Driving the profitability of your restaurant

Over the last number of years, the explosion in the number of eating establishments including restaurants, takeaways, cafes and even pubs, bars and nightclubs has been relentless. Consumers now have an unbelievable range of options for varied and vibrant food options in almost every city, town and even village across the UK.

More and more people are eating out and household spend on food and drink consumed outside the home continues to grow. However, for restauranteurs the growth in the number of eating establishments has been a double edged sword. At the same time as demand is increasing so is the competition and we are seeing more and more big international and national chains seeking to cash-in on our love of eating out.

This leaves smaller operators having to fight hard for their slice of the pie. At times, like this it is vital to keep an eye on the basics of running a restaurant. For example, the importance of menu selection is often overlooked and can have a huge impact on running costs and profitability.

A restaurant menu must always be written with a firm view to making a profit. A property developer should develop and design a property based on what his buyers want. Similarly, restauranteurs must have in mind what their customer wants and not offer every option under the sun. Too much choice can confuse the customer and waiting staff as well as place unnecessary pressure on the kitchen.

One idea that we have found very useful is to ensure that certain products on the menu are used efficiently. Fresh food items such as chicken and meat are very versatile ingredients that can be a mainstay in many dishes. As these items are perishable and relatively expensive, it is important to ensure that they are fully utilised on the menu. For example, if there is a chicken dish on the menu as a main course the same chicken could also be available as part of a starter or salad course. Any excess stock of perishable items with a limited shelf life could also be used as part of daily specials to help reduce waste and drive profitability.

Stay tuned to our blog for more ideas to help drive the profitability of your restaurant.