How to save money in your restaurant

We often receive messages from restaurant owners who are desperate. If they do not find a solution soon, they will have to close. They tell us how every month, the red numbers do not stop showing up.

And it is that for more hours that they dedicate to the business, for more money that they invest and for more promotions that they try to put in March, the thing does not improve.


Different problems, the same solution

Cost control is nothing more than a series of techniques that help you avoid leakage and loss of money in your restaurant.

And the raw materials and products that you use to create your letter, is an area that must be watched carefully. Mainly for three reasons:

  • To know what is the cost of making each of your dishes
  • To be able to calculate the sale price and evaluate what is the profitability of the dishes that you will offer

And so you can make smart decisions when buying or creating your menu.

In the following case study you can see how a restaurant should apply cost control correctly so as not to lose money. Let’s analyze in what the approach has failed.


  1. They have not calculated the cost of making the dishes.

Imagine that the cost of the sirloin dish for the restaurant is $5 and that the El Mirador menu will cost $16.

If we take into account that at most, the cost of the dishes in relation to the price of the menu, should be between 30 and 35% to be profitable, only with this dish and we would be exceeding it. And we would still need, at least, to add the first course and the dessert.

In these cases it is essential to have the scandal, a tool that helps determine the total cost of the plate, including the raw material we use in the preparation of it.


  1. More options, higher costs.

Although it is necessary that you have some alternatives in your menu, the excess of dishes will be a headache for your client and your team.

To need many products translates into more purchases, more control of stock and more labor to create the elaborations. What supposes extra work in kitchen and greater lack of control.

In addition, so much variety of dishes and products will cause more waste and without proper planning, you run the risk that prepared dishes are left unsold. All the above will mean the same thing to you: money that goes to waste.


  1. Lack of control in the portions.

The amount of food your dishes have is directly related to the cost. If you control the first, you control the second.

As the menu consists of several dishes, it is unthinkable that the same portions are maintained as when these dishes are sold separately on the menu.

No customer wants to waste food and receive impossible amounts to eat. And of course, it is not logical or profitable for you to offer for $3, what you are offering on the menu for $9.


  1. Profitability

When setting the menu price, profitability should never be set aside. Design a menu cheaper than your competition, can attract customers, but without profit the strategy will not work.

It is important to establish the price we want to offer for a menu, but first analyze the cost of each dish and assess its viability. And if we exceed the profit margin, it is best to look for another alternative.

Do not forget that the price is important, but so is the quality. If being too cheap makes your menu does not follow the quality standards of the restaurant, your customers will notice.

As you have seen in this case study, something that might seem as simple for a restaurant as creating a menu, if not done following proper cost control, can lead to loss of money.

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