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4 Ways to Make Your New Restaurant Profitable

November 26, 2019

Looking for some professional tips to help you increase profits and maximize your menus? Creating dynamic menus with the highest quality food, evaluating relationships with your wholesale food suppliers, and knowing your client demographics can help you improve your new restaurant profitability. 

Restaurant Best Practices for Increasing Profitability

While you always want to increase revenue, cutting corners to increase profits can ultimately diminish the guest experience. Never lose sight of your vision, or compromise on your ingredients. These easy, and effective, strategies will help your business achieve its bottom line and increase your client base.

1. Reduce Your Food Waste

Finding unique ways to reduce food waste can dramatically improve your restaurant’s profitability. Plus, food waste and its environmental impact, are fast becoming important factors for consumers in their restaurant selections. Take an inventory of your generated food waste, and work with your chefs and managers to implement realistic solutions.

  • Encourage your chefs to cook meals to order instead of batch cooking. This also means fresher meals will be coming out of the kitchen, which is a total win-win solution!
  • Don’t over purchase product. While you might be able to get an amazing deal on beef tenderloin from your distributor, don’t buy more than you need. Chances are it will go to waste. Consider using a supplier that doesn’t lock you into a delivery day or two per week.
  • Repurpose leftovers into creative meals. Turn those fresh berries into a chutney, and served it with pork or steak. Have some leftover iceberg lettuce? Offer guests a wedge salad. Leftover seafood? Rockfish can be repurposed into a flavorful ceviche.

Simple solutions like these not only reduce food costs, they also signal to your guests that your establishment takes low-waste interests to heart. 

2. Evaluate your Restaurant’s Foodservice Suppliers

Evaluate your suppliers to ensure you will receive the best quality products at consistently competitive price points for your new restaurant. If purchasing from a foodservice supplier that does not make their daily pricing available on their website, verifying your invoices on a weekly basis will save you in the long run. 

Make a short list of all your top-selling menu and beverage items, along with their ingredients. Use this list periodically to compare vendor prices, always keeping in mind that there can be large differences in quality of “like products”. Don’t forget to check pricing on your operational supplies like paper goods, janitorial supplies, and utensils. 

To manage your bottom line more effectively, partner with a wholesale restaurant supply store. This one-stop-shopping option will save you on delivery fees associated with large food distributors. It will also alleviate the common problem of damaged and stale produce. In addition to a variety of quality fresh vegetables and fruits, your local restaurant supply store can provide dry goods, restaurant cleaning supplies, kitchen equipment, and more! Partner with Smart Foodservice. Shop online using Click&Carry and we can have your order ready for in-store pickup.

3. Examine Individual Menu Items

As a new restaurant owner, it’s necessary to spend time analyzing the profit margins and sales records for all menu items. This will help you determine if each item is appropriately priced. Once the analysis is complete, it might be time to consider some changes:

  • If an item isn’t flying out of your kitchen, and has low profitability on the handful of orders you do sell, rethink the item. Turn that large brisket platter into a happy hour slider instead and see if sales and profits increase. If not, it’s probably best to remove that menu item for good.
  • If you have a high selling item with low profitably, it could be your portion size. Consider offering a small plate version at a slightly reduced price. Known for your famous fish and chips? Give guests the option of a full or half-plate order. Plus, this option will help you reduce food waste, which is a total bonus! 

In general, always source ingredients from a vendor that can offer high-quality products at an affordable price point. Typically it’s best to purchase from local purveyors, especially restaurant supply stores, with fresh products readily available.

4. Involve Your Guests in Taste Tests

It’s always a good idea to keep your menus fresh and innovative. But how do you know if that new vegan, jackfruit taco is going to be a hit with your customers? Treat your patrons to a free taste test and let them provide critical feedback on the debut item. Offering a complimentary bite of a new menu item is a creative way to measure its popularity. It also allows you a chance to experiment with unconventional ingredients before committing to large product orders. 

Another unique way to gauge the popularity of new menu items is to offer them seasonally. If your pork loin with seasonal fruit compote is the most popular item on the menu during its trial run, maybe it’s time to make it a staple item.

Your Restaurant Food Supply Solution

Smart Foodservice provides the highest-quality products at wholesale prices, as well as professional services to help you achieve and maintain your culinary dreams. 

Smart Foodservice is your one-stop-shopping solution for the highest quality meats, produce, dairy and more. Looking for more resources to help your restaurant business plan? Sign up for an account with Smart Foodservice to create shopping lists, track purchase history, receive information on our specials via email, and more.

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