(Blogger’s Note: This is the second in a three part seies on cutting costs and conserving cash after the holiday weekend.)
Ah, a bail-out holiday in sight. Bail-out, those are those long awaited, long weekends when customers come out of their snuggled nests and enjoy their favorite restaurants. And for many, the weekend will be one of a large cash infusion.
With Valentine’s Day rapidly approaching take advantage of the opportunity to conserve the increased cash the weekend will generate. Develop a plan to trim expenses and lower costs. If you don’t work on this now you won’t be able to reap the rewards of the weekend before kissing the cash away.
That being said now is the perfect time to begin planning long term cost cutting policies and immediately implementing them after the holiday.
Here are ten tips on cutting costs without detracting from your customer’s experience.
1). Have weekly meetings and stress the importance of working faster with more focus. If you can trim an hour off of pre-opening duties and closing side work the money saved on payroll will be astounding for one month. You will also trim your electric bill.
2). Make sure the heat or air conditioning temperature is monitored. I recently walked into a
3). Trim staff and payroll costs. Pay attention to your customer flow for one week. Take note in the amount of staff not moving, not working, or standing with nothing to do. If you trim as little as 4 hours day you will notice the difference.
4). Vendor deliveries- alleviate one a week. Many vendors added a delivery surcharge the last time gas prices spiked. Guess what? They never took it off once prices decreased. If you cut out one delivery a week you will save the surcharge and delivery costs. On top of that savings, think about the mount of time your staff spends checking in orders, re arranging the walk-in box to accommodate the new orders. Cutting back on one order per week will easily save two hours per week in redirected productivity.
5). Linen. Here’s the definition of linen: An expense we all accept without question. Ironically, many owners and employees only look at linen as table clothes. Others only see chef’s coats. While others actually only see aprons. But linen is all encompassing. Let’s include the bar towels, the napkins, the rugs at our entrances. All linen. All costly.
6). Specials. Many chefs enjoy preparing masterpiece dishes for nightly specials that will impress the clientele and help make them a near celebrity in the community dining circles. It’s a great thing for the chef, the customer and the restaurant. But, five nights out of the wk, the chef should produce food cost friendly specials that are comforting not only to the palate but also the wallet. Yours and the customers.
7). Produce costs. Shop price. Don not get locked into produce that fluctuates greatly with each passing storm. Leave the window open and buy the specials that your vendor offers.
8). Desserts. They are a profit center. Bread pudding, rice pudding, cobblers and some cakes are low cost desserts that contribute substantially to the bottom line. Make desserts large enough to split. Dessert splitters are perfect customers to up sell.
9). Liquor. Tough economic times encourage people to drink more. However, they are not exploring the top shelf like they used to. Oh well. Yes, the well liquor is the answer. Offer well drinks at a reasonable price and watch as Grey Goose and Tonic drinkers mix it up with a well priced Vodka.
10). Payroll service and banking charges. I went to the bank the other day and they wanted to charge me $2.00 to withdraw my money. They claimed that I had made two withdrawals from my saving account in one month. The third costs a deuce. What is going on? When you have to pay to put it in, take it out, move it around, and eventually lose it, it’s time to start paying attention to the little costs that eat away at profits. Check with your payroll service to see if they can reduce your monthly fee. Some will without question since you have less people now than you did a year ago.