Unfixed coffee shop business costs and waste that go unchecked can spiral out of control—and set it up for failure. When was the last time you reviewed your costs and potential waste channels?
Here are some ways to assure costs and waste don’t run away with your business:
Don’t try every new thing. Counter space, employee talents—and even customer attention spans—are tested when new menu are constantly added. Don’t necessarily try to be everything to everyone, and in effect lose your identity and the reason people seek you out.
Watch your advertising dollars. Create ads around a specific menu item or a special that runs at a certain hour of the day so you can tell if the promotions are working. If it turns out they’re not, either change up your ad messaging, the publications or websites you’re running ads in—or both.
Order supplies wisely. This is the best way to control food costs. Keep an inventory that shows the details and quantities of supplies. You can also order in bulk for certain items that are used in large quantity, or join a purchasing group such as Dining Alliance, which let independents gain an advantage they wouldn't otherwise have by pooling their purchases.
Count and weigh your supply orders. Always count and weigh food when it's delivered to make sure you’re getting what you paid for.
Talk to your suppliers. Communicating with your suppliers will help you get the best deals for your business. Don’t be shy when it comes to reducing your costs. It’s also OK to let them know you are getting quotes from competitors.
Watch your waste. Waste in the kitchen means higher food costs. That’s why it’s important to train employees on best practices that prevent food waste:
- Store and handle food properly to prevent spoilage and contamination
- Accurately measure portion sizes
- Avoid preparing large quantities of food in advance
- Avoid purchasing too much inventory
Also, notice what ends up in the kitchen’s trash cans, such as food that the kitchen is throwing out during meal prep, or food that customers are leaving on their plates (and thus might warrant smaller portions or removal from the menu).
These are the most common ways to control unfixed costs at your café or restaurant. Stay on top of them consistently to ensure your continued success!