Owning a restaurant is hardly inexpensive. You might think that running a restaurant means that you get food really cheap because you are consistently purchasing or that it is easy to prepare a menu. Large menus, cost of alcohol, employee turnover and much more go into restaurant expenses.
In order to provide a great restaurant with wonderful offerings and a friendly staff you have to keep the restaurant costs under control and then the rest will fall into line. After owning a restaurant myself I can tell you we had to follow my 5 clever ways to keep restaurant costs under control in order to keep the whole operation running smoothly.
What I had that worked well was a staff that loved their job, their work environment and their customers. Here’s my 5 clever ways to keep restaurant costs under control and lavishly live food out loud.
5 Clever Ways To Keep Restaurant Costs Under Control
If you have patronized a restaurant over the years, then what you need to know is that restaurant must be abiding by the 5 clever ways to keep restaurant costs under control, because they are staying afloat.
Often those that do not manage restaurant costs will cease to exist. You know that your favorite restaurant is doing something right because they are here for your time and time again.
Let’s look at the 5 Clever ways to keep restaurant costs under control so you can understand that menu in front of you just a bit better. Running a successful restaurant is no inexpensive task.
Keeping costs under control in the restaurant industry is imperative, but where are owners and managers meant to decrease these expenses? There are a variety of ingenious ways that successful restaurants have managed to keep costs low while still offering the utmost in service and quality.
Cutting down on costs isn’t a one-man job or a duty that’s left to management. Working together is how to get a large job done and running a restaurant is a large job. The front line comes down to the employees.
A team effort by all employees is what it takes to ensure costs are kept low and manageable- remember the old ‘It Takes A Village…” same school of thought and trusts me it works.
Start with your bartenders who definitely need to watch the amount of liquor poured into each drink they serve.
Servers, Table Bussers & Hostess
Often employees are very THRIFTY and can offer up some of the best ways to avoid wasting food. Your team can be one of the best assets when it comes to cutting down on expenditures within your establishment.
Make sure to have a meeting and ask what suggestions they have, chances are they will be able to give you insight and ideas. Some of the ideas might even include ‘specials’ made out of ingredients that might have gone to waste.
Remember, ideas are worth a lot of cost savings, so be sure to provide incentive through rewards to encourage assistance in this endeavor.
Keep The Menu Paired Down
Large menus rock, but when many of the foods are not ordered and yet you keep them stocked, you end up with waste. It is important to offer an array of food items but not one that is so large that it lacks focus and increases your need for multiple ingredients which increases your costs.
What is your restaurant? Who is it catering to? What types of food need to keep it in that ‘feel’? Once you answer that question, perhaps by seeing what you most popular sellers are, you are off to a crushing start. FOCUS is key on a menu.
You will become known for ‘that great burger’ or having the ‘best taste in pizza, pasta, or steaks!” What you are after is a following for your most popular items, that keeps those customers coming back over and over again!
Cutting Out Ingredients & Table Turnover
Did you know that if you cut off the menu those things not selling and focus on the big sellers, you suddenly stop wasting thousands of dollars on ingredients you won’t end up using. Remember too that the longer your customers sit perusing the menu, the longer they take up a table. During busy times, losing patrons not willing to wait can severely cut into your profits.
The Cost Of Alcohol
Alcohol and restaurants seem synonymous, however, you might see a whole new trend going on in the current market. Alcohol is costly as is securing a liquor license. I some of the most trendy and competitive metropolitan areas, the cost of an alcohol permit can reach prices upwards of hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Alcohol sales can serve as a significant portion of profits, however, to achieve this you might find that you do not need to sell a full range of alcoholic beverages. Again, this is all about studying your sales, your offerings and gathering feedback from your staff. Pairing down that alcoholic menu can save you so much money.
Sell A License For Liquor
In fact, some restaurant owners choose to sell their full on-sale licenses in favor of purchasing cheaper, beer and wine only permit. The money made from selling a more expensive alcohol permit can then be used for offsetting costs in the restaurant and requires less sourcing from liquor vendors.
Here’s where to go if you are considering the idea to sell a license for liquor. This is a brokerage service that can get you in contact with buyers that will give you a fair price because you do not want to get scammed.
Have you ever headed to your favorite place to get your favorite server and suddenly they are not there? Scheduling is a nightmare for most restaurant owners but there is help for the owners to get the shifts done right.
You see, if you are understaffed, your clients won’t come back because it becomes a poor experience. If you are overstaffed you cost yourself money. You have to get the staffing right so that the restaurant runs smooth and the experience for clientele is seamless.
Streamline your scheduling processes and cut down on money wasted on labor costs. Your bottom line will thank you for this as will your staff.
Energy Efficiency $aves
Energy costs can quickly add up in the restaurant industry, but switching to energy efficient restaurant appliances from a company like Central Restaurant can save you thousands of dollars and is well worth the initial investment.
Lesson Learned In Refrigeration
We once bought an older model walk-in because the price made it a steal, the only thing it stole from us was cash. Each month our bill would grow steeper and it was due to the ‘older energy inefficiency’ built into this walk-in. Guess what? We ended up spending even more money to replace it, but once we did, the savings was instantaneous.
Consider this: refrigeration alone can account for around 20 percent of a restaurant’s energy bill. Get an energy-efficient refrigerator and cut down on the cost. cost. Don’t forget to keep track of temperature ranges, without making it too cold which keeps you from wasting energy and money.
Let It Be Lit
- Switch to energy-saving lights, and bulbs.
- Use dimmers to allow you to add to the ambiance and save energy.
- Turn off the lights in rooms that aren’t in use.
If you’re looking for ways to cut down on costs in your restaurant, use these tips and strategies to slash expenses and make your restaurant more profitable than ever. Lavishly live food out loud, stay lit, keep the employees happy and pair that menu to what makes sense.
This is an article dedicated to all my favorite restaurants to help keep you motivated, moving and open when I arrive at your doorstep. Enjoy my 5 Clever Ways To Keep Restaurant Costs Under Control and I will see you soon for dinner and drinks.
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