Everyone is food service can see that restaurants are a tricky business. From turnover time to wasted product to the number of employees on the clock — every detail matters when money is on the line.

Part of what makes restaurant work so stressful is the sheer amount of work it takes to make a profit. It takes s village to make sure the food ordering, prep work, and execution go off without a hitch on any given day. All for most restaurants to make a profit margin of between just 6 and 22%.

Looking for ways to make more money in the restaurant business? Check out these 7 tips to cut costs, bring in more business and make your restaurant more money.

1. Reduce Food Costs

It makes sense that the cost of food is a big deal for restaurants. Mistakes, comps, and theft can take a huge bite out your profit margins if left to get out of control. Curb this by working with your food supplier to find similar products for cheaper on high-cost menu items (and don’t forget the cleaning supplies and other non-perishables).

With your in-house staff, work on reducing mistakes with proper training to lower waste costs. Any time something needs to be thrown out, talk about why. Also, work with your head chef to control portion size on items that are frequently getting thrown out or left behind by customers. If it comes down to it, don’t be afraid to raise prices on menu items that take a lot of work. Just make sure it is on par with the market.

2. Reduce overhead

Running your restaurant efficiently will reduce costs in multiple areas. If you focus on making good hires, training them appropriately and treating them well, you can run your restaurant with fewer staff members, make fewer mistakes and reduce employee turnover.

Consider performing an energy audit to see where your space is wasting energy, such as in the dining room or out of the refrigerator. Closing air leaks or setting your thermostat to turn off at night time could save you hundreds in utility bills right away.

3. Teach your staff how to upsell

Servers, bartenders and front-of-house staff should be well versed in your menu and know how to sell up. Fast food restaurants do this well by always asking if you’d like to buy a larger french fry or drink for a small amount more.

At seated restaurants, your staff should always be trained on how to entice customers with appetizers, desserts, specials, drink, and top-shelf liquors.

4. Utilize a Good POS

A good restaurant management POS system is a powerful tool to help you reduce your operating costs. A good POS should be able to help you:

  • Manage your reordering and inventory
  • Analyze best-selling items and make price/menu adjustments as needed
  • Evaluate waste and comped food numbers
  • Notify your staff when items are low or sold out
  • Manage employee costs and clocked time

All of your restaurant’s data is stored here, so take it and run with it. If you see any glaring places where you are losing money, address them as soon as possible.

5. Sell Merch

Bars, breweries and restaurants with good branding can add extra revenue by selling merchandise like t-shirts, logo glasses, and more. Attract attention by thinking out of the box and making your merch an extension of your brand.

6. Manage reordering and inventory

Like stated above, use your POS to your advantage. If you have 3 items that sell like crazy, find out why. Put similar or complementary items on the menu. You can also see what items are frequently bought together and teach your staff how to upsell to people the right way.

7. Make sure you’re marketing

If you don’t think you need to be on Instagram or Facebook, you do. People look to social media to learn about happy hour specials, deals, hours, events and general happenings. Also, don’t forget SEO and reviews. Make sure people are finding you on Google (if you have no idea what to do, talk to a marketing team).

Encourage your regulars and happy guests to leave you an online review. And if you get a bad one, always respond. Act apologetic and human to make people want to come back.

Work With Graves On Food Costs

We’re always happy to work with our existing customers to help reduce food costs or recommend product alternatives. For new customers in Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Illinois or Iowa, get in touch to see how our prices on food and delivery can help save you money every time you order. Contact Graves Foods today.