Controlling spiralling costs in the restaurant business

In any business, there is typically a two-pronged approach taken to help grow profits. That is to cut down on costs and boost revenues.

Cutting costs is often the simplest of the two options to achieve results, but in the restaurant business, you need to ensure this does not affect the quality of service and product delivered to patrons.

restaurant business costsHere are a few ways you can control costs in the restaurant business and hopefully salvage your business even during a downturn.

Re-evaluate your menu

Focusing on what you are delivering to your clients and whether it is providing the kind of return you need is important. Breakdown the costs of each particular dish using the cost of ingredients, or the number of orders you receive for the dish per month or week, and your monthly or weekly food costs.

Also, look into the number of returns or complaints made about each dish and if key ingredients used in its preparation tend to end up spoilt. Use this to pick out the most profitable dishes and figure out what should be dropped so you can keep margins up and costs down.

Staff training

Your servers are the frontline of the restaurant business and have a strong impact on customer loyalty. Many people will return to a business just because the waiter treated them well and will even recommend it to others. Cross-train more staff so that during peak periods they can help out.

Rather than hire additional waiters who will be idle during low periods, you save by simply having those in other stations (like dishwashing, management, or prepping) temporarily help out as needed.

Review your insurance

Business insurance for restaurants is a must, but that does not mean you are getting the best deal possible. Take time to review the details of your policies. You may find duplications in cover or that a simple comparison between insurers could afford you lower premiums.

Factors such as owning or renting the premises may mean you are not obligated to take up certain covers. Consult with a qualified broker who may be able to connect you to tailored products that better suit your particular business.

Environmental efficiencies

From low flow toilets in the lavatories to energy-efficient freezers, there are several ways you can seek to reduce your utility expenses alongside your carbon footprint. Although investing in such upgrades can seem expensive, in the medium to long term you should see substantial savings. Training staff on better habits that help enhance these efficiencies can also help reduce costs. This includes better food arrangement to ensure easier circulation of air and avoiding long periods with the freezer door open that allows cold air to escape.

Online marketing

There is little exposure expected these days from print media. Whether you are looking to simply boost your visibility or make a seasonal promotion, you will likely see better results when you opt for online marketing. It is cheaper than other traditional forms of marketing and can be tailored to demographics that best represent your target clientele. Consider options like setting up a website for the restaurant with online reservation forms and social media pages where you can interact with clients.