Unfixed restaurant business costs and waste can get out of hand before you know it—and drastically affect your bottom line. When was the last time you reviewed your costs and waste channels?
Following are a few ways to make sure your costs and waste don’t run you out of business:
Don't jump on every menu trend. Walk-in space, employee bandwidth—and even customer sentiments—are tested when a menu is constantly in flux. If you try to be everything to everyone you risk losing your identity and the reason people seek you out. You also risk wasting a lot of food.
Watch your advertising dollars. Create an ad around a specific menu item or a special that runs at a certain hour of the day so you can tell if the promotions are working. If they don't bring in business, either change up your ad messaging, the publications or websites you’re running ads in—or both.
Order supplies wisely to control food costs. Keep a detailed inventory, and order items in bulk that are used in large quantity. Or join a purchasing group such as Dining Alliance, which gives independents improved pricing by pooling their purchases.
Count and weigh your orders. Always count and weigh food when it's delivered to make sure you’re getting exactly what you paid for.
Talk to your suppliers to get the best deals. Don’t be shy about discussing a possible reduction in pricing. It’s also a good idea to let them suppliers if you're getting quotes from competitors so they'll be sure to give you their best price.
Watch your waste. Waste in the kitchen means higher food costs. That’s why it’s important to train employees on the following best practices:
- Store and handle food properly to prevent spoilage and contamination
- Accurately measure portion sizes
- Avoid preparing large quantities of food in advance
- Avoid purchasing too much inventory
Also, notice what ends up in the kitchen’s trash cans, such as food that the kitchen is throwing out during meal prep, or food that customers are leaving on their plates (and thus might warrant smaller portions or removal from the menu).
Using these methods to stay on top of food costs will help ensure your continued success!