Are you a small restaurant owner looking to cut costs? If so, you’re in luck. About 60% of restaurants fail in the first five years and another 80% close shop within the same period. That’s a sobering statistic – but it doesn’t have to be you. There are several ways to cut costs in your small restaurant business without compromising the quality of your food or service.
This blog post will explore a few of those cost-cutting measures.
1. Utilize Food Trucks
A popular cost-cutting measure for small restaurant businesses is utilizing food trucks. Food trucks can be a great way to serve customers in different locations without the added expenses of running a brick-and-mortar establishment. They offer flexibility and convenience, allowing restaurant owners to reach new customers and expand their business while keeping costs low.
Food trucks also have lower overhead costs than traditional restaurants. They don’t require a large staff or expensive equipment, and they often operate in areas with lower rent prices.
If you are new to the food truck business, there is no need to buy a brand-new one as you can always start with a used one. Just make sure to explore options on sale in the locations you consider for the business. For example, a food truck for sale in Florida can be a great option if you are planning to start your business in that state. In general, food trucks are an affordable choice for small business owners who want to broaden their clientele and boost sales. They provide cheap administrative expenses, convenience, and a distinctive approach to service customers.
2. Regularly check your inventory
Review your inventory regularly and get rid of anything that’s not selling. Food that’s outdated or surplus stock can quickly eat into your budget. Keeping track of everything will help you save more money. Consider the following items:
a. Food that’s past its expiration date
Keep an eye out for food items past their expiration date when checking your inventory. You must discard them immediately as they can spoil and cause food-related illnesses.
b. Non-essential items
You may find that you have many non-essential items in your inventory that you rarely use. Consider selling or donating them to save money. You can also invest in multi-purpose items that can be used for different dishes.
c. Unpopular items
If you’ve been stocking an item for a long time without success, get rid of it. It’s not worth the money to keep it around if no one is buying it.
d. Slow-moving items
Some items may not sell as quickly as you’d like, but you’re still making a profit. If you find these items in your inventory, consider reducing the portion size or offering discounts.
3. Negotiate with suppliers
Negotiating with suppliers can be a great way to save money. Ask them for discounts or bulk deals if you’re ordering many of the same ingredients. Also, look for an ingredients manufacturer with better prices and offer an excellent quality-price ratio. These manufacturers are usually more flexible when it comes to negotiating. They might even be willing to give you a few free samples so you can try out their products.
Make sure you compare the prices of different suppliers and pick the best one for your budget. Not every supplier will offer you a discount, so it pays to shop around. Look for suppliers that offer discounts for long-term partnerships or loyalty programs.
4. Streamline your menu
Offering fewer menu items will simplify your kitchen operations and reduce food costs. It will also make it easier for your staff to master the preparation of each dish, which will lead to fewer errors and wasted food. You should look at the number and type of dishes you’re serving and their ingredients to see what can be eliminated.
Don’t forget to consider the cost-effectiveness of your menu items, too. Some dishes may look good on paper but must generate more profit to justify their costs. You must also consider the time it takes to prepare certain dishes and whether they fit with your restaurant’s overall theme. If you need help streamlining your menu, consider hiring a professional consultant who can evaluate your current offering and suggest ways to cut costs.
5. Train your staff on proper portion control
How much food you serve can significantly impact your bottom line. If your portions are too small, you’ll lose money. But if they’re too big, you’ll waste food and money. To ensure your staff is serving the right portions, provide them with proper training. Have them measure each ingredient and practice plating food in the correct portions-the more consistent your portion sizes, the better control you’ll have over your costs.
You should also train your staff on how to handle potential food waste. This will help you reduce the food thrown away and save money in the long run. Some restaurants even create dishes out of leftover ingredients to ensure nothing goes to waste. This ensures that all food items are being used and is a great way to cut costs.
By following the tips outlined in this blog post, you can save money on your food costs without compromising the quality of your food or service. Reviewing your inventory regularly, negotiating with suppliers, streamlining your menu, and training your staff on proper portion control are all effective ways to cut costs. With a little planning and effort, you can keep your costs low and maximize your profits.