How Top Bars and Restaurants Cut Costs, Not Quality

Posted by Sculpture Hospitality on Jun 9, 2017 10:58:23 AM

In Bar Management, Controlling Costs

Even small expenses can add up over the course of a day as your bar or restaurant pours hundreds of drinks and serves countless meals. From putting fewer nuts and berries on salads to not salting pasta water to preserve the life of pots, some businesses are more than happy to cut corners if it means more profit. While sacrificing quality in the name of savings may be a short-term solution, you will have a lot more to worry about if customers stop coming to your establishment. Fortunately, there are some ways how top bars and restaurants cut costs while ensuring quality isn't impacted, that will not only preserve existing customers, but work to increase the number of patrons.

1. Get everyone on board. Cutting costs while maintaining quality is going to take a united front. You need to make your entire staff is aware of any new initiatives and make sure that they are just as committed to see your bar or restaurant save money. A conversation with your team may even reveal some of their own suggestions for areas where you can save. Be sure to reward good ideas and provide acknowledgment when you see individuals putting in the effort.

2. Take a close look at your menu and your inventory. Are there certain meals or drinks that simply don't sell? Instead of wasting money keeping the ingredients for these items in stock, it might be time to think about removing or replacing them. 

3. Take inventory frequently. Often, cutting back on costs has a lot to do with better management. It is important to run a tight ship by making sure that everyone is aware of portion standards and not giving away too many freebies. It might seem like a lot or work to take inventory frequently (weekly or even daily), but with new technology and apps, this mundane chore is actually a lot faster and easier than ever before. 

4. Don't automatically offer free food. If you bring a basket of chip or rolls to the table as soon as patrons sit down, you may want to rethink this practice. Just think about how much food you end up throwing away because you are trying to make a good impression. If you don't want to eliminate this offering altogether, then consider waiting for the customer to ask for the items. 

5. Streamline the delivery process. Instead of getting several deliveries each week from different suppliers, shop around and see if you can't get everything from a single supplier. Once you find the right fit, don't be afraid to negotiate prices. This can save you a tremendous amount of time and energy.

6. Let go of underperforming staff. Labor is one the top costs in bars and restaurants. Don't hang onto staff who aren't carrying their weight. In addition, take the time to review all your processes and see if you actually need such a large team. You might find that a smaller staff works more efficiently, especially once you have cut it down to your best people.

7. Buy used equipment. Purchasing a new piece of equipment for your bar or restaurant can be an unexpected cost. Instead of springing for a new replacement, do your research and shop around for the more affordable alternative. You may be surprised just how new a used item can be.

Once you start thinking creatively and working with your staff, you may be surprised at how many different ways you can cut costs while maintaining quality. Also, remember that even small changes will add up to big money over time, so don't be too quick to dismiss ideas. 

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