A Better Bottom Line
As labor expenses increase, making smarter purchasing decisions can help your profitability.
Running a profitable restaurant has never been easy. And it’s not about to get any easier, as new wage and compensation laws kick in for Washington State. So how can your restaurant absorb higher labor costs?
“Keeping a close eye on your food cost is critical,” says Sysco Business Resource Consultant Ricky Webster. In our last Prep for Success newsletter, Ricky offered three tips to keep food costs down through inventory control, goal setting and consistency.
Purchasing is another area that can also impact profitability.
“When it comes to purchasing, taking seasonality into account can make a big impact on profits,” says Ricky. “For instance, we’re going into the season where tomatoes are really expensive. So it’s time to ask “Why do I have tomatoes on every sandwich? Maybe it’s time to substitute tomatoes with something like a roasted beet on that sandwich instead.”
“you, as a chef, get creative and manipulate that product into something”
But make sure you don’t just think about produce. This time of year, filet mignon pricing is through the roof. “Is there another cut like a shoulder tender you could offer that would be a little less expensive but could still provide the same flavor profile and texture? And then can you, as a chef, get creative and manipulate that product into something that like beef bourguignon wrapped in puff pastry.”
You can also purchase smarter by taking advantage of specials. “At Sysco, we sometimes run specials on certain items that may be overstocked,” Ricky explains. “So perhaps purchase a couple of cases of those items. Maybe it’s a frozen item and can be stored in your freezer. Now you can run specials for the next few weeks.”