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Where did all my money go?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

Does anyone have any money saving tips for a kitchen besides the obvious (Labor, waste, productivity, portioning) Maybe theres a few small ones that i havent learned yet that some of you more seasoned chefs have discovered? Some money saving tricks of the trade perhaps? I waste almost nothing, cut labor on slow days, even let them all go home after service and clean up my self.

Any tips would be greatly appreciated, thank you.

post #2 of 13

Well, if you're efficiently doing all that you say you are, then there must be other places outside of the kitchen where money is being lost. You obviously do not want to sacrifice the quality you have, so don't downgrade products. Perhaps you're charging too little for menu items?  Maybe renegotiate linen costs? How is FOH labor looking?  It's hard to comment without knowing your business in and out.  But if we're sticking strictly to the kitchen if labor and food is in line you should be good.  Maybe the menu is too big? 

post #3 of 13

There are two basic ways to improve the bottom line in any business, increase revenues or cut costs. The easy one is to cut costs, for me, it is also the least effective and often leads to the reverse, a decline in the bottom line!

 

If you are doing what you say you are doing, I suspect you should be concentrating on increasing revenues instead, and once again, you have two basic ways to consider: increased numbers or increased price(s), remember, revenues = numbers times price(s)!

Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
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Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
Reply
post #4 of 13

have you tried mobile marketing or building your site and promote it locally??? for increase revenues... which place u from?

post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 

hjjkActually the last place i checked for cash leaks was linens, we started washing towels after shifts, re-using dirty towels to wipe up floor messes instead of new ones. the only problem is our linen service charges set amounts, if we only use 25 chef coats they still charge to wash 40. maybe a change in linen companies is in order or we just arent adding enough linen cost on banquets. the menu isnt large at all and i started to use alot more items for multi-use. also alot of products we use have gone up  but the owner is to cheap to write updates on food pricing for customers.our prices arent cheap either its a 4.5 star restaurant, i make sure profit on special entree items is atleast  150% with out screwing customers after-all if they dont like the cost to portion ratio they will never return. most of the problems are front of house, but stubborn managers and owners dont listen or take action when i tell them  why are only up 18% for the month, when it should be atleast 30%

post #6 of 13

Linen is a good place to start. It was always like a shell game with them.......keep your eye on the $200 stack of table cloths. I would get some new bids in on the service, If they have been around for a while, prices will start creeping, inventory expands when there is no need for it.

post #7 of 13

A lot of linen companies charge rent per item per week then a lundry fee for the item. See if you can find a company that does by the pound. Cost are also affected by volume. Another thing to watch is theft. One entrance into the place and one out. Its a rough business when sales are measured in dollars and profits in pennies.

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

Reply
post #8 of 13

DCMC

Are you doing your own inventory?

Please explain, we are up 18% but should be 30%?

Your specials are running 30% COGS?

pan

Never! Live To Work!:::::::Work To Live!::Life Is To Short!!
Paninicakes.com

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Never! Live To Work!:::::::Work To Live!::Life Is To Short!!
Paninicakes.com

Reply
post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 

Yes, I do all my own inventory. check Product daily, double check ordering, and rarely throw anything out.

as for the 18% instead of 30% its nightly profit, after total pay out.

post #10 of 13

Food Cost   

 Many operators really do not figure it correctly. They either go X 3 or on a % basis. You just can't do this . Example piece of prepurchased choco cream pie cost you $1.00 you sell for $3.00 thats ok but on same menu your house made bread pudding cost you .40 portion you sell it for $1.20 ? No it would be out of place on the menu being to cheap. Also consider the labor factor on the prep of bread pudding and simply sliceing and plating pie. Some operators see competitor selling an item for $9.95 and say to themselves ""well he is selling for 9.95 and seems to be making  money I'll sell it for $9.75''. Wrong His overhead and cost factors could be lower then yours.. If the selling price of an item  works out to lets say $3.00 add .25 more to give yourself some breathing room, Example the day you price out an item it could go up wholesale.  Also try and use item displacement  Example....

  A   6  ounce pre cut  filet mignon  lets say cost you $6.00 thats 1.00 per ounce cost .Take it down an ounce put 2 shrimp on top OR add a rasher of bacon .The shrimp cost .50 and the bacon .15.

Now the filet cost you $5.50 with the shrimp or $5.15  with bacon. This is done with many items. A lot of places are learning and doing this now. This could bring your overall % and food cost down.  Besides being a chef or an operator you also must be financially in tune.

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

Reply

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

Reply
post #11 of 13

Long ago, I was taught that all enterprises (businesses/government/not for profit) relied on a fundamental equation for survival:

 

Revenues (Sales) minus Labor (payroll, benefits, payroll taxes) minus Materials (the raw product or supplies necessary) minus Capital recovery (depreciation, amortization, rent, utilities, interest, taxes) must be equal to or greater than zero

 

otherwise the enterprise (business/government/not for profit) will cease to exist. The three categories do not exist in isolation but are interrelated with the Materials prices being under the least control of the enterprise management. Management can control how the Materials are utilized (Labor and Capital) and which Materials are purchased as Chef EDB stated above.

 

Food cost (Materials) is but one of three factors that affect survival (profitability). When considering food cost percentages, i.e. Materials/Revenues * 100, IMHO it is a guideline for whomever controls the other two, Labor and Capital!

 

Without the ability to control Labor and Capital, there are only two avenues to reduce food costs:

  • Buy cheaper food (which infers cheaper final product), or
  • Minimize waste

 

 

Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
Reply
Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
Reply
post #12 of 13

You can be like McDonald's and start charging for extra condiments!  LOL!  crazy.gif

 

See if you can cut a half hour a day off the DMO.  Believe it, the dishes will get done. 

post #13 of 13

Statistically  McD s biggest expense was paper and then condiments. If you notice most of their units unlike many other chains stopped letting people help themselves at a station for condiments and napkins. Maybe Wendy and BK  should follow their lead. I have seen woman and men filling their pockets with catsup, sweet and low, pepper and sugar pax.and takingt wads of napkins for the car.

 

What they should do next is on drinks. Once you leave the store the cup will no longer activate the soda dispenser if you try and come back on the next trip. They should all explore this for their own good.

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

Reply

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

Reply
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