This edition of MRM’s “Ask the Expert” features advice from Buyers Edge Platform. Please direct questions to Barbara Castiglia, Editor-in-Chief of Modern Restaurant Management (MRM) magazine, at [email protected]
Restaurants today are looking for solutions to minimize costs and ensure efficiency throughout their operation. Why should you and your staff spend hours counting inventory, checking invoices and combing through contracts? Nobody has time for that when there’s a crowded dining room, take-out orders flying out the window, and customers complaining about the price hikes of their favorite dishes.
Ultimately, there are many ways to minimize your operational costs and make things easier for you and your staff. The restaurant industry has been slow to change but has begun to understand why it is necessary. And don’t even get me started on the purchase data your restaurant produces all day. Do you do anything with this data? We’ll park this one here until a bit later in this article.
When you’re short on time and resources, technology can help you automate onsite and offsite processes, meet rising costs, and make more informed business decisions. Embracing different innovations and moving away from traditional ways of operating can help you identify more areas of profitability and drive business success.
Here are three ways to reduce your restaurant’s supply and labor costs:
Use technology to streamline operations
Whether you’re doing inventory, ordering supplies, or managing the supply chain, it all costs time and labor. There are many areas of your operation where you can implement technology solutions to make things faster, easier and better; cheaper. Take food cost management for example. Are your food expenses less than 30%? If you can’t answer this question, you’re already vulnerable to tighter profit margins.
The process of managing your food costs can take time. It can take hours to manually determine things like recipe costs, ingredient prices, and inventories. With the right food cost management technology, you can automate and manage tasks like recipe costing, accounting, and purchasing, all in real time.
Leverage purchase data
As Sherlock Holmes once said “Data! Data! Data! I can’t make bricks without clay! “. The same thought should apply to your restaurant. “Data! Data! Data! I can’t run a successful restaurant without technology!” It’s impossible to maximize profits and make accurate forecasts without leveraging the data your restaurant generates with every purchase and partnership you perform.
The challenge your restaurant faces is what to do with the plethora of data you create. You can use this data to produce actionable insights and get answers to your business’s most pressing questions, such as, “Am I making money from my menu items?” or, “Am I getting the best prices on the ingredients I use?” Leveraging your data gives you the ability to analyze the purchase history of your operation and can be used to easily present disparities between different distributors or OPCOs. It may be useful to determine if each distributor or OPCO charges the price you contracted from a manufacturer.
Partner with supply chain experts
With access to insights into operator buying behavior, pricing trends, sales opportunities and growth potential, partnering with technology and supply chain experts can make the onboarding process smoother and more transparent data. Working with supply chain experts who provide cutting-edge technology can put your restaurant on the path to profitability, lower costs, knowledgeable sourcing, and automated integration. Leveraging industry knowledge and expertise allows you to take your business to the next level and make more informed operational decisions.
Reducing unnecessary expenses should always be a priority for you as you navigate the various challenges of running a business. The power of data, technology and industry expertise can give your restaurant the boost it needs to reduce costs, maximize savings and increase profits without sacrificing the quality of your service – and your food.