Five key places to look to make sure you keep what you have earned!

We all work hard to earn a dime these days. In the restaurant business, it can be very hard earned, and you want to keep all those dollars and put them in the bank. Here are the top five areas to be on the look-out for:

1.     Purchasing – look at your purchasing practices.  Contracts and procedures are key. Do you have a purchasing agreement? Do you get weekly price quotes? Who is ordering and who is receiving? How does the process work? Are we buying the best quality and getting the best yield? I continue to see issues in this area. It is the biggest issue that I see and should be a priority.

2.     Labor – normally the number one expense that you will have.  Don’t take it for granted. Who is scheduling your team, and based on what? Do you compare income to labor hours? Without cutting the quality of service and preparation, there are many ways to be more efficient.  Is everybody arriving at the same time and going home at the same time? Staying busy in slow times? Are people taking lunch breaks? Do the staff leave or hang around on the clock? Look at it from all angles. I can almost guarantee your savings in this area.

3.     Theft – I have always trusted my team, and trust is an important factor in creating a strong team. However, don’t let that be your reason not to protect your investments. Unfortunately, you can’t always trust everyone. Have systems in place to rule out opportunity.  If you leave the bank door open, you would be surprised who will take a tour!  Close the opportunities so that people are not tempted. Look at all departments and positions.

4.     Portion control – over-prepping and over-pouring. Know what your meal and drink sizes are and stick to them. Value for the money is important. Give what you think is the right size for what you are charging; just have systems in place to make sure that you do so.

5.     Your POS system – are items priced correctly? A guest has decided that they will pay the price that you advertise. So, charge them that….. Make sure that you check your pricing in the system periodically, at least every 6 months. I have seen a case where a glass of orange juice was priced at $.25 instead of $3.25 and remained that way for several years. Review all prices, bar, food, modifiers, and upcharges. On top of that make sure that everything given out is rung up, and rung up correctly!

If you need guidance in this review process, contact me at

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