Food Profit The 3 Bears And The Hidden Negative Impact To Your Restaurant
I was spending time with my family over the weekend and a thought stuck me. Most Saturday’s my wife Anouk makes a lovely chilli. Now it always tastes nice but some weeks are better than others.
One week it’s too hot. One week it’s too cool and then some weeks it’s just right. Just like baby bears porridge.
So why is this? Well my wife Anouk is an excellent cook with a bachelor’s degree in hotel management and has been cooking since she was 14. But Anouk cooks from feeling rather than from a recipe.
What this means is that we never have the same meal twice. Sometimes we don’t have enough food then the next week we have too much food. Now of course in a family setting this is absolutely no problem. But in a restaurant or hotel setting this can be disastrous to business success.
An overstatement I hear you say. Well let’s just think about it for a moment. ….. If you have been in business for any length of time you will likely have regular customers. Most of us when we find something we like we want to have it again and again. When a recipe has been built and it is consistently followed we can deliver what our customers have come to enjoy first time and every time.
However when what we like changes (as in its not consistent and does not follow a recipe) all the time we lose our enthusiasm to visit more often.
What chef is on?
Inconsistency can have unseen major impacts as in loss of customers and sales
Form a kitchen team point of view, regulars will sometimes call and ask who is on in the kitchen today. Based on the answer this will either have them coming in looking forward to a nice meal or going elsewhere. This is one of the major hidden issues with lack of consistency. The goal of business is to find and keep customers and consistency is the foundation.
There is only one real way to have consistency and that is to create and work from recipes until they are habit. When recipes are followed out of habit you no longer have inconsistencies and always deliver the same dish in the same way ensuring customer satisfaction.
Lack of consistency also creates other impacts. It can cost huge amounts in waste, loss of potential sales and repeat customers. Let me give you an example, I recently conducted a secret shopper for a client and was amazed at how much food was being served.
Now many people think big is best however, in reality it is not. Most of us have been brought up to clear our plates and we feel bad when we are unable to do it. Big most certainly does not equal better.
What I heard from other dinners that I listened to was, “wow the portions are huge here”, and “how will I eat my main course after this huge starter”, “God we will never get through all of this”. “No I won’t even look at the dessert menu I am stuffed”. ”
Now hearing I am stuffed can give positive connotations. However the end of the conversation told me everything I needed to know. “Next time we are in let’s just go for a main as we will never eat all the food that comes with starters and mains in one go”.
Whats worse is that when after service the food waste bin ( the one beside washup not the veg and meat prep bin) it was exessively full letting us know that the portions were too big and profits where being tossed out with the rubbish.
Loss of sales
So let’s look at this. When portions are too big and inconsistent it can and does lead to loss of sales and loss along with repeat business. To small can lead to the same as in customers feel that they have not received value for money. Getting it just right is where you want to be. When a regular gets different size portions on visits they start to think what the hell is going on here. Not a positive a thought that I am sure you want to avoid.
The only way you can get it just right is to build a tool that is used by everyone(AKA an executive recipe book). That way it does not matter who is on duty. That way you will have consistency in delivering a high class product and when you build it with accurate up to date supplier pricing you can ensure that is also profitable.
Why Care at All
Why Should you even care about this? As in the How do you know you if you have an issue in the first place? Here are 7 things that will tell you if you have an issue or give you peace of mind that you don’t.
1. You have monthly Stock takes and your gross profit is at a consistent acceptable level at a minimum north of 65% if you’re a gastro pub and north of 70% if you’re a restaurant/hotel.
2. You have a recipe book that has all the details of the dishes, sizes , portions cost etc and it’s up to date and more importantly the team use it.
3. Your food waste bins are not full after service
4. Your% Ratio of Starters to mains and Desserts to mains is above 40%
5. Your plates come back to the kitchen with little to no food on them
6. Customers are checked throughout their meal experience and the comments are nearly always positive , and where negative are investigated.
7. Your TripAdvisor reviews always talk about the great value ,service and quality of your premises and don’t mention how great the portion sizes are.
EASILY INCREASE PROFITS
If you answered no to any of the above areas, best case scenario you are not making as much profit as you could. Worst case scenario there could be major problems on the horizon.
Of course, these challenges are fixable, but you can’t solve problems you don’t know about.
Perhaps you want to be sure about this key area of restaurant success. If so act now
Click here to apply for a complimentary profit explosion call.
On the call, we will talk for 10-15 minutes about where you want to get to, where you are right now, why you are not already where you want to be and we’ll identify 1-2 KEY actions you can do right now to quickly get better results.