assist you with your food cost and stock control, ensuring your profitability with Ideal Stock Control 


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