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Food

10 Ways To Create A Profitable Food Cost

May 14, 2013 By: Brian Duffy


Bar and nightclub operations are typically focused on their beer, wine and liquor sales. However, putting together a profitable food menu for your operation is a key element in boosting the bottom line and keeping your guests for an average of 53 minutes longer. Here are 10 things you should think about when creating a profitable food operation for your bar. 

  1. Inventory – do it on a consistent basis, you will be able to monitor and react to any issues right away.
     
  2. PAR Levels – create a PAR level (which refers to the exact amount of product you should have in stock to meet demands) for every item on your menu. Determine how much you sell daily, weekly and monthly.
     
  3. Organized Prep – prep for what you need, be aggressive, if your PAR calls for ten be prepared with twelve.
     
  4. Education – teach, train and communicate. Show your staff what the items on the menu look like, discuss with them how it is made and what the ingredients are. Knowledge is power that leads to increased sales.
     
  5. Update Pricing in Your Inventory – by keeping track of your prices on incoming foods you will be able to make adjustments on specials or features that will also keep a more accurate inventory.
     
  6. Declining Budget – “what are my sales going to be this week?” “ok… I have X amount to spend on food.” By monitoring your expenditures as they are happening you will see a decrease in purchases, inventory and food cost.
     
  7. Eliminate the Super Low – “get them in the door” specials. If not monitored properly this will be a huge loss of money that hits the bottom line.
     
  8. Cross Utilization – have different options available for menu items. (i.e. Shrimp Scampi, Grilled Shrimp Caesar Salad, Shrimp Cocktail, Shrimp Stir-fry) How many uses can you find for one item? Don’t have all of them on the menu… but offer them for specials or make sure that your guests know that if they would like to have Grilled Shrimp on a Quesadilla they can and your staff is replying with a resounding “absolutely we can do that for you.”
     
  9. Product Mix – Grandma’s Meatballs may be your favorite dish but have you looked at the P-mix to see exactly how many are being sold? What is the cost of making, holding and eventually discarding that item after it has been prepped and thrown out due to lack of sales?
     
  10. Simplicity – are you a neighborhood bar? Then you need 15 amazing items on your menu that can be executed with precision. Are you a nightclub… then why do you have a pasta dish on your menu? Adapt to your surroundings and create items that are concept focused. In addition, create specialty items that will set you apart from the competition.

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