Entertainment

The Hidden Costs

It’s the number crunching time of the year, where hospitality outlet managers are predicting and planning the next year’s targets. Arming themselves with a myriad of charts, excel spreadsheets and WHATIF formulas, they pound the life out of their calculators, in search of extra dollars they can send to the bottom line.

Strategically plotting their way, they make plans to get an extra 5c NP from each cup, and to reduce the cost of plating a meal, while all the time gathering intelligence on the latest diner trends, competitor movements and predicted industry changes.

Rent, Cost of Goods and wages, are reviewed again and again, the tangible costs are squeezed, buttoned, and squished within a quarter inch. It’s the common struggle of all restaurateurs, baristas, pizza bakers and gelato makers.

But what some small business owners overlook, is the savings that can be gained from reviewing processes. Obsolete systems, untrained employees and inefficient practices cost more than most people realise. Due to the intangible nature of these costs, they are usually swallowed into ‘Time’ which ultimately ends up on the Wages account and lost forever.

Here are some tips on how to reduce inefficiencies in your restaurant / cafe / bar:

Extend order cycles

Procurement of dry and imperishable goods should be limited to one order per credit cycle to reduce admin and processing time. While an order may only take up one minute of your time, it also takes up a few minutes of your pantry restocker who receives and packs the goods away and your accounts person who processes the invoice and pays for the goods.

Order at the start of your credit cycle

Okay, pretty obvious! But we couldn’t leave it out.

Study your team at work

Take a day off (Beware: this is harder than it sounds) to simply observe the operations of your business. Study each process, employee and department. Mind map processes and ideas for improvement.

[To spice it up, you could go incognito: Undercover Boss style!]

Review your kitchen/prep area layout

Maybe the reason a Caesar salad takes eight minutes to serve is due to the fact that the cool room is furthest from the prep bench? Eliminate wasted seconds from the production line, because every one really does count.

See what they reckon

Ask your employees, what hinders them most from performing better. You might be surprised!

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