How To Keep Restaurant Costs Low And Profits High


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If your tables are full every night but you’re still bleeding money, you’re likely wasting cost reduction opportunities. Business optimization allows you to keep restaurant costs low while ensuring your profits stay high. There are many money-saving processes that you can add that can help you survive.

Do you own a restaurant and have the same problem? From buying high quality kitchen gloves to improving staff retention, here are the many ways to trim down your restaurant costs and maximize profits with several simple improvements.

Ways to Save in Your Restaurant

There are different aspects of your business that can eat up your earnings. Some restaurant areas, like property costs, are nearly impossible to reduce. However, if you look closely at your monthly expenses, you’ll find many places you can optimize. 

Have a Good Inventory Management System

One of the easiest ways to start saving money is by looking at your inventory. If you haven’t checked your stock for an extended period, you may have items sitting around that can no longer be sold because they’ve expired. You may also have slow-moving products that aren’t making you much because selling them at a discount is cheaper than buying new inventory. 

Maintain Proper Food Storage Protocols

Another area to consider is how much food you’re purchasing. If you’re a restaurant owner, you most likely spend a lot of money on perishable goods. Luckily, if you store your food correctly, you can prevent spoilage.

Lower Energy Costs

If you’re worried about your restaurant’s energy costs, you should switch to LED light bulbs and energy-saving appliances. Many restaurants can cut their power bills by switching to energy-efficient appliances. 

Purchase in Bulk 

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Materials costs are among the primary concerns you must consider when owning a restaurant. You likely don’t want to lose money on your basic needs, but you also have to get deep discounts to keep your operations running. 

When you buy your supplies, try to buy them in large quantities. You can usually get a discount if you buy your product in bulk.  This would cut the cost of supplies by a wide margin, usually up to half as much if you bought it in retail per unit.

You can negotiate a discount if you’re ordering food supplies from suppliers. Ensure you’re purchasing from a reputable supplier to prevent exchanging quality for cost. There are materials you can sacrifice in quality, including tissues and paper towels, but there are also supplies you need to get from top suppliers.

For example, cleaning products, materials, and equipment need to be high-quality. Items like kitchen gloves and food handling gloves must come from the best providers to ensure the best hygiene practices.

Check the unit pricing for large orders to see if you’re getting the bulk pricing you think you are. You’ll also want to confirm the terms of the agreement and if there are any hidden fees.  

Buy Produce and Ingredients that are in Season

One of the best ways to help keep costs low and your menu exciting for your patrons is buying and creating menu items that correlate with produce and ingredients that are in season. “You’ll pay less for strawberries (and get fresher, better quality) in May than you will in October.” says Michelle Price, business development manager at Hip2Save. Changes like this, while seemingly small, can add up to greater savings than you think. 

Have Your Equipment and Machinery Checked 

Buying new equipment can have a significant impact on bottom-line profits. If you’re opening a new restaurant, the upfront equipment costs can be crippling. 

Performing routine maintenance on all your restaurant equipment and machinery can help you save time and money down the line. Just like your car, equipment will wear out. Have your equipment inspected to ensure you aren’t wasting money on costly repairs. This can help you avoid costly breakdowns, which can be expensive both from a staff and customer standpoint. 

Reduce Labor Expenses

The most significant cost restaurant owners have is labor. Recruiting, hiring, and training new employees are expensive. Additionally, if you have experienced staff members, they may be looking for higher-paying jobs. You can save money by cutting back on your employee expenses.  

However, there comes the point where you can’t cut anymore. If you’re at the point where you can cut down your employee expenses, you should focus on reducing employee turnover. 

Employee turnover can result in lost production and payroll expenses because you’ll suffer a decrease in productivity. You can reduce your employee turnover by investing in your employees.   

Invest in employee engagement and retention programs and have more honest conversations with your team. One common reason employees look for new jobs is because they’re unhappy about cultural fit. For example, your employees may have a problem with management.  

