4 Ways to Cut Down Restaurant Costs During COVID-19
November 10, 2020
Article Overview10min read
As the effects of COVID-19 continue to be felt throughout the hospitality industry, restaurant owners hold their breaths and look towards cost-cutting measures in an effort to stay open until the pandemic blows over.
But when your revenue stalls, where and how do you cut costs to free up some breathing space and keep your business running for a bit longer? Keep reading for a guide on the best strategies to keep costs down at your restaurant.
#1 Reduce Your Inventory
There will, of course, be a limit on how low you can go in terms of inventory but it is not uncommon for restaurants to stock up more food than actually needed. Analyze your stock levels, product by product, and then look at your order history to understand how much of your products will actually be used until the next delivery comes in.
With a lower inventory comes additional benefits such as reduced wastage of food and pushing your employees to do a better job at portioning and handling ingredients. But, as restaurant advisors say, don’t forget to factor in a small yet reasonable safety factor to stay on the safe side.
#2 Remove All Non-Essential Expenditure
Regardless of the business, you operate, trivial and unnecessary expenses manage to sneak up on your budget. With a restaurant, you could be paying and maintaining kitchen equipment that is hardly ever utilized.
Visit your kitchen and take stock of what is actually required for day to day business and what isn’t. Don’t stop there. Are you using software that you could make do without such as employee scheduling platforms and services? Could you remove cable TV and offer a cheaper alternative for matches and other events?
#3 Consider New Working Hours
COVID-19 has changed everyone’s schedules so your restaurant may need to change hours to accommodate the new switch. Chances are that your previous working hours were from 9 AM or 12 AM onwards but you should probably target it further now. This can reduce labor costs, overheads, and operating expenses altogether.
There is hardly any logic in staying open for long hours if only a handful of people come in. A better idea would be to open your business shortly before and after peak hours – this can keep costs down while ensuring you cater to your guests aptly.
#4 A Menu Revamp May Be Necessary
A new menu design for the new reality can help you give guests a new outlook on the restaurant, reduce food wastage, and keep costs to a minimum. Getting rid of the dishes that are not moving well is a good step in the right direction.
With poor-selling dishes out of the way, you can focus on your bestsellers and profitable menu items. Look into including recipes that require very little ingredients that you will need to source from your suppliers as this could further help reduce costs while keeping the brand image of the restaurant high.
With consumer habits unpredictable right now, the best course of action for restaurant owners would be to cut down expenditure where possible using the above strategies. While doing so, be sure to not let the cost-saving measures affect your customer service and quality of food that trump all other aspects of running a restaurant.