This is a follow-up to a series of articles I've been posting on controlling food costs in your restaurant. The focus and time required to manage cost can seem daunting, so this week I just wanted to list a few key areas you can start with and can grow from there. Next week we will be talking about recipe costing.
- Reward staff when food costs are met
- Implement a meal plan, which allows your staff to eat at discounted prices to keep them from sneaking food here and there.
- Use spatulas to scrape every drop out of bowls and cans.
- Include portioning in your advanced prep instructions. Busy cooks may not have time to portion properly during a rush.
- Keep your knives sharp.
- Use the correct size of dish for each menu item to avoid the temptation to over-portion in order to make the plate look full.
- Inspect your garbage cans for food waste. If waste seems excessive, spend time training your staff to reduce the amount of food thrown away.
Planning Your Menu & Specials:
- Plan your specials to use ingredients you purchased on discount or items you would like to move out of your inventory.
- Use trim items from meal preparation to make soup or appetizers.
- When creating your plates, assign larger portions to items that have lower food cost and keep high-priced items to more manageable sizes.
- Use ingredients in several dishes so you can order in bulk. But beware of overstocking, as this may result in spoilage.
- Is your dishwasher throwing a lot of food away? If so, consider reducing your portions.
- When possible, buy fresh produce locally, direct from the grower.
- Stock enough supplies to avoid trips to the local discount or grocery store.
- Regularly schedule requests for quotes from both your current suppliers and new suppliers. Always get at least 3 quotes.