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Foodservice Management

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Your Business - Foodservice Management
While quite rewarding and always inspiring, operating a restaurant or dining facility is also a challenge. It takes tremendous perseverance and savvy awareness of how to please today's customer. Your business success comes from controlling costs, increasing sales, and enhancing the dining experience. Here are some simple solutions to help you manage your foodservice establishment more effectively and efficiently.

Key Concepts for Controlling Food Costs

Food cost has an impact in any restaurantís
success or failure. The industry standard
suggests food costs should compromise no
more than 30% of the overall expenses of
your business. Below are approaches to
manage and reduce your food expenditures.

Managing Your Restaurantís Food Costs

Track and Organize Your Inventory

Require your kitchen staff to maintain an up-to-date inventory list to prevent the purchase of unnecessary products. A major cause of higher food costs comes from spoilage and unused products. Invest time into analyzing inventory levels and usage rates to optimize your reorder process.

Facing a surplus of liquor or menu ingredients? Utilize them in a creative drink recipe or tantalizing menu special, allowing you to make good use of the items before they expire.

Protect Your Assets

Locking your restaurantís liquor closet and wine cooler is a proven method for reducing theft. It is advised to have a perpetual inventory log of all items issued and of deliveries from vendors.

Another monitoring technique: install cameras in the trash area to watch for items being removed through the back door. For added protection, consider a policy that states management must inspect and approve discarding any food items.

Manage Your Waste

Many establishments cut their own steaks, seafood, or poultry and use excess trims in sauces. Aim to integrate trimmings and stems from produce into your menu to further reduce food waste.

Before a recipe is approved to appear on your menu, determine the cost to create the dish.

Proper portion control aids in cost management, since it allows for menu items to be pre-calculated and scaled accordingly.

Explore Ingredient Substitutions

Budget-savvy chefs regularly evaluate the cost of a dish to gauge whether a substitution of ingredients is needed.

As prices of many meat and produce choices elevate, consider substituting more cost-effective alternatives.

Exploring under-appreciated cuts of meat and less popular fruits and vegetables can introduce new flavors into your menu without breaking your budget.

Below are a few common substitutions:

  1. Alternative Proteins- If choice cuts of beef, pork and lamb are out of budget, selections from the shoulder, flank and belly still offer great flavor, often at a lesser price. Transitioning seafood dishes into plates that feature poultry will also reduce costs.

  2. Unique Grains- When rice and grain prices are high, shop for more cost effective varieties of quinoa, couscous or even brown rice.

  3. Seasonal Produce- Fruits and vegetables are often priced best while in season and readily available. Keep a "in seasonĒ calendar to know when to acquire specific fresh ingredients for your dishes and when to find alternatives.

By focusing on inventory controls, waste and substitution options, you will save money and enjoy a positive impact on your bottom line.



Opening a Restaurant


1 Strive for intra-management communication. No foodservice manager can cover every shift, every day. Keeping abreast of all establishment issues, concerns and needs is key for seamless shift changes. Use log books or planners to communicate with other supervisors and shift leaders. Doing so will facilitate communications and ensure critical messages are circulated. Your business will run smoothly when information is disseminated and managers receive a clear outline of main goals and expectations.
2 Implement an inventory control tool. Software designed for foodservice management is the best investment you can make to save time and increase profitability. Benefits abound with these tools, including food and beverage cost reduction; over-portioning and waste identification; and menu item profit analysis.
3 Regularly train staff, even on a tight budget. Ongoing training increases employee performance, productivity and satisfaction, which in turn improve sales and enhance customer satisfaction. However, with today's economy, training budgets are being cut in order to save money on the bottom line. In reality, employees with limited training are not a cost effective option. So opt for low-cost, long-term alternatives, such as cross-training, mentoring and role playing. And for new staffers, implement a short-term training program to help get.
4 Reduce inventory shrink. Prevent inventory theft by establishing clear guidelines for your commercial kitchen. Implement a policy on breaking down all cardboard boxes before they leave the area. Designate an employee break room for storing personal bags and carriers. And purchase clear trash bags to ensure tossed items are truly garbage and not recoverable.
5 Maintain a clean front-of-the-house. When it comes to restaurants, the cleaner they are, the better. Even the slightest sign of dust, grime, or clutter in the dining areas signal low-quality food and service. Customers are quick to judge an establishment and its menu offerings based on its FOH cleanliness. Ensure these areas are routinely attended to, from table tops to seating crevices.
6 Reevaluate your menu design. Promote new menu items with graphics and other visual tricks. Strategically place popular or top selling menu items. Eliminate dollar signs from prices, as they are unappealing and distracting. And consider hiring a consultant who specializes in engineering this most important restaurant tool.
7 Create an environment of respect and openness. As a manager, you want your employees to respect one another and understand that you are all working toward the same goal: the success of the business. Set the tone by being friendly and approachable and by working alongside your employees so they feel like you are all one team. Show your employees they are valued, and that feeling will trickle down to your customers.
8 Waste not, want not. Get kitchen staff in the habit of portion control for everything from appetizers to entrees and dips to desserts. Mistakes in portion size may seem small but can add up to large losses in the long run. "Less is more" is a good rule to follow on menus. If the menu is too extensive with too many different options, the costs for food purchases, storage and preparation will be high. Think about how to use the same ingredients in a variety of dishes so the kitchen staff can buy and prep
in bulk.
9 Customer Engagement. Coach servers on quality customer interactions. Have them ask open-ended questions to put customers at ease and build a rapport. When wait staff takes a moment to get to greet and engage with their guests, the entire dining experience will be more enjoyable for them. A personable server is a crucial component for creating a favorable and lasting impression.
10 Check Off That List. Use checklists for everything, from opening and closing procedures to equipment maintenance, shift changes and cleaning. A checklist ensures that all necessary work gets done and critical actions are not missed. Also it can prevent confusion, uncertainty or mistakes as staff go through shift changes or when introduced to new procedures.
Foodservice Management

Foodservice Management

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