Felicity Moore|October 9, 2020
7 Ways to Save Your Restaurant Money (That Could Save You a Fortune)
Is your restaurant sitting on money that you could be using right now? By analyzing and receiving clear reports can help restaurateurs decipher the most cost-effective strategies to improve their business. With detailed reports, restaurant owners can see where they need to make investments as well as identifying pricey areas to cut their costs.
Discover what we have to suggest so you can start reevaluating your business without it costing you a penny with our 7 tips:
1. Track all of your sales and inventory
Having a hybrid point of sales (POS) system can be a big asset for your business by giving you a glimpse into important data that can help you identify where you need to make your cutbacks. Use cloud features on your mobile device to remotely access reports that detail:
- Cash transactions
- Debit/Credit transactions
- Top-selling items
- Lowest selling items
Checking these areas can save you a fortune due to it directly affecting your sales. Look at your cash and card transactions to make sure that none of your employees made too many overrides or voids during their shift. If you do find that employees are consistently dismissing transactions, it could indicate:
- Employee theft may be taking place
- Employees are making too many mistakes.
To see if this has been a recurring trend in your restaurant go to your Employee Reports to study if it’s been a consistent trend with a specific employee or if it’s an issue with your team.
Identify the most popular and least popular menu items to help you create a cost-effective strategy. Get rid of your least popular dishes and substitute them with a menu item that is similar to your most popular dish.
Lastly, it’s important to stay organized with these reports by either printing or saving them so you can immediately catch an issue if you fall short for the week.
2. Replace poor-selling menu items with a fresh new dish
As previously mentioned, it’s important to not let an unpopular dish impact your restaurant’s success. Checking your point of sale system can help you identify which menu items are the least selling. Start by comparing menu items to your most popular dishes.
For example: Is your swordfish dish hitting the mark but not your chicken dish? Switch to another seafood dish instead! It can be a fun and creative way to discover what could be your next big menu item.
Just be wary when it comes to replacing your old dish with a new item so you don’t end up offering a dish that is more expensive to make than your least selling one. Instead, give yourself a budget by figuring out how much your previous dish cost you to make and how much you sold it for. Go from there and try to set your new dish around the same price.
For instance: Remember that chicken dish that didn’t do so well? If it cost you $6 to make per order and you sold it for $12 then offer a dish that will cost you around the same price. If you find that you can buy the ingredients for a cheaper price then still offer it as $12 so you can get additional revenue.
3. Check to see if you can get your ingredients at a lower price by going local
Like customers at your restaurant, we all like to get our money’s worth so why not get the best price for your ingredients? You may be able to cut food prices by making connections with local companies rather than national retailers. Unlike working with big companies there are benefits with working with local businesses such as:
- Avoiding or limiting paying for shipping fees and costs
- Knowing exactly where the food came from
- You can easily to get in touch and meet with local suppliers
Overall, switching to local suppliers can help you build your business relationships and help industries that are greatly affected by bigger retailers.
For instance, locally run farms can get hit hard due to bigger companies running them out. Work with your local farms to delight customers with fresh flavorful food while helping them expand their business too.
4. Be aware of employees short ringing the cash drawer
Don’t let bartenders short-ring you when you have a prominent business to run. If you’re not familiar with short ringing, it’s when customers ask for high-end alcohol yet the bartender rings up the order at a lower cost in order to pocket extra money.
For example, if you offer a $13 margarita that’s served with high-end tequila, the bartender will ring it up as the $6 margarita to take the additional $7.
If you notice this trend happening especially when you look at your bar reports it’s encouraged that you:
- Implement a blind closeout process where employees count and report the total number of dollars that are in the cash drawer during each shift. This way you should have a solid figure of the amount of money that you acquired during the day.
- Add a liquor control system: By adding this can help you keep track of your liquor sales and how much is being poured from particular bottles. This way it makes it harder for bartenders to get away with short ringing due to how you can track how much is being poured.
5. Keep an eye out for register skimming
Register skimming is a sneaky form of stealing by only taking small cash amounts from the register to avoid sending red flags to your point of sale system. If you are starting to notice that your cash flow is slowly dwindling we encourage you to keep track of your operational reports to catch this happening. By keeping up to date on your reports can help you catch when and who has been working on the days that there has been a slight decrease in your sales. This way you can catch the employee to start recouping your lost sales as soon as possible.
6. Don’t lose money due to reusable receipts
This kind of theft is when a bartender keeps a tab open after the customer pays in cash. This way, the bartender would reprint the first receipt in order to not open another tab. The bartender would then save it for the next card transaction so that the cash purchase would be unaccounted for to give them the opportunity to pocket the cash earnings.
If this is happening at your restaurant, keep an eye out for reprints by looking at the data in your point of sale system. There you will see if there has been a trend of reprints and if you do see them start looking into when they have taken place. From there you can identify and confront the employee who has been handling these transactions. If you’d rather host a team meeting to discuss your finding remember to:
- Be empathetic and understanding
- Avoid being accusatory towards your staff
7. Your staff is giving out too many freebies
We can’t deny that everyone loves getting free food but if you’re giving out too much then that can be detrimental to your business.
If you’re starting to notice that your sales reports aren’t adding up and you’re not meeting your weekly marks then you need to get to the bottom of the issue.
- Check your voids report in order to pinpoint whether or not you’re losing money from employees voiding too many items.
- Calmly approach your employees by calling a meeting to discuss new policies such as banning free menu items, having employees write down all of their freebies, or giving each employee a limited amount of giveaways a week.
Overall it’s critical that you take the time by reviewing at all of your reports that are a part of your Hybrid Point of Sale System to see where you can be saving money in your restaurant.
Interested in seeing how OrderCounter’s Hybrid POS system can help your restaurant? The good news is that you can schedule a demo to try the system out for yourself to see if it’s the right fit for your restaurant. If interested, reach out to the team at email@example.com to get in touch with one of our team members.