For me, these “times” have expanded the creative side of P&L management like never before. In the past, my thinking was somewhat linear when it came to food cost control- Portioning, Purchasing, Menu Pricing, & Waste Control. Now that we have entered into the Great Reset, I have had to change the way I go about thinking and doing things in my restaurant.

It was December of 07’ when I started to feel a little pain. Sales were trending down and I did not quite know why. At this time portioning was under control, purchasing contracts were in place, menu pricing was comparable with competitors, and we were doing a decent job of controlling waste. I did not want to watch the bottom line follow the sales trends, so I had to do something. This is when the thinking cap went on.

I am in an airport environment, so incremental price increases were not an option. I needed to get my costs of goods down without reducing the quality of the foods I served or raising prices. When I started dissecting my menu the Christmas lights went on all at once. I could improve the quality of several of my menu items and decrease my costs without affecting labor.

Here are a couple of examples of what we did:

We serve home fries for breakfast. We were using a 6/6 pound case of diced potatoes at a price of about $28. We converted to a 50 lb bag of fresh red potatoes at a cost of $12 a bag. As far as labor, we used our automatic slicer and vegetable shoot. We use 25 pounds of potatoes per day so our savings was $13.25 per day or $4,836/year.

We use pesto for a cold pasta salad and hot dish. We were using 6/30 oz containers of pre packaged pesto per day at a cost of around $52. I developed a user friendly recipe that involved little measurement (full pours/etc.). By using the wand blender we could make a batch in ten minutes for a cost of $38. This gave us a savings of over $5,000 a year!

From there the ball kept on rolling. I found comparable products at lower prices, adjusted our time management, and stayed closer than ever to my distributors. No, we did not turn into a “from scratch” restaurant. However, we tipped the scales closer to that direction. Time management and creativity was the key.

I would love to hear some creative ways you have used your ax this year. I am truly appreciative of the networking capacity FohBoh presents to our industry and know that Together We Are Stronger!

Views: 2

Tags: costs, food, labor, management, operations, profit, recipes

Comment

You need to be a member of FohBoh to add comments!

Join FohBoh

Comment by Dan Parsons on June 9, 2009 at 1:47pm
Rich,

Thank you for your comments. I could not agree more! A great example would be pre-chopped romaine. The yield is exactly half of a 24 count case and it typically costs about the same- $20cs. We go through about 4 cases of 24 count a day. It takes about 30 minutes to cust, wash, & dry one case. If I am adding correctly- only 2 hours in labor for all four! How could I ever make up the $80 cost difference???? Let's say I pay someone $10 an hour to cut the lettuce- I am saving $60 a day or $22,000 a year!!

Not to mention I do not like the taste of pre-packaged-

Non-Operator
Comment by Rich Tandler on June 8, 2009 at 5:46pm
Pre-prepped produce is a cost killer. In the corporate world I've seen food costs rise by 1-2 points when they introduced chopped lettuce, diced tomatoes, sliced onions, and the like. Supposedly the savings cut labor but, of course, the savings never showed up.

If the salesman shows up and wants to sell it to you, ask for samples, use the samples that night (assuming that the quality is up to snuff, not always the case) and the next day tell the salesman thanks but no thanks. That's the only time that pre-cut produce will ever make you any money.

Advertisments

 

DEPARTMENTS

Social Wine Club for Craft Wineries

Smartbrief

Eateries turn to rationing as lime prices soar

Unrest caused by Mexico's drug cartels, along with floods in Mexico and a drought in California, are taking a toll on this ye -More

25% Usage Reduction, Guaranteed!
Reduce waste and cut cost. Impress your customers and express your brand. Every single Tork Xpressnap napkin dispenser performs double-duty for your business. Find out more about our 25% usage reduction guarantee or get a free trial.

Burger King to upgrade wireless with Whopper Wi-Fi

Burger King has teamed with AT&T to replace existing in-store wireless Internet with an upgraded system dubbed Whopper Wi-Fi  -More

Late-night indulgence pays off for Jack in the Box

Jack in the Box saw its profits rise sharply in the first quarter, a few months after introducing its $6 Munchie Meal menu of -More

JOBS & CAREERS

Posting a job or finding a job starts here at FohBoh. Call us about special $25 posting packages to syndicate across all major jobs boards.

National News

Wahlburgers Announces Expansion Plans Including Franchise Agreement in Philadelphia

Wahlburgers has signed a franchise agreement with Hingham Associates, LLC that will bring five Wahlburgers to the metropolitan Philadelphia area over the next several years. The franchise group is actively looking at sites and is targeting a late 2014-early 2015 opening for its first restaurant.

Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. First Quarter 2014 Revenue Up 24.4%

Comparable restaurant sales increased 13.4% - Restaurant level operating margin was 25.9%, a decrease of 40 basis points

Jamba Juice Announces Grand Opening of New St. Louis, MO Location

Jamba Juice Company announced the brand’s continued expansion in the St. Louis market with the opening of a Jamba Juice® store at 11477 Olive Blvd. on April 16, 2014.

Expert in Real Estate Analytics Joins Luna Grill

Luna Grill, the San Diego-based Mediterranean restaurant chain, is welcoming retail real estate industry veteran Greg Thorburn to its leadership team. Thorburn has been brought on board to fill the newly created position of Vice-President of Real Estate.

Rita's Italian Ice Awards Area Development Agreement for Kansas

Rita's Italian Ice has awarded franchise and area development agreements for Kansas and the Kansas City area, which extends to the Missouri side of the city, to franchisees and local residents Jay Miller, Jeff Miller and Pat Reilly.

CROWD FUNDING

If you are looking for capital to start or grow your restaurant, create the next 501c3, develop and launch the next app for the restaurant industry,or want to help your peers in some meaningful way, we want to know about it.

TED TALKS VIDEO

TED: Jeremy Kasdin: The flower-shaped starshade that might help us detect Earth-like planets - Jeremy Kasdin (2014)

Astronomers believe that every star in the galaxy has a planet, one fifth of which might harbor life. Only we haven't seen any of them -- yet. Jeremy Kasdin and his team are looking to change that with the design and engineering of an extraordinary piece of equipment: a flower petal-shaped "starshade" that allows a telescope to photograph planets from 50,000 kilometers away. It is, he says, the "coolest possible science."

TED: Norman Spack: How I help transgender teens become who they want to be - Norman Spack (2013)

Puberty is an awkward time for just about everybody, but for transgender teens it can be a nightmare, as they grow overnight into bodies they aren't comfortable with. In a heartfelt talk, endocrinologist Norman Spack tells a personal story of how he became one of the few doctors in the US to treat minors with hormone replacement therapy. By staving off the effects of puberty, Spack gives trans teens the time they need. (Filmed at TEDxBeaconStreet.)

TED: Jennifer Senior: For parents, happiness is a very high bar - Jennifer Senior (2014)

The parenting section of the bookstore is overwhelming—it's "a giant, candy-colored monument to our collective panic," as writer Jennifer Senior puts it. Why is parenthood filled with so much anxiety? Because the goal of modern, middle-class parents—to raise happy children—is so elusive. In this honest talk, she offers some kinder and more achievable aims.

TED: David Brooks: Should you live for your résumé ... or your eulogy? - David Brooks (2014)

Within each of us are two selves, suggests David Brooks in this meditative short talk: the self who craves success, who builds a résumé, and the self who seeks connection, community, love -- the values that make for a great eulogy. (Joseph Soloveitchik has called these selves "Adam I" and "Adam II.") Brooks asks: Can we balance these two selves?

© 2014   Created by FohBoh.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service