How to Reduce Operating Expenses for Your Bar or Kitchen

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How to Reduce Operating Expenses for Your Bar or Kitchen

Operating expenses play a central role in restaurant and bar profitability, and you know what makes a big difference to expenses? The processes you use to manage, and reduce, them. Inefficient processes may mean you miss opportunities where you could reduce costs or operate in a more sustainable way. 

Whether it’s a process for only ordering inventory when you need it (and at a minimum quantity!), or to ensure products get used before they have a chance to expire, tightening up your processes is one way to reduce operating expenses for your bar or kitchen.

How to reduce operating expenses for your bar or kitchen

The last thing you need is another arduous system or process that’s time-consuming and difficult to implement. Reducing operating expenses can be as simple as implementing a few key changes to your operations, or having the right technology and processes in place to begin with. Below are a few areas where you can get started today.

1. Make inventory management faster and more accurate

Tried-and-tested inventory management processes may work in theory. But, in practice, manual stock management is a slow, staggered process. One error or omission could set off a chain reaction of inaccuracies. All of which makes it harder for you to get a clear picture of what’s selling, not selling and what needs to be reordered. Hello lost time and wasted expenditure! 

But, that doesn’t have to be the case. What if stocktake was as simple as scanning the barcode of the item in question and immediately seeing inventory numbers? Imagine updating stock from the convenience of your phone and reordering the products you need at the click of a button!

Reducing operating costs starts with faster, more accurate inventory management systems - but more on that in a bit!

2. Connect your systems to see where you’re losing profit

An easy way for profit to slip through the cracks is through inconspicuous (but important) data gaps in your systems. It might not seem like a big deal if your systems don’t connect and share data but it will show in your insights! From your POS, to your accounting software, to your inventory management software, if all of these systems don’t share data, you’ll either a) have to do a lot of manual reconciliation to bring everything together, or b) there won’t be a full picture of your gross profit, as all of your figures will live in different systems. 

Here’s an example: say you place an inventory order based on what your stocktake shows you need, you may order enough product to create 50 burgers. Yet what if in your POS you can clearly see that you sold 50 burgers by the 10th of the month? This is leaving another 20 days where you’ll have to take burgers off the menu because you won’t have enough stock - or you’ll have to make a last minute top-up order which could cost a surplus in delivery fees. Suddenly you’re leaving money on the table because you don’t have a joined up view of what stock you have vs what’s been sold in any given month.

Similarly, say you receive a delivery of 15 bottles of vodka and scan these in as inventory, but there’s an invoicing error which means you’ve actually been charged for 20 bottles. An inventory management system like growyze can easily solve this.

Growyze’s smart engine provides three-way validation between orders, deliveries and invoices. This catches any discrepancies between what’s been ordered, delivered and invoiced, to ensure you don’t pay for items you haven’t received. 

growyze integrates with major POS and accounting software systems (like Square POS and Xero), to streamline your processes and give you the full picture of your operations - all in a single hub. 


3. Improve the profitability of your menu items

According to a WRAP report, food wastage costs restaurants in the UK around £682 million in total a year! No matter how much thought and creativity goes into a menu item, it needs to be profitable to be successful, and to be sustainable. Improving the profitability of your menu and recipes is an easy way to reduce operating expenses for your bar or kitchen. There are several ways to do this. One is identifying your high-cost, low-profit recipes and either removing them or swapping out ingredients for cheaper ones. 

Another way is by using leftovers in innovative ways to reduce wastage costs, such as offering specials on menu items with the ingredients that are usually discarded. These simple menu tweaks help to reduce the costs of products which either aren’t selling, or where the COGS doesn’t match the cost of the dish. 

4. Reduce manual labour to improve where your staff spend their time

We all know working in a restaurant or bar often calls for long hours. But if your team is still tracking, recording and processing your BOH operations manually, you could be losing revenue to hours of unnecessary labour. Manual processes like sheet-to-shelf inventory management, Excel spreadsheet updating and entering line-by-line invoices could all be driving up your labour costs because they’re so time-consuming! 

Investing in inventory management software speeds up and simplifies your BOH. growyze, for example, has built-in stocktake, inventory ordering, invoice reconciliation, recipe management and waste tracking processes that speed up every BOH operation. For example, your staff can work in separate stocktakes simultaneously as they count different areas, which frees up time and ensures they aren’t waiting for their “turn!”. This frees up their time, so they can focus on other responsibilities. 

Take back control of your operations with growyze

Staying on top of your stock and BOH management processes doesn’t need to be a test of endurance. With growyze, your stock management is streamlined, simplified and automated. No more manual workload, just the results you’re looking for! 

Scan barcodes to log stock, communicate with suppliers, minimise wastage and losses, optimise recipes for better profitability and get insights into opportunities and margin gaps. 

Book a demo with us to learn how growyze can integrate into your operations and lower your operating costs as a result.

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