Food & Beverage
Food & beverage costs are usually the biggest single expense in most independent restaurants. They are also the most volatile operating expenses you've got.
While we believe that taking care of your guests and your staff are the two most important things you do in this business, you also need controls, good controls, when you're dealing with food and beverage. There are just so many ways to lose money, BIG MONEY in this area.
There are many independent restaurants that do a tremendous job taking care of their customers, but they still have a problem. They don't make any money, or they don't make as much money as their capable of making because of lax, or in some cases, almost nonexistant food and beverage controls.
Preventing food and beverage losses basically boils to the constant and proper execution of a few major controls and procedures. Although some of our topics get into some level of detail, we'll let you know which ones will give you the most bang for your efforts.
You may be familiar with much of the information discussed in this section. If that's the case, great, but the real issue is not whether "you" know it but whether "your people" know it and more important still are they actually "doing" these things consistently, time after time?.
Spot Food Cost Problems by Knowing Your Ideal Food Cost
"What should my food cost be?" - this is one of the most often asked questions by restaurant operators. Considering that food cost, along with labor cost, make up 60-70% of all restaurant expenditures, knowing what your restaurant's food cost "should be" is the first step towards controlling it
DOWNLOAD: Menu & Recipe Cost Spreadsheet Template
Knowing what each of your menu items costs to prepare is one of the most basic yet overlooked aspects of running a profitable restaurant. This comprehensive spreadsheet template will give you an easy-to-use tool to calculate and maintain the current cost of your menu and recipes.
Success Focus Video: Premade or From-Scratch?
So how does one go about deciding whether or not to make something in-house or buy it premade? The answer to this question is found by the determination of three factors; quality, consistency and cost. The reality is not all in-house recipes are better than some of the premade products available.
DOWNLOAD: Restaurant Order Guide Form
An effective ordering system has added benefits that go beyond the simple goal of maintaining sufficient product to serve your guests. Proper ordering procedures also help to keep fresh product in stock and serves as a backup just in case the person doing the ordering isn't there.
Recipe Costing Basics: How To Calculate The Cost of Your Menu Items
Operators who commit to an ongoing, accurate menu costing discipline have vital information to make intelligent business decisions which directly impact their food cost and bottom line. In this article, we look at how to put in place a "cornerstone" business practice of the restaurant industry.
DOWNLOAD: Ideal Cost Worksheet
This spreadsheet calculates the ideal (theoretical) cost of sales based on the cost of menu items multiplied by each item's sales mix for a given period. It can be used to compare your actual and ideal cost of sales to determine whether a cost problem exists.
Food Handling and Storage -- Pasta
One doesn't often associate pastas with the term "foodborne illness". However, improper handling of your pastas can lead to potential liability as well as inferior quality
Bake Bread or Buy It? - Pros and Cons
With many restaurants, serving bread is not an option. The only question is whether to make it in house or buy from a bakery. Chef Michael Tsonton shares some insights that can aid in your decision
Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Prep Tips
The definition of efficient prep work changes by day part. The basics are the same for each meal, but to really cut costs you need to look at the specific challenges of breakfast, lunch, and dinner service.