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simone54's avatar

Chefs: How can I keep food cost down?

Asked by simone54 (7600points) August 2nd, 2008

There is very little waste, I know the correct packaging to order it, and I know staff isn’t eating more then they should for their meals. It is still high. What can I do?

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5 Answers

Randy's avatar

Serve smaller portions? Dirty I know, but it’ll work. Then there is always charging more.

I’ll say, I’m no chef, and as a consumer I would hate you for following my suggestions, but what else can you do? It’s your living I assume.

Sueanne_Tremendous's avatar

I am not a chef, but I do work in the industry. I think you need to look at re-phrasing the question to “How do I keep overall costs down?” It is a competitive time and may be the time to shop some of the standard items you never think about like your dishmachine, sink, and silver chemicals. You might also talk to your food rep for great replacement products for items you use all of the time. Maybe you buy prechopped onions. Why not buy whole and have staff chop? What kind of linens do you use? Shop out your linen and uniform service for better deals. In my business (I sell chemicals to the hospitality industry) my distributors are always looking at ways to improve their deals to new customers. You might save some money AND find much better service. Good luck!

jrpowell's avatar

Raise your prices. It will eventually have to be done. Add 50 cents to each entree. Nobody will notice a slight increase in price. But they will notice if the quality/service goes down.

And I know that will result in new menus. That is life.

BirdlegLeft's avatar

Another non-chef weighing in, but I am a part-time foodie, as well as being the spouse to someone that has been in the industry for almost fifteen years (although front of the house, not back). Anyway, I’d say do what you can not to cut cost on ingrediants. Ultimately it is the food that is bringing your customers in time and time again. So, cutting there would only be shooting yourself in the foot. I like the suggestions of bringing down costs in other areas. Also, it may be time to bite the bullet and raise prices. Let’s face it food and oil are in lock step right now, and we can’t help that. Do you have a liquor license? It would be great to subsidize your food end with alcohol profits. Just some thoughts. Owning a restaurant is a real labor of love.

simone54's avatar

I’m just worried about the food cost. Other other expenses are were the need to be. I’ll have to talk the owner about raising prices. I think the actaul price for the for the food is up due to gas prices and stuff.

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