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Five Ways to Stop Losing Money in Your Restaurant

To run a successful and profitable restaurant, most business owners are always looking for ways to cut costs while still maintaining high-quality offerings. Here are five areas to examine in your restaurant.

Outdated Equipment

If your kitchen equipment could classify as "vintage," chances are you don't have energy-efficient models. Commercial refrigeration and freezer units, for instance, are some of the mostly costly pieces of equipment to operate in a restaurant, and they are running every day of the year, twenty-four hours a day, whether your restaurant is open or not. This is the first restaurant kitchen equipment you should consider upgrading. If you choose an Energy Star®–certified appliance, you can expect to see considerable savings on your utility bills. Your local restaurant-kitchen equipment and supply vendor can help you choose the models that are best for you.


Take the time to do a thorough analysis of your hourly sales for each day of the week you are open. Your cash register or POS (point-of-sale) system should have this option unless it is extremely outdated. Armed with this information, you can more accurately decide which employees and how many employees you need clocked in and working at any given time. Countless restaurateurs lose money by paying workers to stand around doing nothing. Realistically determine who you need in the front of the house and the back and what their duties will be, and then schedule accordingly.


Just because you have always used Supplier A doesn't mean you can't switch to Supplier B. Compile a list of the 50 most expensive ingredients and the quantities you purchase each week. Then give the other vendors in your area a call and ask them what their price would be.

Convenience Items

Are you paying for pre-made items that your kitchen staff could easily make from scratch? Not only do convenience foods usually lack in the quality you could produce, they typically cost way more than what you could make with the raw ingredients. Buy the staples and have your staff deliver a superior product at a lower cost to you.

Food Waste

A lot of food goes to waste in the restaurant industry, and this means lost profits for you. This may be from improper storing of food, waste by kitchen employees by overprepping, or simply serving portions that are too large to customers. Perform a food-waste audit over a period of a week or two so you can identify where the problem areas are.