Now, I’m not against saving money on food, far from it, and there are plenty of other places you can save money. A really simple way is to reduce the number of items on your menu. Three or four excellent mains means the need for fewer ingredients, it reduces waste and means more of your cost gets converted to profit. Equally, reducing the number of items on the plate does the same. That really good steak we mentioned doesn’t need to hide amongst 30 other ingredients to get flavour, this also reduces your prep time, further reducing costs. Protein is where your money goes shortly followed by your ‘image veg’ (Natoora carrots, for example, look great when served), if you have them on your plate you can perhaps cut costs with your potato.
You’ve read this far and the guy who owns a company that supplies quality produce reckons you should spend more money on quality produce. But that is exactly why my advice makes sense, because companies like mine have to offer that same value balance, to reach new, and retain existing, customers. We don’t compete on price, we compete on value.
We always look to local suppliers, and we encourage our customers to celebrate the local. Even when they are a large national customer, we make sure their outlets are supplied locally. The quality is better, and the cost is comparable, mainly because we don’t have to spend a fortune shipping it all over the country. Our customers can then celebrate the fact that their suppliers come from the community. Which, on top of the quality, is another aspect that increases value for the end customer.
I’ve carried the lesson from my local café a long way (perhaps I should have left a tip), and once you start cutting costs it’s really hard to put prices up, and in turn increase GP.
So don’t race to the bottom, there are too many there already.