Even during good times, keeping costs low is hard work when you run a kitchen. But it’s even harder to do when inflation runs high.
So, what can foodservice operations do to cut costs and avoid the worst effects of inflation and high prices?
The answer is simple: Reduce waste and save on labour costs.
Luckily, kitchens have multiple tactics and products at their disposal to decrease waste, cut costs and save both money and time.
Here are a few of the most effective solutions for fighting inflation and lowering costs.
Bring portion sizes under control
According to Statista, food waste in the UK costs the restaurant industry anywhere between £680 to £760 million each year. During times of high inflation, the industry cannot afford to sustain such losses.
Putting protocols in place to limit and standardise portion sizes can help immensely when it comes to reducing food waste. Even a simple tool (such as a bottle that squeezes out a standard amount of dressing for each salad) can guide kitchen staff away from using too much of a single ingredient. And when you do that, you cut costs in a small but incremental way.
Beyond cutting back on waste and the unnecessary costs that go with it, portion control tools, such as Portion Pal bottles from NCCO, help standardise the customer experience. Imagine ordering your favourite sandwich and discovering it barely has any sauce on it or far too much sauce on it the next week.
In either case, having too much or too little sauce would change the way you view that sandwich and the restaurant that makes it. If quality varies too much from week to week (or cook to cook), your customers might choose to dine elsewhere in favor of greater consistency.
So, by investing in portion control solutions, your foodservice operation can limit food waste, lower ingredients costs and provide a more consistent dining experience. What more do you need to know?
Adopt an efficient, integrated & automated waste tracking system
Reducing food waste begins by understanding where you’re creating waste. It’s one thing to have an idea of where you’re wasting food, but having the numbers to back up your experience can help pinpoint exactly where you have the opportunity to save money.
So, what makes an ideal waste tracking system?
For starters, you’ll want a system that automates the waste tracking process as much as possible. Most restaurants still use analogue waste tracking systems that require the manual (and often hand written) entry of numbers and data points.
These traditional waste tracking systems take time to implement and are subject to mistakes. And because they’re cumbersome and time consuming, they often get neglected in their use.
Automated waste tracking systems make it quicker for employees to record waste, which means they can have more time for other responsibilities that impact the bottom line. And because they’re easier to use, these automated systems remove many of the barriers that otherwise keep employees from using them. This ease of use leads to a higher rate of data collection, which leads to more informed, cost saving decisions down the road.
And if your waste tracking system does more than track waste, then that’s even better. Beyond tracking waste, our DateCodeGenie® automated labelling system gives users the ability to create bespoke food labels and stickers for everything from takeaway orders and grab and go items to back of house prep ingredients.
Click here to learn more about how the DateCodeGenie can help your team save time, track waste and create labels that bolster your brand and keep customers safe.
Automate your labelling system & save on labour costs
Limiting your waste will save you a few pounds here or there, but to really cut back on costs, you need to reduce labour costs. That’s where an automated labelling system can help.
When you automate your labelling system, you drastically reduce the time it takes for your team to create labels. This allows your team to finish their work early or return to more important tasks with a greater impact on the bottom line.
And beyond saving your operation time, automated labelling reduces the number of errors and inconsistencies associated with traditional handwritten labelling systems.
Automated labelling systems create a sense of uniformity and are much easier to read compared to handwritten labels. And the best part? Health and safety inspectors LOVE standardised, printed labels.
So, do yourself and your kitchen a favour. Upgrade your labelling system and experience the savings in time and wages.
Keep a close eye on expiration & use-by dates
We’ve all forgotten about leftovers and ingredients in our refrigerators at home. But what happens when you do that on a commercial scale? You accumulate serious waste that drives up your costs significantly.
However, implementing an efficient first in first out (FIFO) system can greatly reduce waste that occurs in the freezer and refrigerator.
But what can you do to take your FIFO system to the next level and experience even more savings in cost and less food waste? You can print FIFO labels using an automated labelling system.
Not only will it save time to print labels off instead of writing them by hand but doing so will also lead to greater standardisation and fewer errors. The DateCodeGenie automated labelling system will automatically populate FIFO labels with key information, such as an employee name, a prep date, a use by date and the name of the ingredient.
And that’s just one of the many FIFO solutions available from NCCO. To view a full list of FIFO solutions to help your kitchen reduce waste and save costs, click here.
There’s no need to let inflation get the best of us. Invest in cost saving foodservice tools today.