Running a restaurant can be a lot of fun but also challenging. You must find ways to keep your customers happy while keeping costs down. The following tips will help you save money while running your restaurant:
Have an inventory of all supplies
- Inventory control: You need to know what your inventory consists of and have a way to track it accurately. Consistently running out of supplies can be detrimental to your business.
- Know what supplies are required: This goes back to having an accurate supply list and knowing what’s available in the market right now so that when something runs out or needs to be restocked, it doesn’t take too long to arrive at your doorstep.
Consider consolidating your suppliers
You can also consider consolidating your suppliers. This is a common practice among larger restaurants, but it can be done even with a small operation. First, determine what percentage of revenue comes from food sales to begin this process. Once you know that number, look for suppliers who can provide products at a lower price per unit than what you currently buy from multiple sources.
Once you find these potential new partners and begin looking into their products and services, negotiate as hard as possible with them! It’s essential to get everything on the table before committing: the cost of doing business with them over time (including any minimums or additional charges), how much profit they want from each sale (assuming there’s no fixed markup), and so on.
Once you and your supplier are satisfied with the terms of the deal, go ahead and sign off on it! Now that all your supplies are coming from one place instead of many different ones, chances are good that any savings will be reflected in lower costs across several categories–not just food purchases but also labor expenses related to preparation or delivery services.
Make a plan to purchase equipment
When you’re planning to purchase equipment, think about the long-term costs of both capital and operating expenses. You can avoid overspending by buying used equipment if you can find some that are still in good condition. If you need new equipment, try to buy less expensive versions of what you want instead of the most expensive ones.
For example, if you need to buy a dishwasher, consider getting one without as many features. You will spend less money upfront and still get your dishes clean. Shop around for different prices to get a good deal on whatever type or brand of equipment best fits your needs (as well as space constraints).
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Test out more efficient ways to do business
Test out more efficient ways to do business. Getting first-hand reviews from the people you interact with regularly is a great way to find where you can improve.
- Ask for feedback from customers and employees.
- Ask for input from suppliers, other restaurant owners, and your accountant.
Take advantage of small business mentoring programs
Mentoring is a great way to learn from the experience of others. You can find mentors who have been through what you’re going through and will be willing to share their experiences with you.
Know your customers better
Getting to know your customer’s preferences better is one of the best ways to save money. Having a customer base with predictable habits and preferences will allow you to plan and avoid wasting time, energy, and resources on items that may not sell. Knowing what your customers like to eat will help determine how much food they should prepare. For example, if they always order takeout on Wednesdays but never sit-in at the restaurant, it would make sense for the kitchen staff to prepare more food than usual for Wednesday orders.
Look for ways to increase customer retention
Many ways to increase customer retention include:
- Offering loyalty programs.
- Communicating with customers on social media.
- Use customer feedback to improve your business.
You should also inform your customers about special events and discounts by email, newsletters, or text messages.
Finally, ensure you have a good website with the latest menu items listed so people can order food without calling in. If your customer can order from your website, one of your employees does not have to step away from their duties to answer the phone.
Focus on reducing waste in the kitchen
Waste in a kitchen is anything that gets thrown out or wasted. It’s usually apparent: food waste, spoiled produce, dirty dishes, utensils, etc. But there are other types of waste you might not think about—like water from washing dishes that could be reused instead.
When operating a restaurant and trying to save money while still serving quality food at reasonable prices, it’s essential to minimize your kitchen’s waste, so you aren’t throwing away valuable ingredients every day or paying more than necessary for your food costs. By reducing your kitchen’s overall amount of trash (and recycling), you’ll save on trash removal fees and reduce some pesky labor costs associated with cleaning up after yourself!
As a restaurant owner, you should be aware that running one requires a lot of capital. Due to this reason, it is essential to save money in every way possible. The more money you can save while running your business, the more money will be available for growth in other areas, such as marketing which is essential for your success. Have a question? Contact us here BUILD IT’s contact info.