How much is your food costing you? And how much does your wastage of food eat into your monthly budget? For part 1 on our series about wastage and cutting costs, here are some tips on how to improve your spending on ingredients and cut wastage to hopefully boost your profits!
#1 Find more than one food supplier
On one hand, it makes sense to build a good relationship with a single supplier and hopefully also enjoy discounts from buying in bulk. On the other hand, this “eggs in one basket” logic also puts your business at the mercy of one, single supplier.
Make sure you regularly research and look around for alternative vendors so you can ensure you get your ingredients at the most competitive costs, and so you can more easily find a solution if anything goes wrong with your current supply.
#2 Consistent portioning and inventory checks
Keep track of your inventory and ingredient shelf-life to ensure you don’t purchase too much or too little of what you need. This may be hard to do when you first start out, but with time and experience with your customers, you should be able to better anticipate the demand for different dishes and work to keep your kitchen stocked with what you need!
Also, set a standard for portion sizes. This consistency will be better for managing customer expectations, and can really help in gauging the amount of ingredients you need each week or month.
#3 Get creative about your menu
Food like pasta, potatoes and rice are much lower in price than beef and seafood. Ensure your menu has a good mix of both lower-cost and higher-cost items in order to keep it profitable and still attractive.
Also, craft your menu to maximise your food usage – for instance, chicken bones can be used to make stock or soup, and trimmings of meat can be used for skewers, meatballs…. The list goes on. Get creative!
#4 Donate food
Last but not least, look for better ways to get rid of your excess food! Are there donation drives? Centres or homes that could use some food? In any case, look around for things to do with your leftovers at the end of the day – and remember that you don’t need to throw it away!