A key way to control your restaurant food costing is to control how you utilize your product. This involves how the kitchen utilizes product and how your managers make sure everyone is trained to not overuse product. If you want to know how to hold your management team accountable when it comes to food costing, watch this video, or continue scrolling.
Food cost is one of the hottest topics in the restaurant industry. People ask me to speak all over the country on a monthly basis about it. Every time I speak, somebody comes up and says, “Man, it's really hard to make money in the restaurant business. My food cost is rising every single day.”
My answer? If you want to make money in this business, you have to control food cost because as labor cost goes up, you have to drive your food cost down. And it's one thing to put systems in place, to do things like menu engineering or build prime vendor agreements. There are all kinds of systems to use to bring your food costs down. But if we don't hold people accountable to those systems, you're not going to see results.
What do we do to hold restaurant managers accountable?
Number one: make sure you know the three numbers when it comes to food cost. You have a budgeted number, actual food cost and your ideal food cost. They are different measurements that allow you to see if you’re going to make money or not. These three numbers show you if your chef is training properly, portioning, and purchasing properly.
Number two: you have to keep your managers on budget. That means you have to have a budgeting system to tell your managers how much money they have to spend on the next order and then give them a limit of how much they can over order so they don't break cases or buy that specialty item. With a budget, you control your checkbook.
Number three: you have to make sure you put two simple clipboard systems in place. The key item report and waste sheet to prevent theft on a shift-by-shift basis and to count what you’re losing on a daily basis through theft, waste and spoilage. These two systems give you a way to find a problem and fix it that day. You can proactively manage your business and not wait 15 days for your financial reports to get a food cost and see it’s not what you were expecting.
Number four: make sure you have portion controls for everything in your business. That’s for anything and everything you have on the line that makes sense. You can use portion bags, one ounce ladles, two ounce ladles, cups, it does not matter.
When you put these controls in place, you will have the ability to hold your management team accountable to those numbers.
What are some of things you're doing to hold people accountable?
If you would like to learn more about the importance of systems and how to run a restaurant, read our free special report, Is Your Food Distributor Screwing You? 5 Things You Can Do Now to Lower Food Cost. Download it here. Be sure to visit my YouTube channel for more helpful restaurant management video tips.
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