Six simple goals to improve margins across your restaurant

by | Oct 28, 2019

What are your organisations goals for 2020? Improving your margins while maintaining quality and consistency is a good place to start as you plan ahead for the new year.

The Enhance experts asked Edinburgh’s award-winning chef patron Ben Watson for his advice on improving margins across hospitality departments. On the run up to Christmas this could help you leave 2019 on a high.

Buy produce fresh daily. Purchasing locally grown produce on a daily basis not only ensures you are using the freshest ingredients, but you’ll also reduce food waste since you’ll purchase only what you need. This also ensures you are getting the best seasonal produce and your menus will adapt themselves as the months change.

Implement proper training for all your staff. Ensure each team member understands what is required from them in order to reach their targets. Set expectations and be proactive in handling performance issues. Always acknowledge team members when they do meet their objectives, as this will encourage them to keep up the good work.

Cost each dish on the menus to ensure you’re using the most cost effective ingredients and items are priced at or above your gross profit margin. When costing your menus, it is essential that you also account for the actual or theoretical sales mix, since it’s likely you sell more of certain dishes that may not provide the highest margins.

Monitor flash reports daily. Act on the issues that are highlighted to improve costs and revenues so that you can adjust accordingly in a timely manner. Good flash reporting should include forecast revenues for the week and month so spends can be accurately managed for the period. Sharing these reports with your team will help them understand the operations of the business.

Monitor waste. Have your team record everything that is wasted and the time of day to highlight any trends. This will enable you to adjust portions and train team accordingly. Waste should be monitored from both kitchen production and restaurant food served. Kitchen waste should be itemised and high value lines targeted for reduction. Restaurant waste should be evaluated and if certain dishes are consistently being wasted, the portion size is probably too large and should be adjusted accordingly.

Be prepared. Keep an eye on bookings and prepare accordingly. Schedule more or less staff based on reservations and purchase additional products as necessary. It is also wise during prolonged busy periods not to overcomplicate menus or dishes as you will be adding greater pressure which can lead to mistakes or staffing issues.

In addition to the above goals, Enhance’s Commercial Director, Andy Morris, also stresses the importance of benchmarking pricing against the market. Do you know the pricing of at least four (4) other fresh produce category suppliers? Do you carry out actual weighted basket analysis and do you challenge your suppliers against this?  If you answer no to any of these questions, contact the Enhance team for a free consultation.

Achieving a healthy gross profit margin is the starting point to achieving a healthy net profit in the new year!