Managing food cost is essential to running a successful catering business.
However without an efficient plan for tracking inventory, many businesses may miscalculate their food cost. Unfortunately, these simple mistakes can be detrimental to sustaining a profitable business. If you find yourself in this situation, take a look at some of the tips below in order better control your food cost.
Know Food Prices
Food prices are constantly changing, so it is important to be aware of the trends. By paying attention to food prices, you can adjust your menu to include more affordable items when needed.
Establish a schedule that involves tracking inventory at least once a week. This includes food, beverages and associated supplies. Solid inventory records provide much needed help when placing a new order and figuring out what is being used, lost and/or stolen.
Manage Food Waste
In addition to tracking inventory, it is essential to record food that is being returned to the kitchen, spilled or thrown out. These records, along with maintaining reasonable portion sizes, will help minimize food waste.
Prepare in Advance
Prep work allows restaurants to order food at lower costs. For example, you can order vegetables whole and cut them before shifts. Just make sure to factor in labor costs when calculating food cost and prep work.
Obviously, it is important to price items properly according to your market. However, when pricing items you must also take into account the cost of food (which is constantly changing), overhead, labor, competition and service costs.
Restaurant chains get major perks because they can order food in bulk. For smaller restaurants, mobile vendors, and catering services, it may be worth it to join a purchasing group in order to lower food cost. Suppliers often offer lower prices with large volume purchases.
Written by: Natalie Earhart