5 Money-Saving Tips for Restaurant and Café Owners
Running restaurants and cafés is more than just serving food and drinks to your customers. After all, they are businesses and you have to approach them as such. That means that you can apply money-saving tips and strategies as an owner of this type of hospitality establishment.
If you happen to succeed in saving money you will have more to invest in other resources which can help you grow your business more. This also includes a new menu, beautiful new restaurant signage to attract more customers, improvements in the kitchen and even changing the interior design. When it comes to restaurants and cafés, everything can affect the revenue from the offer to the tablecloth.
Therefore, cutting costs is important in certain parts of the business if you want to evolve and grow, maybe even become a globally respected brand like Starbucks. With that in mind, here are several money-saving tips you can try whether you are a restaurant or café owner.
Break down your finances
Set your goals on realistic and attainable prospects instead of simply wanting to become big as one of your competitors. You operate with a certain amount of money for the time being and you need to know how much exactly in order to be able to save some.
Calculate all your monthly expenses and compare them to the profits you made. Don’t forget to include all the small expenses that may not be “in-store” expenses such as marketing expenses (advertising, social media networking, cost associated with buying Instagram followers or to buy TikTok likes, and even print costs for flyers). This will point you to the most popular orders and show you where you wasted the money on resources. Namely, if there are certain items from the menu your customers don’t order or don’t order enough, you should drop them and stop ordering ingredients for them.
Make sure you budget for restaurant necessities in case of something important breaks. That way, if you need to replace a dishwasher, espresso machine grinder, a cash register, a table, etc. you can do so without having major financial repercussions.
Learn to negotiate
Never underestimate negotiation to get you a good deal with your suppliers. It’s hard to buy all the ingredients in bulk so you may see negotiating as a tough thing to do. However, restaurants and cafés are popular businesses today, so your suppliers certainly have competition in the market.
First, try to lower the price with the existing supplier by appealing to the years of cooperation and hoping to get a discount based on being a trusted customer. If that doesn’t work, ask other suppliers to send you their offers for the same quality of ingredients. You can always try local farms for some organic produces instead of big companies which would be beneficial for both you and the farmers as well as the local community.
Change your marketing strategy
Try to concentrate more on digital marketing and less on traditional advertising since the former costs less and gives better results. Using SEO on your website and regular maintenance of your social network profiles will help you reach more customers and present them with your offer. Instead of printing menu specials every week, save money by using other ways to announce your offers. For example, if you were planning on printing out your weekly specials using brochures, you can skip printing every time and simply share your brochure online. You can use an online brochure maker to create a professional-looking brochure in minutes. There’s no need to hire a graphic designer or buy design software. By getting creative and using online tools, you’ll be able to boost your advertising efforts quickly and easily.
Install a glass whiteboard at the entrance and write down new offers daily in a modern and stylish way. If you have an employee who’s good at drawing, ask them to add some interesting details to draw more attention of the passers-by. This is also a more improved version of the blackboard and chalk we all got used to in front of the restaurants and cafés.
Accept complaints gracefully
When in the hospitality business you have to be hospitable no matter the occasion. So, when a customer expresses a complaint about the service or their order, you should accept it with grace. It’s not comfortable to receive such critique especially if all eyes are on you, but the way you handle the situation will help you develop your image.
To keep from having as many complaints, be sure to use kitchen equipment that cooks your food accurately. Sous vide cooking is the use of an immersion circulator to heat and circulate water at a precise temperature. Steam cooking at the level of precision sous vide assures a consistently uniform cook each time. Snag an Anova discount code and include an Anova Precision Oven in your kitchen.
By simply being hospitable and having good communication skills with your customers you will increase your popularity and thus your profits. This means, that politeness will save you money instead of wasting it on resources that you won’t be able to use if your customer number is low.
Create seasonal menus
No matter if you own a restaurant or a café, you still have certain items on your menu that cost more during their off-season. This is the reason why assessing the menu once in a while is important and crucial to saving money. If you switch to seasonal menus instead, you’ll be able to buy the ingredients at lower prices and keep the offer interesting for your customers.
Of course, the most popular items on the menu should definitely stay, but try to find a replacement for those that change the prices during the year. Fruits and vegetables are the first to undergo this evaluation, but other ingredients like meat and dairy can be tricky as well. Therefore, you can adapt your menu to fit every season with refreshing items during summer and soul-warming ones in the winter.
Start regular checks of expenses every month so you can prevent any unnecessary expenses in time before the debts pile up. Focus on creating an interesting offer for the customer and attracting them to your establishment by adopting a more functional approach like seasonal menus and negotiating with suppliers.
In the end, pay attention to your online presence since nowadays everyone can access the internet. Build a strong brand by respecting your customers’ suggestions and assessing their complaints. After all, it’s in your best interests to create the hospitality service that everyone will benefit from.