Controlling Costs

Back In May, I published a post titled: “10 Reasons Why Restaurants Fail.”  https://tabletalkpdx.com/2013/05/11/10-reasons-why-restaurants-fail/ 

One of those reasons is not controlling costs.  It is about time that I re-visit this.

One thing great chefs know is that if you want to play this restaurant game, you have to treat it as a business.  Yes, it is important to be creative in your kitchens, but it is even more important that you do it following good business practices.

I hate doing inventory

No one likes to take the time to do the tedious job of inventory, but it is so very important.  If you want to save money on food cost, or beverage cost, this is a great starting point.  Taking regular inventory (say once a week), lays the groundwork for controlling those costs.  It tells you what you have on hand for future ordering and production, it keeps your employees from helping themselves to product (we call that stealing), and it stops you from letting food spoil.

Another place to start paying attention is at the loading dock.  Keeping an eye on the quality and quantity of the product being delivered will save you a lot of money, too.  Are you getting what you ordered?  Look at the purchasing order, and compare it to the invoice given to you by the person doing the delivering.  Don’t just go off of what their invoice says.  That only tells you what was delivered–you need to know what you ordered.

This isn’t what I ordered

When you are looking over that delivery, make sure it weighs what they say it weighs.  Make sure that wine is the correct vineyard and vintage that it says on your wine list.  Make sure to dig to the bottom of that produce box to see that the stuff on the bottom isn’t damaged, wilted, or of questionable quality.

And then don’t be afraid to send it back and not pay for it.  That doesn’t mean you have to be a jerk about it, but you need to protect yourself.  The purveyor, although they have an interest in keeping you happy, has their own agenda, and often it will not be in line with yours.  You need to look out for your business.

Writing about this makes me realize that I need to revisit this subject often.  I haven’t even touched the surface.  There is this thing called portion control….

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