Are you leaking money in your restaurant or café?

How many efficiencies do you think you could make across your business by taking ten minutes to watch each of your teams operate. We’re all pretty good at becoming cost efficient at home, and some of those learnings can be transferred to how your business is run. We’ve set out a couple of ideas below to consider. They’re small but mighty changes that can make a huge difference in the financial health of your business at the end of each year.

Wastage – we talk about it all the time, and getting control of it will really help your business in becoming more profitable. Take control of your wastage, understand what stock you really need and how long you can hold it for, and make sure you have all the right process in place for your team to follow to minimise every possible element of wastage to increase your profit and loss position. Just think about the amount of money you could save if your team were trained to religiously use the right levels of coffee and milk every time they took an order.

Staff – if you have staff standing around and chatting for prolonged periods of time, you might not have your rosters set up properly. Analyse your busy and quiet days, and build your roster around exactly what staffing requirements you need and for what period of time on each day. Keep track of when your staff arrive and when they leave by having them clock in and out for their shift. If you have staff that are persistently turning up late and you’re not linking their start and finish times to payroll, you could be losing a considerable sum of money.

Heating – as we head through autumn and into winter heating your premises is going to get much more expensive. It’s not uncommon to see cafes with their doors wide open through the winter in an attempt to pull in the passing footfall, but have you considered the expense your business might be incurring in blasting heating through the building and keeping the door wide open. The impact on your profit and loss certainly isn’t minor. Regular and new customers alike are more than likely looking for somewhere to warm up through the winter months, so make sure you heat your building efficiently and don’t overspend where it can be avoided.

Water – you can’t control how many times your toilets are flushed each day, but you can control how much additional water is used both by front or house and in the kitchen. If you’re using spray down high pressure taps in the kitchen, you’re probably using too much water for the job at hand and paying out for that additional cost in your water bills. Look at how your kitchen staff can create efficiencies in their cleaning processes so that excessive tap and dishwasher usage is avoided.

Credit and credit cards – no doubt your business has bought and returned items that either weren’t right for the job, or in the end didn’t work with your business. Make sure you’re staying on top of your returns, and make sure that you’ve received the credit for those returned goods. How much might have slipped through the cracks this year for you? Additionally, consider the effective rate of your business credit card. Have you considered changing the card in the last year? What deals are out there that will provide you with a lower rate? There’s money to be saved here.

Office equipment – as your business grows, it’s easy to purchase office related equipment that you think you’re going to need in the near future, but either never use, or which turn out to be expensive to run or service items. Could you save costs on printing by switching to a laser printer? Do you need to print at all? Could you use the iPad that the business bought as part of the past POS system instead? Office equipment can be expensive, and often far less is required than actually bought by most hospitality businesses.

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