7 Tips to Control Restaurant Spending in 2022

7 Tips to Control Restaurant Spending in 2022

Control your restaurant spending to propel your restaurant growth in 2022.

It’s been a wild ride for restaurants since Covid came around. Restaurants all across the country have gotten creative and pivoted in ways they could never have imagined, all while keeping their doors open.

Even before Covid, your goal is and has always been to control food and labor costs. Today, that’s never been more important.

But what happens as we turn the corner into the new year? In this article, we look at seven tips to control restaurant spending in 2022.

#1: Manage and Track Your Inventory

One of the biggest reasons restaurants have trouble controlling spending is they don’t have a handle on their inventory.

This is the first and most important step to keeping your spending in check.

You want to make sure you know what’s coming in and what’s going out. This can help you ensure your staff isn’t over-serving meals. It also helps you make sure you aren’t getting robbed.

Managing and tracking your inventory lets you know exactly where your money is going at all times. (tweet this)

You want to track your inventory every single day at the same time each day. For example, you may decide you’re going to track your inventory every day at 9 am. This is a good practice because it helps you keep your numbers consistent from day to day.

By knowing your inventory well, you can calculate your food cost percentage to reduce spending.

#2: Track the Cost of Your Goods Sold

You want to do this on an ongoing basis.

This involves cost analysis. With the right software, you can track the costs of your goods sold. This includes what it costs to make each one of your menu items.

You can stay on top of trends in your inventory spending so you can adjust quickly to control spending.

#3: Reduce Your Waste

Another smart business decision is to reduce your restaurant’s waste.

This includes watching your portion sizes and rotating products before they go bad.

Make sure you have a plan in place to ensure your staff knows exactly how much goes into each dish and onto each plate. In addition, put someone in charge of rotating your fresh produce, dairy, and meat products. This way you have a plan in place to use these up as they near their expiration dates.

You also want to think about your equipment when it comes to waste. Be proactive about keeping your equipment maintained and clean so you won’t end up having to spend money to fix or replace it.

Restaurant Spending

Don’t let your restaurant spending overheat – stay on top of it.

#4: Take a Look at Portion Control

Does your kitchen staff serve portions that are too big? Or do your specifications include meals that are too big, and you end up throwing food away?

If you are over-portioning your plates, your food costs are going to explode.

Make sure you have the right tools to ensure you are measuring the right size portions. Plate your food appropriately and don’t overserve to control restaurant spending.

In addition, monitor the following issues on an ongoing basis because they also can increase your costs:

  • Know how much food is returned to the kitchen by diners because it’s not good or not done right.
  • Be aware of how much food is thrown away in the kitchen because it’s burnt or cooked wrong.
  • Know how much food is spilled and therefore lost.
  • Make sure you know how much of your extra-large portions is being thrown away.

Once you know these things, you can fix them to help control your spending.

#5: Pay Attention to Staff Costs

Another of the biggest draws on your budget is staff costs. Many restaurants manage labor costs well while others struggle.

If you’re struggling to control your labor costs, check out a few of these tips:

  • Look into the past to see how many tables you serve each night. Make a plan for the number of diners and tables you expect for the next month.
  • Make a plan for who will work each shift. You don’t want to schedule a crew of newbies because they will work slower and less efficiently. Be sure you mix experienced staff with newer staff. This way you can handle your tables with ease, and you aren’t overstaffed.
  • Don’t staff as many people for set up and take down. You don’t need your whole wait staff for this.
  • On slow nights when you have to send staff home, consider offering them a small few to go home. This way they aren’t going home empty handed, but you aren’t paying them to stick around all night.

#6: Use Menu Engineering

Another way to control spending is to engineer your menu for success. When you use menu engineering, you can gauge the popularity as well as the profitability of specific menu items.

Consider dropping your less profitable menu items, especially if they aren’t popular. If they are popular, research food costs to find ways to make it as inexpensively as possible.

You can look at price changes as well as substitutions for ingredients that are less expensive.

Capitalize on your low margin menu items and find ways to promote them to help you control spending and grow your profits.

#7: Talk with Your Suppliers

Finally, work with your food suppliers. Discuss ways to reduce your food costs.

Don’t forget to shop around. Look at other suppliers to see if they can offer you lower costs. If you find lower prices, go back to your favorite supplier and see if they can match them.

Consider buying in bulk when it makes sense as well.

Final Thoughts

The best tips to control restaurant spending in 2022 all revolve around one thing: managing your restaurant well.

It’s up to you to keep your restaurant’s costs in check. If you incur big losses, you may have to shutdown your restaurant. In these trying times for the restaurant business, it’s never been more important to know what comes into your restaurant and what leaves your restaurant.

Control your food costs as well as your labor costs. Plan your menus, train your staff, and look to the future. Make sure you have a strategy for the good times and the lean times. (tweet this)

With all the tips listed in this article, you are well on your way to controlling your spending in 2022 and coming out on top.

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Images: Sharon McCutcheon and Erik Mclean on Unsplash

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