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Someone is cutting the dollar bill in half to signify costs' reduction

How to reduce unwanted and hidden costs at your restaurant?

2021/04/15
By Nadine Hashem

You’re working hard enough at your restaurant. You follow all the do’s and don’ts of business guidelines.

 

But still somewhere in the process, doesn’t feel right. You’re doing everything you can and there is still a certain leakage that you can’t explain.

 

Controlling your costs isn’t the easiest task to do especially when you are doing everything you can to keep everything under control.

 

Controlling costs affects different areas of the restaurant and increasing your restaurant profitability is almost impossible with solely increasing revenues without reducing your costs as the article written by P&G Professionals “find the hidden way to easily increase restaurant profits” explains.

 

So how to reduce these sneaky costs that are weighing down your restaurant?

 

Control wastage

 

Waste starts in the kitchen and extends to the dining area, warehouse and toilets.

 

  • Food:  when measuring the quantities needed for different meals, then in serving bigger quantities in platters and the additional free of charge dips that customers ask for in addition to burnt food and unsuccessful recipes. Working to reduce food waste cut your restaurant costs by 2 to 6%, Lisa Jennings explains in her article “ Food waste”.

 

  • Cleaning supplies and soap

 

  • Paper goods (toilet papers, napkins, bags and take-out packages)

 

  • Plastic goods and bags

 

 

 How to control waste?

 

It’s impossible to control wastage without performing a waste audit.

 

What should you exactly do?

 

Get a team to inspect garbage bags to see the kinds of leftovers and their quantities.

Sort the leftovers in different categories and weigh them to be able to estimate the monthly/annual waste.

 

In this way you narrow your costs’ sources knowing whether your team is properly managing handled goods and products or it’s just being handled carelessly.

 

Sort out your waste clearly to know where the leakage comes from.

 

Teach your staff to control waste by teaching them different cooking techniques that uses the most out of your meat and produce.

 

In washrooms, ditch paper towels and replace them by hand dryers.

 

It might be costly on the short run but it will definitely reduce your costs on the long run.

You save around $60 monthly by using hand dryers over paper towels as Cindy Quarters claims in her article “Cost benefits of paper towels Vs hand towels”.

 

 

Hands dryers placed in washrooms for customers instead of paper towels

 

Managing your inventory

 

Another way of limiting the costs of your operations is to control your inventory.

 

It all starts with a reliable restaurant management system that features an inventory management software enabling you to get alerts to approaching expiry dates and that specifies needed quantities to be purchased according to your sales history.

 

BIM POS software offers an excellent inventory management system that impacts your purchasing behaviors and reduces waste related to spoilage costs.

 

You can find useful information on inventory management and its features in this article.

 

Keeping unskilled staff

 

Believe it or not unskilled staff doesn’t only impact customer service but it also affects increasing operational costs.

 Unskilled staff will be careless about correct measurements for recipes, will break and loose cutlery and glass.

In addition to causing you bad customer service which is by itself deadly.

 

Train your hired staff to properly handle food in the kitchen, to prepare recipes correctly from the first time. To make the most out of the ingredients they have in hand.

 

Teach them also when to say no to customers in regards to adding free of charge items such as condiments and cheese, wet napkins…

 

Pay attention to personal phone calls or alarming calls to “customers”. Your phone and internet bill highly increase your costs so you have to closely monitor your staff calls.

 

Theft

 

It’s impossible for you to monitor your restaurant different departments and branches.

Theft might occur in different instances other than directly stealing money such as stealing your groceries, giving unexplained discounts or free items to bill tampering.

 

It’s important to have a reliable restaurant management system that controls employee performance and other aspects of your operations freeing you from the sole dependence on a manager especially when it comes to billing.

 

The system also provides you with clear and detailed sales reports with mostly sold items to least sold ones even number of footfall in your warehouse or kitchen.

 

Don’t ignore food seasonality

 

 Invest in altering your menu seasonally for the simple reason of saving money. Buying in season produce saves you lots of money when compared to out of season ones.

 

We’re not saying not to use any out of season goods but try to limit them in your recipes and replace them whenever possible in your dishes especially salads.

 

Veggies that are used as a side dish with steaks and chicken can be easily replaced seasonally same for greens in salads. Adding fruits to salads and desserts can also be changed seasonally to save you some money.

 

 

 

Make it a regular process

 

 

Monitoring your waste and keeping up with your restaurant’s operation isn’t a single time thing to do. It’s an ongoing process that you should keep following for permanent costs cutting.

 

Consider regular waste audit, inventory and staff monitoring through different reports.

 

Hold regular meetings with your staff for waste prevention and take necessary measurements when needed.

 

Increasing your business profitability walks in hand with reducing your costs. Regularly monitor those unwanted costs in order to keep your operations smooth and profitable.

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