Controlling restaurant food cost

How to control restaurant food cost

Restaurant food cost is the largest expense on your profit and loss statement and can make or break your bottom line.  If a system is not in place to control food costs it will be susceptible to losses from theft and waste.  Here are some ways to help you manage your profit.

Menu development

Food cost management begins with the development of the menu.  Each menu item must have measured portions and a standard cost for each ingredient.  As  a restaurant owner, it is important that you evaluate your menu costs on a fairly regular basis to ensure your restaurant maintains a profit margin.

The cook line

The cook line is perhaps the most important area to manage when it comes to controlling food cost.  Common issues include incorrect food portioning, waste, and unrecorded sales.  Employing a policy of “no ticket, no food” can help.  All food sales should be rung up in a point of sale system before they can be made.  Utilizing portion control tools such as scoops, scales and measuring spoons and cups and keeping a waste log can help you to control food cost.

Receiving and inventory

Be meticulous about checking deliveries – if you know that what you’ve paid for actually reached your kitchen, it makes your employees uniquely accountable for any losses or shrinkage.  Regular and thorough inventory counts will help you stay in control of your usage and the costs associated.

Shop around

Don’t be afraid to shop around. Even if you prefer one food vendor over another, it doesn’t hurt to check prices and negotiate discounts. Restaurant suppliers need to meets your requirements such as payment terms, delivery times, quality of the goods 


This entry was posted in Blog and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.