3 Ways to Save Money as a Restaurant Owner

You have to put in some to get some in return—a phrase that restaurant owners know all too well.

While the startup costs of building a restaurant are high, the reward of seeing a lifelong dream grow into something real is beyond worth it. But too often maintenance costs become overwhelming and restaurants are forced to close. In an attempt to avoid this, restaurant owners are always asking how they can save money while maintaining food quality and excellent service.

And while everyone has tricks and tips to saving restaurants money, there are three hacks that stand above the rest:

  1. A reliable and modern restaurant point of sale system will do you better than you might realize. A robust POS system helps to save money by streamlining processes to increase efficiency.

You could go the simplistic route with a basic card reader POS system, which will still track transactions, analyze trends, and reconcile payments. Or, you can invest in a restaurant point of sale system with more advanced capabilities.

A modern POS system is designed to be multi-feature, meaning you can process payments and bank deposits, manage inventory, track labor and scheduling, and much more. This one machine will do the work of a bookkeeper, lessen the load of managers and owners, and reduce paper use.

Gone are the days of wires. The cloud-based POS system function (means all of your devices are connected and communicate with one another through a wireless network that you can access as you please.

Although a modern point of sale system for restaurants will perform these beneficial tasks itself, you must take the time to learn and analyze the information it will provide you.

  1. Yes, quality food is important for a successful restaurant but employees, like hostesses, servers, and bartenders, may be the most crucial part in earning money for restaurants. Seldom will tasty food outweigh bad service.

Before cutting positions, take a step back to understand when to fire and when to hire. Reducing employees is not always necessarily the most cost-effective solution.

When letting inefficient employees go, it’s likely you’ll have to replace them so the first way to use your employees to save money at your restaurant is to ensure you hire the right people. Employee turnover costs restaurants quite a bit of money. There will always be unforeseen employee loses but hiring quality employees from the get-go can help to reduce turnover, ultimately saving your business money.

It is not easy to determine who is the best fit as people put their best self forward during interviews but here is a list of qualities to look for in any restaurant employee:

  • Empathic – They are a people person and can connect with diners.
  • Organized – Someone who can stay organized and multi-task during busy times will be beneficial as a restaurant employee.
  • Communicative – They can effectively communicate menus and changes and discuss issues with guests.
  • Composed – They can keep calm under pressure. This also can cover appearance, meaning the person is hygienic and well-groomed.
  • Driven – A person with goals will be loyal and will care about the restaurant.
  • Alert – Someone who is quick-thinking will thrive in the restaurant business because there will always be surprises with management, guests, orders, and more.

With all things to consider, you must treat your employees well and show appreciation so they want to perform to the best of their abilities. Two efficient employees reduce spending more than three careless employees.

  1. What might seem like an obvious solution to over-spending is to stay on top of inventory. Going back to the first tip, utilize a multi-feature restaurant point of sale system that offers inventory management to make the manager’s job simpler.

Perform smaller nightly inventory checks with your POS system and a full physical check at the end of each week. Make sure expiration dates are visible and items that will perish first are the next to be used.

During inventory checks, make sure you’re checking top shelves and deep shelves so you’re not missing products.

In addition to managing inventory, pay attention to trends in uneaten food left on plates. Doing so can help in analyzing portion sizes—are you serving too many french fries?

Inventory checks and watching for uneaten food save money because you can better predict trends like how much to order of a product at a given time in the year.

Your dream of owning a restaurant does not have to end due to money issues. There are ways, like these three steps, to overcome the initial startup costs and grow into a thriving eatery.

If you have any questions, please ask below!