Control Restaurant Costs Seasonally

Seasonal Adjustment - Complete Controller

Restaurants have two primary costs that make up their total prime cost – labor and food. In seasonal adjustments in restaurants, it is essential to control the prime costs to survive the sales plunge. During the off-season, sales tend to experience a slump, which leads to rising labor costs. It is because, despite lower sales, labor has to be paid (fixed cost incurred regardless of the number of units sold) and incorporated in the bookkeeping process, no matter what.

LastPass – Family or Org Password VaultMoreover, prime costs comprise approximately 55-65 percent of the restaurant’s total cost. Regression
 adjustments will require a stringent cost-control drill for all restaurant businesses. Five ways to control costs during seasonal restaurant adjustments have been discussed in the following paragraphs.

Adjust Labor Budget

As mentioned in the preceding paragraph, labor costs tend to shoot off-season due to lower sales. You can control costs by making adjustments to the labor budget. When setting and allocating budgets for the restaurant, the labor budget for off-seasons must be higher and vice-versa. This ensures that the prime costs are managed during seasonal adjustments, where sales fluctuate drastically.

Multiple Suppliers

Having multiple suppliers is a good idea for several reasons. For instance, in case of supply shortages from any of the suppliers, the alternative may always be available for backup support. This is crucial for restaurant businesses as raw material supply tends to oscillate during seasonal adjustments for the restaurant industry. Download A Free Financial Toolkit

Moreover, suppliers may transfer the cost of crops onto the restaurant if they face a poor crop harvest. Switching the raw material supply under such circumstances will likely induce cost control for a restaurant business. Moreover, having multiple suppliers will help save unnecessary hikes in the Cost of Goods Sold (COGS) during 
restaurant seasonal adjustments

Menu Adjustments

Another go-to tip to control costs during seasonal changes for a restaurant business is to make adjustments to the menu. Mixing and matching food items to incorporate the most popular and profitable items into the menu can lower food costs. Ensure that all items on the menu have high-profit margins. Items that are neither popular nor have higher margins will be eliminated from the menu as soon as possible.

Not just food costs but labor costs may also be reduced by making changes to the menu. For instance, more workers must prepare a burger than those required to prepare a steak. It means that menu items can be swapped during restaurant seasonal adjustments depending on 
labor requirements to control labor costs.

Inventory Management

Keeping inventory estimates is necessary to ensure cost control during seasonal adjustments in restaurants. It would help if you estimated how much inventory will be maintained for the off-season and the on-season demand. Inventory orders must be placed based on these estimated figures. CorpNet. Start A New Business Now
This type of 
inventory management is essential if wastage is to be reduced, leading to lower food costs. As for peak seasons, ample quantities should be available in stock to meet higher than ever in restaurants. Therefore, premium prices for raw materials may effectively be avoided.

Reduce Wastage

Lastly, restaurant businesses must ensure wastage control as this will eventually control costs (food costs). In an attempt to ensure perfection in food, a lot of wastage takes place within restaurant kitchens. This must be reduced to avoid wastage because wasted food is costly.

If wastage is 
prevalent in a restaurant, more raw materials are being ordered. This additional cost may be saved, especially during restaurant season adjustments when inventory management estimates are in place. A wastage sheet or a food wastage log must be maintained to cater to this issue.


In conclusion, managing prime costs, mainly labor and food, is imperative for restaurant survival amid seasonal fluctuations. With labor adjustments, diversified suppliers, strategic menu changes, meticulous inventory management, and stringent wastage control, restaurants can navigate seasonal challenges, ensuring financial resilience and sustained profitability.

The commitment to cost control measures becomes even more crucial, given that prime costs constitute a significant portion of a restaurant’s total expenses. By implementing these strategies, businesses can fortify their resilience and successfully weather the dynamic shifts inherent in the 
restaurant industry during seasonal adjustments.

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