4 Tips for Lowering a Restaurant’s Food Costs

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Cutting a Steak

From seeking out discount commercial restaurant equipment to improving
server retention, there are a variety of ways culinary entrepreneurs can reduce
their overhead costs. This is an
essential aspect to running an eatery, especially for restaurateurs just
starting out. One of the main expenses
associated with running a dining establishment, though, is food costs. Fortunately, there are a variety of ways to
reduce these as well.

1. Focus
on Controlling Portions
While controlling portion sizes might seem like a menial task, it can
create substantial savings over time. And although many restaurants have decided to reduce the amount of food
they provide as patrons focus on lighter meals, this isn’t necessary to control
portions. In reality, it all comes down
to training.

If the menu promises a four-ounce portion of grilled tilapia, employees
need to be trained to ensure that’s what’s doled out. Appropriate training followed with consistent
quality control can accomplish this. There’s
nothing wrong with giving individuals at the bar tables what they paid for, but
making sure that’s all they receive can easily reduce food costs.

Conduct Weekly Inventory
While it may seem like an added headache, restaurateurs with the lowest
food costs conduct weekly inventory. This allows them to keep track of what they’re going through, and in the
end, this means more accountability for food that’s being lost or potentially
even stolen.

Additionally, consistently keeping up with food inventory provides a
host of other benefits. This includes
making sure that food doesn’t go to waste by ordering more than is needed. This additional bit of effort can free up
more money for new bistro chairs, marketing strategies or even the newest shiny
piece of commercial restaurant equipment.

3. Keep
Track of Purchasing Trends
Restaurateurs just starting out in the business often make the mistake
of thinking they can consistently place the same orders and be just fine. Unfortunately, this can easily result in food
going bad. If orders during the winter
are placed based on how much was sold in the summer, for instance, an eatery
could easily order too much food while also facing reduced patronage.

4. Join
Restaurant Purchasing Groups
Individuals running independently-owned restaurants often see it as
them versus the world. After all, there
are undoubtedly dozens of local restaurants competing for patrons. This doesn’t mean, however, that’s it’s not
smart to work together in some aspects.

By joining a purchasing group, a restaurateur will become part of a
larger unit that has higher purchasing power. This will usually result in restaurant suppliers offering reduced
prices. Even better is the fact that the
other eateries in this group might not even be local. This means the manager could have a price
advantage over all other restaurants in the surrounding community.

Getting good prices on cafe tables and commercial restaurant equipment
is often a great one-time purchase, but controlling food costs can consistently
save an eatery money. While they aren’t
the only ways to succeed in this endeavor, the aforementioned tips certainly go
a long way in keeping food costs within reason.