The COVID-19 outbreak has presented unique challenges in every community, but the restaurant industry has been particularly impacted. Stay at home orders, closures, and operation restrictions have left millions of business owners seeking ways to re-open safely while finding ways to reduce restaurant costs.
Here are 5 ways to reduce restaurant costs when re-opening during the COVID-19 outbreak that are easy to implement and will have a long-lasting beneficial financial impact.
1. A Simpler Menu: Use POS Data To Laser Focus Your Menu
- Look at Point of Sale Historical data:
- Focus on items that offer the highest margins and are the most popular.
- Identify items that your guests preferred and feature them on the new menu -eliminating the less popular items from the menu altogether
- Consider also removing items that are more expensive than others, as consumers may shy away from spending too much until the economy rebounds.
- Consider reducing menu variations, 2 options for sides instead of 6, for example.
2. Continue To Prioritize Food Delivery: Reach A New Customer Base Through A Delivery Service
- Provide family-style or small gathering ready-to-eat/ easy-to-reheat menu options.
- Make sure you have travel safe containers that are easy to use & carry, that keep hot meals hot and cold meals cold.
- Actively promote your restaurant on food delivery apps
3. Adjust your Waste & Recycling Services: Rightsizing is Critical
You are likely charged a flat fee per week that includes a set number of services. If your waste and recycling company did not already offer ways to reduce your fees with the COVID-19 outbreak – change companies today. It’s easy, just call us and we will take care of it.
The logic is pretty simple: if you are serving ½ as many customers and generating at least 50% less waste, why do you need to continue paying 100%. You don’t. Waste Management companies don’t want you to adjust your service, and sometimes when they do, they end up increasing their per-service rates or adding a few additional fees.
This is why working with Quest to handle all your waste & recycling needs is the easiest and fastest way to cut expenses. We work for you, negotiate the best prices, manage every service to make sure your programs run like clockwork, and re-scrutinize every invoice, so you are never over-charged. We have saved our restaurant customers over $500,000 in the past few months alone.
4. Adjust Labor to Reduced Seating: Staff Smart, Work Smart
Between removing tables in the dining rooms to allow for recommended social distancing, expanding the time between reservations to allow for additional cleaning, and staying under the 25%-50% max capacity ( based on your city requirements) – you will have inevitably have to reduce the number of staff during the week and weekends. To reduce your restaurant costs consider creating a regular and an on-call shift with additional labor you could call on 1 hour before the beginning of the shift based on the number of reservations received to further reduce restaurant’s costs.
5. Work With Other Restaurants: Many Hands Make Light Work
Yes, the restaurants next door are your competition, but this is a time when working together offers real benefits. For example, you could consider:
- Sharing kitchen space
- Sharing staff to help as many people stay employed
- Pool orders to get better discounts
- Work in joint promotional efforts to bring people for Memorial Day Weekend, graduation, Father’s Day…
Cities across the country are all implementing their plans to re-open businesses as the COVID-19 outbreak is becoming more manageable. Restaurants who have been hit the hardest in the quarantine are going to get their chance to shine again and make a full recovery as long as they are providing a safe environment for consumers, employees and suppliers alike, and are following best practices to reduce unnecessary expenses.
Make sure your operation is ahead of the curve, and Contact Quest Today.