Ways to Reduce Your Restaurant’s Food Costs

With ever-increasing food and labour costs, the restaurant budget requires consistent maintenance and management to stay in a healthy place. Here are just a few ways you could drastically reduce your restaurant’s food costs and help support a comfortable bottom line.

Inventory Management

Having an efficient and accurate inventory management system in place will help ensure your restaurant is not throwing its potential profits in the garbage. An inventory management system will help prevent over- or under-ordering, and will contribute to the overall success of the business. With the world of digital, it is easy to streamline your inventory management system using mobile applications; everything is in one place and can be shared immediately with the whole management and operations team.

Vendor and Bulk Discounts

 A great way to reduce the amount of money your restaurant is spending on ingredients is to plan ahead and take advantage of vendor discounts. If you can buy in bulk from a vendor, this can be a good strategy for saving money on your annual budgets. Non-perishable items like alcohol for the bar and certain canned or bottled ingredients can keep for a long time period and can be bought all at once, saving money on the ingredients and delivery – assuming you have the proper storage space.

Recipe Planning

With the ever-increasing prices of meat and produce, a key factor in ensuring cost-effectiveness in your restaurant is to have a process for recipe planning and recipe costing. Optimize your inventory and deliveries by planning complementary specials in the same time frame. For example, a “monthly feature” main course and an appetizer that use the same special ingredient. Then, break down your recipe cost per plate and ensure you are charging for your meals accordingly. These revenue streams can make or break your business, so make it a priority!

Preparation Consistency

Make sure to have well-laid-out instructions for the preparation of food and beverages in your restaurant – and make sure your team is trained to follow these instructions! Proper training and management will avoid over- or under-portioning, which helps ensure accuracy in your inventory control processing, but also helps ensure a consistent experience for your customers. If your customer receives a heaping bowl of pasta one day, and a small, dainty portion the next week for the same price, you can bet they will be complaining and unhappy – and for good reason! Make sure your whole team knows the important of following recipe instructions and remaining consistent.

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