Food Costing Tips for the Holidays

The restaurant business tends to get a boost in the holiday season: with more people out shopping, they are often also looking for a place to relax and refuel. Large party bookings increase with festive celebrations, as does the demand for catering services.

And while the holiday season can bring in new and more business, it also brings extra work for hospitality owners and managers in terms of restaurant inventory management. As your business increases, so will your food orders and food costs. 

If you’re not up-to-date on your food and bar inventory, supplier pricing, recipe costs, food costing, and waste management, you can experience significant cuts to your holiday margins. 

To prep for the December rush, here are five food costing basics you can start doing today to protect your profits this holiday season.

1. Restaurant inventory software manage your inventory properly

To get the most bang for your buck, you need to manage your restaurant inventory and portion control regularly and accurately. In busier times, it’s even more important to know when to adjust your supply levels and find creative ways to cut back on waste while keeping popular items in stock. 

Knowing what is being used a lot, and what are popular dishes during the holiday season – and what isn’t – can help you get better control of your food costing and profit margins. 

And these days, effective inventory management doesn’t have to mean piles of invoices, order forms, paper to-do lists or time-consuming spreadsheets. For example, the right restaurant inventory software lets you track your actual versus theoretical variances on all inventory items with precision – and no guesswork.

Professional restaurant inventory management software with a built-in food costing app, like Optimum Control, makes precise inventory control easier than ever – even during hectic and demanding seasons.

2. Boost organization with a restaurant management system

During the holiday rush, keeping food and bar inventory organized and sorted appropriately can be a challenging task. Keeping track of paperwork for every event, reservation, menu modification, price change, order invoice, and billing information uses up time you can’t afford and leaves room for costly mistakes.

By opting for easy-to-use restaurant management software, keeping your food costs and restaurant inventory organized is effective, instant and effortless. With the touch of a button, you can quickly account for all of your stock and identify what was purchased from which supplier and how much you paid for it.

You can also run dozens of reports to improve your restaurant management. For example, report on your tracked usage and food costing for every single item, making it even easier to see what you’ve used and what you haven’t, for more cost-effective ordering.

And by using restaurant management apps like Optimum Control, all members of your team can easily add and access information on site or across multi-unit chains, enhancing team communication and organization when time is of the essence.

3. Make your own – and track your profits with recipe costing software

Prepared food is often way more expensive and spoils faster than when you prep it on your own. Instead of wasting money on pre-chopped produce or pre-made desserts, spend more time preparing your holiday menu in-house to cut back on food costs.

To ensure you’re saving and making more money with your own recipes, use recipe costing software with a built-in recipe calculator app. Optimum Control restaurant management software helps you easily and accurately calculate, store and view your recipes and recipe costs, and ensure your in-house prep work is profitable.  

Our recipe price calculators will help you find out if you are charging the right prices for each of your holiday menu items, and show you the true cost per portion of all your custom recipes. 

You can also include detailed prep instructions for all your staff and chain units, as well as indicate the expected yield of each prep and batch recipe – time-saving food costing information to keep on hand for your next busy season.

4. Price all your menu items properly with the right food cost software

In addition to accurate food costing for your holiday menu, it’s also a good idea to ensure all your regular menu items are priced effectively to cover your overhead costs – at a price that still attracts customers. 

All your prices, at any time of year, should adequately reflect the market you are in and the value your customers expect, without impacting your bottom line. And if a menu item has dropped in popularity, consider changing the price, or switching it out altogether. 

Plus, the right food costing software will also help you account for menu substitution requests – this holiday season and throughout the year. Don’t wait for the costs of offering your customers menu substitutions to eat into your profits before taking action. Streamline and simplify your restaurant inventory management with Optimum Control now, ensuring you’ll save money and boost revenue right into the New Year.

5. Save time and money with restaurant management software

With the use of integrated restaurant inventory management software, you will have quick access to all aspects of your business. Order taking, calendar reminders, kitchen production management, stock requirements, proposal templates, reporting, accounting, inventory control, recipes, food costing, staff scheduling and even more tools are at your fingertips with modern restaurant management software.

“Time is money” as the saying goes, and every busy restaurant owner knows the true value of saved time in making money and protecting profit margins.

With restaurant inventory management software like Optimum Control, you can access your essential business information, orders, recipes, inventory apps and more from your desktop or mobile devices, no matter where you are. Likewise, our restaurant management software offers chain restaurant solutions that integrate across all your units, saving time and money for your entire establishment.

Talk to us today and learn more about the features and benefits we offer in our suite of inventory management software to help you take control of your hospitality business. Get Optimum Control today!

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