Simple Ways to Cut Food Costs – Part 2

 In 5. Fred Langley, Food Costs

Last week, I outlined portioning techniques as a way to trim food costs without cutting labor because not having enough staff can be a disaster.

This week I’ve outlined ways to stretch your food dollars. Making the most of the products you are selling stretches your dollars invested and earns you more in return. As with last week’s tips, you don’t have to use all of these tips, but the more you find that work for you in your restaurant, the more money you’ll save.

Make your dollars count

  • Use fruits and vegetables that are in season; they not only taste better, they are a better price.
  • Maximize the use of product, if you are offering asparagus in the spring, use the bottom woody part to make a creamy asparagus soup. Food cost on the soup will be next to nothing and your yield on the asparagus will be nearly 100 percent.
  • Use cabbage, always inexpensive, to add flavor and stretch the filling of pork or seafood used to make wonderful and cheap appetizers.
  • Save your meat scraps for specials or grind the meat into your burger.
  • Double the volume of your ground beef my making meatloaf sliders and meatballs for a great happy hour offering.
  • If you already have a selection of pasta dishes, add risottos to your menu.
  • Substitute less expensive almonds and peanuts for other expensive nuts like walnuts and pecans.
  • If you are serving a 6 oz portion of fish at night, make a great sandwich with 3 oz for lunchtime. Make the dish at half the cost and two-thirds the price.
  • Purchase whole chickens. It is one of the easiest things to butcher and you end up with chicken stock, leg and thigh meat for an appetizer, four chicken wings and two breasts.
  • Take your best cost dishes and recreate them to influence your mix even more.
  • Make other types of pesto because basil and pine nuts are so expensive. For example, make cilantro pesto, but substitute orange juice for lemon juice and almonds for pine nuts.
  • Buy fish that is in season. For example, Halibut’s seasons is spring and summer, making out of season purchases too expensive for an inferior product. But Mahi Mahi is good year round choice.
  • Make bread! It is not as hard as it seems and will save you a ton.

Attacking food cost is a great way to lower your prime cost while still supporting your labor needs. Let us help you and schedule your next coaching call today!

Read more about ways to cut your food costs in our free special report, Breaking Away from the Insanity: How to easily take control of your restaurant and make more money. Download it here

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