You are living the dream, owning or managing a café, small bar or restaurant. But you also know that it isn’t the romantic story that is portrayed on our favourite television programs. You know you need to run every aspect of your business efficiently and excellent menu management is crucial as part of your overall operation.
We have collected five tips to help get you thinking about how to maximise the efficiency of your menu.
Optimize Your Inventory
This is most important, inventory matters! Being overstocked might make you feel prepared but leads to spoilage and wastage, and being under stocked means you need to temporarily take things off the menu, leading to frustration in and out of the kitchen.
Instead, optimize your inventory. Use the same ingredients across the menu, and rework specials or leftovers into inventive dishes.
Start keeping track of the raw ingredients you are using, the quantities you are using. There’s more to the cost of that margarita pizza you serve. Factor in the cost of the dough, fresh tomatoes, sauce, basil, and the garlic and cheese. Accounting for these tiny details will give you genuine insight into food costs and profit margins.
Daily inventory reduces the food wastage and inaccurate ordering. This will help you identify if produce is spoiling, being forgotten about or misplaced.
And don’t forget to talk to your supplier about produce options to help reduce your food wastage.
Your inventory means a lot, but what you order and when you order it is highly dependent on your menu. An expansive menu with dozens of dishes often requires more inventory and a higher risk of wastage. On the other hand, a more focused menu where common ingredients are shared between menu items is much easier to manage.
Keep up to date with your best and worse sellers, using this information to assess which items are worth keeping and which ones you can remove. This will help you to optimise your menu and is particularly necessary if a poor-selling dish uses a costly ingredient that cannot be cross-utilized with other menu items.
People may love to have extensive menu choice, but this doesn’t have to equate to an extensive list of ingredients.
Ask yourself how you are using your fresh produce. Could a simple menu alteration reduce your food cost?
Are you using your avocados to make avocado smash or are they being neatly sliced and presented on the plate? Are you using mushrooms to chop up and cook, or presenting a full field mushroom as part of your dish? Are you cooking your tomatoes into a sauce or serving them in a salad?
There are many different grades of produce available so chat to your supplier about moving to a lower grade if you are using the produce for smashing, saucing or juicing and get excited over the savings!
Assess your delivery system to reduce costs.
Do you really need a daily delivery or with a little extra planning could you take a delivery every 2 – 3 days?
Transport cost is included in all fresh produce pricing, so if you can limit the amount of deliveries you take you may be able to negotiate better prices with your suppliers.
Portion control is a simple trick to reduce costs at your restaurant or bar. It’s a technique used by all chain restaurants. Customers will soon learn what to expect, and it will keep your costs lower.
Let’s talk about how we can help minimise your menu costs