5 ways to lower restaurant running costs

The pandemic is almost over and we can reopen in just under a month if all goes well. With so many restaurants barely surviving, it’s up to all of us to support each other through recovery. The Stone Grill made it through and will be reopening as soon as we can.

We know some of you are not so lucky and that some restaurants will need help to survive. We hope this blog can help.

These tips can also help you at home too!

Reduce food waste

Food waste is not only unsustainable, it’s also wasted money. Every ingredient that doesn’t make you money, costs you money and that’s something you want to minimise as much as possible.

Try everything from introducing dishes that use offcuts or cheap cuts. Create structured order lists that provides enough food to satisfy orders with just a little headroom for cover.

Reuse everything you can. From using old bread in bread pudding or as breadcrumbs to bruised fruit in a crumble.

Organise your inventory

Whether you’re in a commercial kitchen or your own kitchen, ingredients that are out of sight are often out of mind. Try to organise your inventory as much as possible so you can clearly see everything and you have no dark corners for ingredients to hide and go out of date in.

Use FIFO (First in First Out) in your stock and make sure you’re organised in how you store ingredients. That way you should always use the ingredient with the oldest date.

Get your staff to buy in

As a restaurant owner, you can only do so much. Getting your staff to buy into reducing waste is an essential part of lowering costs. You cannot see everything and you cannot be everywhere.

Discussing waste with staff and getting them to understand the ethical as well as the financial costs and how they can help is all part of the process.

You can do the same at home with the kids. Tell them if they spot something with a date close to today’s date to tell you and you’ll make them something special with it. Anything to get them to help!

Optimise your menu

Adding dishes to your menu that can utilise cheaper cuts of meat, a mixture of leftover vegetables or that bruised fruit can all help prevent waste.

Constantly refining the menu to cut unpopular dishes and introduce new ones that use similar ingredients can also help optimise food ordering and give diners something new to try.

Menu design is a huge area of running a restaurant. It can also be just as much of a challenge for the home too. In both situations, getting it right to deliver delicious food to your diners is a rewarding pastime!

Negotiate with suppliers

The UK food industry is a vibrant one. Despite everything we have been through over the past year or so, there are more producers and artisans than ever before.

That means there is more competition for suppliers, which you should leverage as much as possible.

Just like Lidl and Aldi have shaken up supermarkets, upstart suppliers are shaking up the food industry. Check local producers, see if there is a collective or specialist supplier around and negotiate all prices hard.

There are always savings to be made!

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