We have heard from several kitchens that have sprung up over the pandemic. All have had the same thing in common. The desire to fill a need in their local areas while minimising running costs. The team here at Buzz-it were only too happy to offer some advice.
So much so that we thought we would make a blog post out of it so everyone could use these tips to reduce their own running costs.
Whether you’re running an eat-in restaurant or just providing delivery, we are sharing 3 ways to reduce your running costs without impacting quality.
Prevention is better than cure
How many busy kitchens running on a skeleton staff have time for maintenance? Not enough we imagine. Yet maintaining your equipment is at the forefront of running a successful food business.
The army has a saying, ‘look after your kit and your kit will look after you’. It’s the same in business. Maintain your equipment, keep it in good order and it should always be there for you.
Set aside a quiet service each week for deep cleaning and equipment maintenance. Everything from knife sharpening to cleaning out the ovens. Share all those jobs that people hate like cleaning out drip trays and it won’t be so painful either.
It will also help reduce repairs, callouts and expensive parts or replacement!
Continuously review suppliers and ingredients
As restaurateurs, we all seem to find a supplier we like and stick with them. That’s fine in theory and helps build relationships, but you have to temper that by ensuring you’re always getting the best prices.
New suppliers come and go all the time and it’s worth keeping an eye on your local area to see who comes and who goes.
The past few years have seen a huge rise in suppliers, supplier collectives, artisan producers and growers. The British food industry is a healthy one so make sure you’re always getting the best out of it.
Loyalty is one thing but if you could shave a percentage of your ingredients bill each week or month, that’s more profit for you!
Cross train staff
Cross training is an excellent way to reduce costs but also reduce exposure when running with minimal staff. Cross training people to run the pass, to expedite, to manage your POS or something else means you have the primary person and a standby if the primary goes off ill or cannot come to work.
If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that being flexible and adapting quickly to change is the only way to survive. Cross training is a key part of that.
It isn’t something that will reap rewards right away but will eventually mean your kitchen will run more efficiently. It also means you can still deliver food to customers no matter who is working that day.
For example, if your grill chef is ill or needs time off, having someone cross trained in their task means service can continue. If you do need to get agency staff in, you should be able to hire a cheaper kitchen helper rather than a more skilled and expensive grill chef.
Those are just three ways we know of to lower the running costs of a food business. Do you have any others to share?