1. Check your invoices.
Even if one of your vendors doesn’t mean to rip you off, a simple mistake can cost you tons of money. As National Restaurant News reports, one restaurant received $12,000 of accidental overcharges on ketchup! You definitely don’t want to get stuck footing the bill for extra thousands of dollars worth of condiments, so it’s worth it to thoroughly check all invoices against your contracts. Are you paying the price you and the vendor agreed on? And check your invoices against what you’re actually receiving. You don’t want to pay for food you never get.
2. Correctly price your menu.
You’ll never get a handle on your food costs if you’re charging too little for that expensive steak. It’s important to know exactly how much all the food in your kitchen costs you—that way you can know you’re making enough money back when a customer orders that item. This means staying up to date on food prices and consistently checking your menu to make sure what you’re offering still makes sense. If prices suddenly rise, that doesn’t necessarily mean you need to increase prices on your menu. But if does mean you might need to get creative and think about offering smaller portions or different cuts of meat.
The people in your kitchen have a huge amount of power when it comes to your food costs! After all, they’re the ones who actually handle the food. Be sure they understand proper portion sizes. If they’re consistently giving customers portions that are twice as large as they should be, your food costs will suffer. Employees should keep waste logs and try their hardest to reduce waste at all times.
4. Track your inventory.
If you don’t know exactly what food you have in your restaurant, it will be hard for you to keep your food costs down. Yes, this definitely involves some work, but it’s well worth it! You should always know what you have on hand, especially for expensive items like beef and alcohol. Be sure to keep track of what is soon expiring so that it can be used instead of thrown away.
Controlling food costs can be tricky, but you can do it by keeping these ideas in mind! How do you keep food costs down in your restaurant?