Catering For Costs


As most business operators in the food and hospitality trade will tell you, they’ve been living with rising food and business costs . So how can you absorb these costs and be profitable?

A good place to start is with your current menu.

Menu planning and the importance of the menu is an essential tool in creating the power to bring customers through your front door. The menu is an important factor not only because of its content but also its layout, the way dishes are displayed, and how it’s used to maximize profit.

When creating the menu - it is vital you understand the basic principles.

• Know your customer base.

• Know your produce & how to match/marry produce.

• What food gross profit margin you want to achieve.

• And how much can you charge per item/dish on the menu?

Okay, assuming that you have established your customer base via location or social media & old fashion word of mouth.

Let’s move on to the produce/ingredients & of how they marry together.

• Most business will leave this to the head chef.

• It normally takes the form of the following brief–write me a menu on what you want to cook?

• Or let’s write a menu that you can cook well & what the customers want.

• The latter statement works much better as it satisfies the chef’s cooking & creative needs & focuses on the customer’s taste.

Working on a food Gross profit margin of 70 percent will help you price the dishes on the menu. So before you do this - a few questions to ask yourself.

• Do you have an up-to-date price list from your supplier?

• Do you negotiate quarterly price agreements with key suppliers?

• Do you know who much you spent over the past 12months with key suppliers?

• Do you get quotes from the “usual” suppliers?

• Do you check invoice prices with the agreed price list?

• Are you using a branded product when a yellow label product is better value?

• Do you employ a stock taker to measure your food gross profit?

If you answer yes to all these, well done you’ll be ready for the inevitable cost of rising food prices.

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