The easiest way to reduce costs is to avoid over-ordering food.
A menu must be integrated with thorough purchasing and production procedures to be effective. Purchasing must correctly interpret the ingredients required and ensure availability in time for production.
1. Use a small but simple purchasing list
Use forecasting to know your restaurant stock control level and how much you have sold, so you can calculate the number of products you need. Use the same unit and order of ingredients as your supplier uses in their price list to make it quick to check.
This list can either be part of a software package or a simple Excel sheet that calculates your order with a couple of clicks.
Download our free food purchasing checklist Excel
2. Build a relationship with your restaurant suppliers
Treat them well! They will alert you to good deals, pick up fresh ingredients from the market they think you will appreciate, and be willing to bring second daily deliveries if you run out of certain items (meaning you can be generally leaner on stock if you know they will deliver again in the day).
3. Establish clear agreements with restaurant suppliers on the quality of fresh ingredients
4. Organise stock to match your restaurant suppliers
Organise your stock according to the purchasing list of your restaurant suppliers or wholesalers. This saves you precious time when controlling your stock for re-ordering.
5. Be cautious about buying in bulk
Only buy bulk if it fits with your demand and are non-perishable: Economies of scale can be a real opportunity. However, you’ll be surprised at the cost of throwing away the excess stock.
6. Limit perishable foods
Consider frozen, dried, bottled or tinned goods as opposed to fresh where a comparable quality can be achieved: This way you do not compromise the integrity of your product but reduce the amount of potentially perishable foods.
Read ideas to preserve food
7. Raise awareness with Staff
Make employees aware of improvements and savings. This will motivate and encourage them to improve.
Use our set of kitchen posters and tools to communicate the importance of cost and waste management in your kitchen
Download our lowering cost toolkit
8. Train your staff
Kitchen Staff take cost management more seriously when they understand the benefits and know how to contribute.
Share the UFS Academy training on Cost Management: Purchasing & Stock Control and train your staff for free
9. Consider kitchen management software
Software programs provide valuable information about the planning, purchasing and ordering process. They use powerful formulas to analyse historical and forecasted usage for each item using seasonal trends, market demand, and reservation lead times. They also allow you to streamline your event preparation.
For larger operations, software can save money, but for small independent operators it can be expensive. A simple recipe template in Excel that is well managed is the alternative.
Download free standard standard restaurant recipe template excel
“Though a less glamorous part of the job, it is absolutely critical to get buying right. I have met many chefs who rather cook than do paperwork. That’s fine; recruit a senior person in your team with the skill, aptitude, and desire to look after purchasing on your behalf; just make sure they report to you. Part of the skill of a chef and a kitchen team is to know your own strengths and weaknesses.“