Before You Get to Recipe Costing Cards You Can Use These Restaurant Management Systems

Before You Get to Recipe Costing Cards You Can Use These Restaurant Management Systems

Is your restaurant food cost out of control? Has the rising cost of food products started to rob you of your ability to make money in your restaurant? Are you not ready to put the time in to doing recipe costing cards? Because if not, what do you do? What can you do to lower your food costs today? Because today is when it needs to happen. Well, stay with me and I'm going to share that with you in just a second.

If you've been following me for any length of time, you know that I've always said the two most important systems any restaurant should have are budgets and recipe costing cards.

And 99% of the time I follow that with what are the two systems most independent restaurants never have in place? You know what the answer is, right? Budgets and recipe costing cards. Why? They're too hard. If you want to make money, you have to think proactively. Budgets and recipe costing cards do that for you because they give you your real costs and what you should be aiming for in food cost. Most restaurants run seven to nine points above their ideal food cost. If your food cost is supposed to be running 30 percent, you're probably executing at 37-39 percent.

If you’re not ready to tackle recipe costing cards, there are some really easy things you can do right now to make change in your business, ticking away at those 7–9 points.

Here are eight actionable systems you need to put in place today that are easy, will make change to your bottom line before you get to recipe costing cards and reduce the anxiety most restaurant owners experience.

System number one is a waste tracker. Write down the things that get wasted such as that half a case of tomatoes, a burnt pizza, double ordered product, anything that should get sold that gets thrown in the trash goes on the waste tracker. It is a proactive tool to say, here is why you're losing product and today you can make a change. If somebody's burning pizzas, retrain them, reposition them, fire them so they don't continue to make mistakes.

Number two is the key item tracker. Count five to 15 items every single shift to make sure they're not stolen. When you know what your start with and what you actually sold, and the math between the two, it shows you where there's a variance. That keeps honest people honest because they know you’re counting and watching and will know when product goes missing.  

System number three is the Restaurant Checkbook Guardian. With a few budgeting systems in place and tracking basically five minutes of work on a daily basis, you can tell your managers how much money they can spend on their next order to be within budget. By reducing dumbass mistakes, reducing theft and putting managers on a budget, you can give up ordering without giving up your checkbook.

With these three systems, I guarantee restaurant owners a two to three point drop in their food cost because you’re stopping the dumbass mistakes, reducing theft and putting ordering on a budget. With your employees paying attention to all the product, how can you not reduce your usage for items you're not getting money for?

System number four is a mise en place checklist. Make sure everything is in its place so your cooks go exactly where they need to go.

System number five is time/temp checklist so you’re throwing away products because they’re out of temp.

System number six is a line checklist to make sure all the proper utensils are in place. So if an ingredient calls for a 1oz ladle, somebody doesn't throw a 2oz ladle in and kill the dish and kill your profitability. 

System number seven is portion controls for everything. You need a prep system to make sure that you’re bagging 6oz of French fries. Yes, I would pay $15 an hour, $18 an hour to a cook to stand there and bag French fries because it reduces your overuse of those fresh fries and guarantees your guests have the same experience every single time. The benefits are huge.

System number eight is a descending dollar report. Ask all your vendors for a descending dollar report, which is what you spend the most money on to the least. Combine them in one spreadsheet, sort it so that your top 10–23 items represents 50 percent of all your buying power. Now, if you go back to your vendors and say, hey, this top product, if I promise to buy it all from you, can I get a better price? Is there a like quality, better quality product at a cheaper price? And by making those changes, by reducing those costs and the purchases of your top 12–12 items, you can move the needle anywhere from two to three points.

Using these simple systems you have the power to make change in your business and reduce your food cost without having recipe costing cards. How many points you’re able to shave depends on how efficiently you're running and assuming you're running seven to nine points above ideal.

I can tell you that most of my members who start working with me don't have recipe costing cards, and they don't take inventories, so when we implement these easy systems, they see results. They're very motivated when they get the results to start. This launches them forward on recipe costing cards, getting software, putting all the data in, investing in the man hours to make real change in their business. You can start today by implementing these eight simple systems to change your bottom line and reduce your food cost. It's powerful. 

If you would like to learn how to own a restaurant that doesn't depend on you being in it to be successful, sign up for my free video course that teaches you three key principles to running a successful restaurant. If you're ready right now to make some serious changes in your restaurant, you can also book a 60-minute call with me where we talk about your challenges and figure out exactly what is holding you back from having a restaurant that doesn’t depend on you being in it to be successful. 

Be sure to visit my YouTube channel for more helpful restaurant management video tips.

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