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How To Control your Food Costs in a Restaurant

How To Control your Food Costs in a Restaurant

These days restaurants have numerous pressures on them, making what seemed to be normal operations very difficult. There is a huge shortage of trained staff and chefs, rising food costs, rising operating expenses, increased competition, margins being distributed with delivery applications, and shifting consumer demands.

Thus, it is becoming difficult for restaurants to manage many things, these are some tips to help you control your food costs.

1. Choose your vendor wisely

Restaurants typically have two options when choosing a supplier, a higher priced broadline distributor, or a lower priced cash and carry model. Thousands of restaurants choose A1 Cash and Carry across Ontario as their Restaurant Wholesaler for bulk ingredients, wholesale produce, wholesale meats and seafood, bulk take out containers, commercial kitchen equipment and more. The concept is simple, you are putting in a little bit of extra work, picking, packing and delivering your own supplies, thus you save by shopping at a Cash and Carry!

2. Study your 'Sales by Item' and know your 'item seasonality'

You should understand your absolute sales per item, and your sales seasonality by item. Are you selling more hamburgers to fries in the summer, or in the winter? This will help you know how much to order and ensure you aren't ordering more than you need. This will help you reduce wastage.



3. Daily Cost reviews / Daily Profitability analysis

At the end of everyday you need to review sales, and your major variable costs, food costs, labor expense, wastage, repair or damage expenses. This will allow you to understand day to day profitability and allow you to make slight tweaks throughout the week to ensure long term profitability.



4. Regular inventory checks and counts

A Kitchen is sometimes a chaotic place, ingredients coming in, dishes flying out, there is often a gap between perceived inventory levels and actual inventory levels. Checking daily inventory can make sure you have enough stock for the next few days, and if not you can visit the cash and carry before you run out to ensure maximized revenue potential. On the other hand if you have too much inventory of an item, knowing that may give you the opportunity to put an item on special before it goes bad, reducing your wastage.

5. Track item costs on a weekly basis

With the current supply chain problems, Covid-19 delays, product shortages and inflation, there are regular price increases on many items that restaurants purchase. You need to track items on a weekly basis, at least your top 10 purchased to items to ensure you're still profitable on all menu items, and to ensure you aren't surprised by your profitability at the end of he month.


6. Train your staff, and then train them again

Staff at your restaurant can be a backbone of your overall business' viability. They are the ones who are actively managing and looking after the operational capabilities of day to day running of any restaurant. Therefore it is highly essential to train them in the right manner. Here are some common trainings you should regularly train your team on:

A major factor can be keeping an eye on portion controlling, as it can be the difference between being profitable or not on an item. For instance a serving of Szechuan Chicken must contain an optimum amounts of poultry, sauces and veggies. Excess of any of the either ingredients can have an impact on the overall costs. Similarly, other indicators of staff training include cooking times and meal prep, plating techniques among others. 



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