Here are five ways that restaurant operators can improve their bottom line and it won’t cost them a cent

Apr 26, 2016


  1. Kitchen Labor Schedules

Most operators use old methodologies and scheduling to determine labor needs.  These approaches are flawed and ultimately hurt the bottom line due to inefficient use of excess labor.


FIX:  Create preparation times for each menu item to understand how much labor is truly required for food preparation. Using projected times requirements, self-life and multiple yield strategies to set production needs could save a restaurant 2-3 hours of labor per day.


  1. Menu 

Menu Management is a discipline.  Most restaurants have far too many menu selections, this causes a broad range of operational, inventory, production, labor, throughput, ticket times and training concerns.


FIX:  Most restaurants have POS capabilities that will enable them to run a Product Mix to determine what are the high and low performers.  Assess which items drive sales and profitability.  Eliminate menu selections that underperform and drive labor costs.  Try to eliminate 10% of your menu by eliminating menu items that are not performing.


  1. Team Work

Oftentimes dining room servers become very territorial and lack a teamwork attitude that managers fail to enforce which hurts overall service, throughput, table turns, and the guest experience.


FIX: Managers should hold pre-shift meetings every day and discuss ways to encourage a teamwork culture. Full hands in and out, helping others pre-bus tables and running food and beverages are the basics of good teamwork.



  1. Inventory Management

Many restaurant operators don’t take food and liquor inventory management serious enough.   Many independents do annual inventories and use food purchases to determine food cost which is not accurate.  When you have a GAP of over a 1.5% (the difference between actual versus the theoretical) in excess of point it’s time to get serious about inventory control.


FIX: We would recommend weekly inventories, implementing a secured meat cage, lock the back door, secure the liquor room, storage rooms, eliminate back packs being stored on site and implement portion control tools.   We live in a pennies business.  Manage the Pennies and the dollars will take care of themselves.


  1. Energy and Utility Opportunities

Oftentimes cooks turn on the hoods and all the equipment when the walk in the door which drives spikes in energy costs and wastes gas and electricity. Defrosting food under excessive quantities of wasted water.


FIX: An equipment power up and power down schedule is easy to implement and should be enforced to reduce utility expenses.  Turn on broilers, hoods and fryers when needed or 15 minutes prior to opening.  At slower periods of time strategically power down equipment as this strategy will reduce utility expenses.  Finally, create a freezer pull chart that allows frozen foods to slack out in the cooler and not under water, which is a waste of water and a precious resource.