A dollar saved is a dollar earned, right? Often, the key to running a successful restaurant has more to do with the money you save than the money you are able to bring in. Even if you’re operating a consistent, busy venue, you probably aren’t profiting as much as you could be.
Fortunately, there are countless ways to cut costs in restaurants without sacrificing quality or passing the financial burden on to customers. The better your cost management, the more you’ll profit when you’re busy and the more secure you will be when business is slow.
Stretch your products
Can you be getting more bang for your buck with some of your products? For example, frying oil can be filtered to last for days longer than it usually would. Also, you should be selling your waste vegetable oil to recoup some of your costs. Used up veggie oil can be converted into biodiesel, and companies are willing to manage, haul, and pay for your this waste item.
Can you eliminate positions and hours of payroll by consolidating multiple jobs? Particularly on slow shifts, bartenders or hosts can serve as floor managers. Servers can even take on the responsibility of plating desserts and salads, striking one hourly cook from the kitchen. Careful scheduling and management of labor costs can quickly show a huge increase in profits.
Rearrange your menu
You want your best-selling items to have the lowest costs and highest profit margins. For this reason, low-cost dishes should be featured toward the front of the menu with more expensive items found further back. Selling more of these cost-effective items will bring your food costs down and your profits up.
Rockefeller reportedly wouldn’t hire someone who salted their food before tasting it. While it’s only a few granules of salt, frugal people know that small amounts add up significantly over time. Consider removing salt, pepper, ketchup, and other condiments from the table. Rather than serving the entire bottle, offer a small, pre-portioned ramekin when condiments are requested.
Use in-house staff
Restaurant employees are often diversely talented with many more skills than management initially realizes. Restaurants can use their service staff to fill the roles of contracted labor, and these existing employees will typically offer work at a better rate. Jobs like landscaping, cleaning, construction, decorating, website management, and marketing can all be filled by current employees.
Get staff onboard
Often times waste is the result of negligent or uninformed employees. By educating your staff and offering rewards for cost cutting behavior, money can be saved on food waste, broken glassware, lost silverware, linens, and many other areas.
The ways to eliminate costs in a restaurant are endless, and savvy owners and operators are constantly looking for ways to bring these down. What innovative ways have you found to improve your profit margins?