From staff management to stock orders.
High levels of competition and increasingly tight margins in the restaurant industry has led restaurant managers across the country to look for ways to save money in every area of their business. Regardless of how big or small your restaurant may be, increasing profit margins is always a priority.
Of course, you could consider raising menu prices but that may upset loyal diners which is the last thing you want. Instead, use these simple solutions to start slashing costs in your restaurant’s kitchen, without charging your customers more.
It’s not news to kitchen managers that controlling portion size plays a significant role in keeping food costs under control. But it is important to note that even a slight imbalance in serving can affect your margins significantly. Creating standard portions means consistency in the taste, quality, and quantity of food, which eventually results in customer satisfaction and more importantly reducing waste, oversupply and undersupply, leading to more cost savings in the long run.
One of the main reasons why QSRs and franchise fast food restaurants are so successful is because they ensure consistency in taste as well as quantity. Even if you own or operate an independent restaurant, café or take away outlet, consistency is still vitally important. This is where chefs and cooks should focus on quality over quantity.
Give diners a dining experience; crafting high-quality, reasonably-sized dishes. From a carefully balanced blend of spices to a new cooking technique, focusing on a dish’s taste instead of its size will allow you to impress diners with the quality of the meal not the quantity while still charging the same amount.
Food wastage, both in the form of leftover food that is sent back by the customer or unused stock that has gone off, is one of the worst ways restaurants damage their bottom line as money is literally thrown in the bin. Portion control can help reduce leftovers but kitchen managers should also focus on stock ordering; using techniques that reduce food wastage before it gets to the customer. Ordering frozen bread in bulk is one example of an effective technique to reduce food waste costs. Eliminating the need not only for an in-house baker but also the guesswork associated with ordering fresh bread which often sees restaurants throw out loaves upon loaves of fresh bread in quiet periods.
Kitchen staff are often at the front line of cost-saving strategies for restaurants so managers should ensure they aren’t being ignored in discussions around reducing costs and waste. On top of this though, restaurants should consider cross-training back-of-house staff to reduce the number of employees needed to run the kitchen during quiet periods.
Human resources and staffing accounts for the majority of the hospitality industry’s expenses so having staff that can man the fryer and also plate up entrees will increase efficiency in your kitchen, and allow you to schedule fewer employees on nights of the week when your restaurant is not packed. This is usually a nice change for kitchen staff who will see pathways for career growth.