Control COGS in Your Restaurant

May 1, 2019

Restaurants are known for having razor-thin margins, but you can improve your profits if you have a good handle on your costs. That doesn’t mean you have to skimp on restaurant supplies, but it does mean you can be strategic about what you spend.

Do you know your cost of goods sold (COGS) and how to improve it? If it’s been awhile since you thought about it, here are some tips that can help.

Look at Food Cost Per Category

When pricing your menu, it’s recommended that your food costs are 31% of the price. It’s easier to track this if you break things down into categories. Your specific groupings will depend on your style of food, but some ideas include:

  • Meat
  • Dairy
  • Fruits & Vegetables
  • Baked Goods
  • Beverages

By assigning a percentage to each category, you’ll have an easier time staying within the 31% goal. Whatever categories you use, be sure to organize your inventory of restaurant supplies accordingly. You can then set limits on how much you want to spend in each category.


Measure Ingredients Carefully

It’s well known that a heavy hand at the bar can result in overpours that cost you significant cash, but restaurant owners don’t always think about that in the back of the house. The truth is that imprecise measuring is a huge contributor to food waste – that is, not being able to account for all the ingredients you buy.

When cooks measure carefully from prep all the way through assembly, you’ll know exactly what you’re using for each dish. And don’t be afraid to experiment – finding that less of a spice doesn’t impact the flavor can save you thousands in the cost of restaurant supplies!


Use a Seasonal Menu

Carrying the same dishes year-round can cost you a lot of money – that salad with fresh strawberries won’t taste great or be affordable in January. Instead, create (at minimum) a fall/winter and spring/summer menu.

If fresh local ingredients are an important part of your restaurant supplies, go all in and create four menus. You can change them year-to-year or keep them the same. The key is to have the dishes, COGS, and pricing figured out in advance so the transition is seamless.

With a seasonal menu you’ll create more interest in your restaurant, and you’ll get a boost in business as people’s seasonal favorites come into the rotation each year. You’ll also save on food costs and your food will always taste flavorful and fresh.


We Have the Restaurant Supplies You Need

Preparing top-quality dishes throughout the year is a big job, but when you do it well you’re rewarded with a successful establishment and loyal patrons.

Having the right restaurant supplies to complement your menu is a vital part of the equation. Whether you want to rotate dishes seasonally, add new smallwares to the mix, or replace your ailing cooking equipment, Tipton Equipment can help.

We’ve been serving Little Rock restaurants for many years and we’d love to help you as well. Contact us to find out what we can do for your restaurant!

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