Invest in Sustainable Supplies

Kitchen Gloves

Another area of your business where you can trim costs is buying eco-friendly and sustainable restaurant supplies. A lot of the time, the cost for a short-term solution like disposables can end up costing more than going with a sustainable option from the start, and there are many eco-friendly and sustainable supplies that you can purchase that are actually cost efficient. 

Use Reusable Food Storage Containers

Rather than using disposable food containers to store raw ingredients and mixes, one of the easiest and long-term savings investments restaurants can make is to invest in good quality reusable food storage containers. From stainless steel bowls to glass containers and reusable resealable silicon bags, there are endless options out there to help restaurant kitchens cut down on long-term costs and waste associated with buying and then throwing out disposable trays and containers used in conjunction with food preparation tasks. 

Adopt Eco-Friendly Take Out Ware

In the past 5 years, and particularly through the pandemic, more savvy restaurant owners have switched to all-biodegradable food containers and takeout ware. One main driving factor for this change is the growing concern for how much waste is produced from traditional plastic and foam containers alone in the food industry. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, containers and packaging make up a major portion of municipal solid waste (MSW), amounting to 82.2 million tons of generation in 2018. 

The second driving factor being that some eco-friendly products have become more affordable than ever due to the growing demand and production increase. At some points, these options will be more desirable and cheaper than plastic and foam alternatives due to more widespread adoption. You can also use the idea of eco-friendly supplies as proof to your patrons of the care you have for the environment too. 

Invest in High Quality Kitchen Gloves

Investing in high quality kitchen gloves is a reasonable solution too. Since gloves are necessary for a myriad of restaurant tasks from food prep, cleaning, maintenance, to and kitchen safety, investing in high quality, durable and universal fit gloves can help cut down the amount and need to purchase different types of gloves. And if you have to use disposable gloves, consider compostable gloves that will help you to cut down on cost and waste. For example, Eco Gloves Compostable Disposable Gloves are strong, thick, and durable and can be used for everything from food handling to cleaning. Because of their durability you don’t have to worry about using multiple gloves just to finish simple tasks. Additionally, compostable gloves can be thrown out with organic waste decreasing your cost for waste dumping. 

Ensure Business Compliance with Local and State Regulations

It is important to consider local city and state laws when opening a restaurant. For every city and state, there are stringent compliance laws you have to follow. Non-compliance can be costly and result in either hefty fines or business closure.

For example, if you’re opening a restaurant in California, you must obtain all the pertinent permits and licenses, including health and business licenses, for your restaurant. You must also follow existing hygiene and food safety laws like the Glove Law, which encourages using food-safe equipment like tongs and gloves.

Additionally, you have to keep on the pulse with the local laws and regulations around the kind of equipment and supplies you can use in your business. For example, in Hawaii, effective January 1, 2022, the City and County of Honolulu signed into law a Disposable Food Ware Ordinance to ban plastic use and curb non eco-friendly disposable wares being used in food establishments across the county, these terms promulgated that:  

  • No food vendor shall sell, serve, or provide prepared food in polystyrene foam food ware or disposable plastic food ware to customers.
  • No businesses shall sell polystyrene foam food ware, disposable plastic service ware, or disposable plastic food ware.

Any business violating any provisions can be ordered to discontinue sales or be subject to civil fines.  

While navigating around new and changing local and state regulations can be tough, taking time to ensure you’re in compliance can really help to save in terms of costly legal penalties in the long run.  And if you need more help with this, there are professional consultants who can help guide you in your restaurant business. They can ensure that you’re following the letter of the law so you can avoid any costly legal penalties. This will allow you to run your business safely without the risk of closure. 

The Bottom Line

Ultimately, running a successful restaurant is all about efficient resource management. You can make small changes to reap the benefits in many areas of your business.  

If you’re trying to trim costs, you need to make the necessary changes. Take time to assess your business and look for ways to improve it. When done correctly, even small changes can result in big savings.  

If you’re looking for good quality, thick and durable kitchen gloves Eco Gloves is here to help.

Check out our products and see which best suits your needs. Whether you’re looking to safe time and money on purchasing by subscription or in bulk, we’ve got the best deals for you.

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