It doesn’t have to be difficult to cut away any unnecessary costs in your restaurant. With a few small adjustments, you can save a lot more than you think.

We have chosen the following four ways to reduce costs as they each have multiple benefits. You don’t have to implement all of them to see any positive changes on your bottom line – though we do recommend that you take a closer look at number 4. You’ll find out why further down.

1) Focus on free advertisement

Just a few years back, restaurant managers had to spend a lot of money on advertisement and promotion. But now we have social media platforms! If you don’t already have a social media marketing strategy, you really should start cooking one up as your competitors are probably already out there feasting on the free advertisement. Yes, free!

We have gathered some very simple but interesting examples of how you can put together a profitable social media strategy – feel free to check them out.

Read more: Get your free Facebook manual right now

2) Lower your inventory volume 

Foods and drinks are often the second biggest expense on a restaurant’s budget (right after labor costs), and there is obviously a limit to how much you can cut it down. However, it’s very common for restaurants to have more food in stock than they actually need. Therefore, it makes sense to evaluate your inventory items one by one and hold them up against your sales figures. This way, you can get rid of any excess inventory, you will have less waste and you will be able to focus on selling the products that are actually making you money.

Need help to control your inventory? Then check out the article “Restaurant Management Software – These Are the Ones You Need” in which we will tell you what a perfect inventory management system should include.

3) Buy from local vendors

Another very simple way to cut costs is to buy your produce from local vendors. Get your vegetables from the local farm, buy your meat from the local butcher and purchase your ice cream from the local ice cream vendor. If you spend time on building a good relationship with them, they will very often reduce prices for you – quid pro quo, you know.

This will also enhance your customers’ perception of you as being a good contributor to the community which could result in a loyal customer base (which means a regular income!).

Read more: Top 5 hottest food trends right now

4) Use an online employee scheduling system

As pointed out earlier, the biggest expense for most restaurant managers is labor costs including scheduling. Most managers spend way too much time on scheduling, and useless spreadsheets or wrinkled paper schedules won’t ensure that the right employees will be working on the right days. However, an online employee scheduling system can strongly reduce time and money spend on exactly this task.

Your employees will be able to book, swap and give away shifts mutually without you having to be much involved. Instead, you can focus on running and developing a successful business. Also, the system will ensure that your employees can only book shifts that they are qualified to take, plus it’ll make sure that you’re neither under- nor overstaffed.

However, 95% of employee scheduling tools are useless, so be careful which one you choose. If you want to know exactly what a perfect online scheduling system should include, you can download a checklist below – for free, of course!

Do you have any other useful tips to reduce costs in a restaurant?

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Lisa Andersen
Lisa Andersen Content Editor
Part of Planday’s content team in Copenhagen, Lisa is into yoga and loves good writing. Her experience includes working with communication and PR for international grassroots organizations in Argentina and Bolivia.