As all restaurant owners know, staying within budget is absolutely essential if you hope to turn a profit from your business. Due to the notoriously tricky nature of making a success of your business in the food service industry, it’s even more important to manage your spending well when running a restaurant. Every cent you save in the process of running your business will help you make money, but it’s important to save money in the right areas to avoid ruining the profitability of your establishment. Use these tips to cut down on the cost of keeping your restaurant running without damaging your reputation or reducing quality.
Be clever in the kitchen.
The kitchen is where all the real action happens in your restaurant, so that should be the first place you look when considering how to reduce your expenses. Make sure you have the right technology and equipment in place for efficiency so you’re not wasting money without realising it. For example, using Shepherds Filters instead of standard filters on your hoods could massively cut down on the amount you spend degreasing and cleaning in your kitchen. Make sure your equipment is energy efficient so you’re not spending excess cash on gas bills where you could be saving money, and ensure that prep lists for the ingredients in the kitchen are thoroughly prepared so ingredients aren’t overstocked.
Cut down on waste.
While we’re talking about overstocking, throwing away food is an easy way to waste money and waste food that could be used in your restaurant instead of ending up in a dumpster to rot unnecessarily. For example, stale bread can easily be used as croutons for soups and salads, while over ripe tomatoes may still work well for particular dishes or cocktails. Be creative and talk with your chef about interesting ways to reduce kitchen waste. Make sure your kitchen staff are also aware of the use-by dates of every ingredient of the kitchen so that each item is used wisely and in the right order, reducing the risk of waste down the line.
Negotiate with vendors.
If you find that the prices you’re getting from your vendors are making it difficult to stay within budget, it may be worth chatting with them to see if you can negotiate a better rate. If you’ve been working together for some time and have decent rapport as business associates they should be willing to work with you rather than risk losing you as a customer. Speak to them about your concerns around costs and see if they can cut you a better deal.
Reduce staff turnover.
Training new staff is an expensive task, and while restaurant employee turnover may be famously high, it will serve you well in the long term to keep good employees on board. Promote employees who’ve shown their loyalty and skill on the job, and boost morale with things like reward programs for good performance. Don’t under staff your restaurant under the name of cutting costs – you’ll only end up driving away frustrated customers and damaging the credibility of your business. Consider using the new tech that’s out there like digital menus to help reduce the labour required from your servers without hindering the experience of your valued customers.