Whether your restaurant provides quick, casual or table service, it’s tougher than ever to make a profit. Your first line of defense against excess spending and dwindling sales may well be something you take for granted: your aging point-of-sale (POS) system. In this multi-part article, we’re going to dive deeper into this topic, touching on the more obvious F&B costs and labor costs, as well as less obvious areas where you may be losing profit.
POS profit-building tip #1: Control food costs
There are endless ways to lose money in the restaurant business, and one of the most vulnerable areas for squandering big dollars is in dealing with food. Potential profits are lost due to spoilage, theft, overportioning, waste, unrecorded sales, and a host of other reasons.
Many food prices have increased dramatically; Meat, dairy, cereal and bakery products all cost much more today. Since food adds up to approximately one-third of a restaurant’s costs, sky-high prices are a major headache for everyone in the industry.
One way to control food prices is to maintain a perpetual inventory of key food items. This inventory must account for all deliveries, all sales, and all physical counts done at frequent intervals, probably weekly. You must take charge of these counts to avoid any possibility of monkey-business.
A POS system with the built-in ability to track inventory can greatly reduce the effort to maintain these counts, and you can run real-time inventory reports as often as you like. Dashboards and alerts are useful for keeping track of expensive foods like meat, chicken, seafood, cheese, and other dairy items in real-time. Make kitchen staff accountable for properly recording any waste, burned, or on-the-house meals.
It’s also critical to manage your food suppliers diligently: Check all deliveries against orders, check prices against quotes, push back against unannounced increases, and order efficiently to take advantage of quantity breaks without risking spoilage.
A good inventory system will support these efforts, and help whittle down food costs and the effort required to accomplish these tasks over the long haul. Some loss on food is inevitable in any restaurant; but the more you reduce this loss, the better your profits will be. Even saving 1% on food costs will make a big difference to your bottom line… enough to pay for a POS system in short order.