Cutting Your Commercial Kitchen Costs
Managing a restaurant can be a gratifying but difficult career. To have a thriving restaurant, the owner or supervisor must be proficient at running both front-of-house and back-of-house functions. That means balancing everything from hiring and training staff; choosing your menu and any day-to-day alterations; ordering ingredients, beverages, dishes, and other kitchen and dining room essentials; to making to-go and pick-up orders, among other responsibilities. With all these duties, it can be a fight to maintain profitability.
To help boost profit margins, restaurant proprietors sometimes focus more on modifications they can make to front-of-house, such as raising their prices or promoting liquor sales. But, smart restaurant owners should recognize that a well-run kitchen can help lower costs and raise profitability. Growing food and labor expenses can make this a challenge, but luckily, there are several methods you can use to save money in your commercial kitchen.
Begin with becoming more attentive to your energy costs. For example, soaking dishes in warm water before they are loaded into a dishwasher can help release food residue — rather than rinsing them with hot water. Utilizing your dishwasher only when it is completely full can also save on water and utility charges. Also, arranging the food in your walk-in refrigerator so that air can circulate and cleaning its condenser and evaporator coils could also further reduce energy costs.
Food shipments can take up a meaningful amount of time for your kitchen team. To help decrease expenses, consider partnering with fewer suppliers and limiting the number of times you receive deliveries. While you may purchase a lot of fresh food, buying shelf-stable or frozen foods could also help lower food costs.
Because food prices are a significant contributor to your expenses, take a closer look at the serving sizes. Too-large portions add to food waste and cut into your profit margins. Design regular portions for each dish, and even using smaller plates and bowls can make the portions look bigger and more appealing to customers.
You might also consider training some of your front-of-house staff in multiple job positions to help with some kitchen tasks during slow seasons. Investing in more efficient kitchen appliances such as refrigerators, cooktops and deep fryers can also help you save money over time.
For more information on how to boost your profit margins, check out the accompanying resource.