Just like with any business, there are three general ways to increase your profits: increase overall sales, reduce your expenses, and focus on high-profit items. One of the most common — and one of the easiest — mistakes to make when you’re trying to increase your profits is focusing on increasing your revenue: while revenue is generally a good thing, it can hurt your business if it comes at a higher expense or if it’s only a short-term gain. Instead, make a plan that focuses on those three specific elements. Here’s how to get started:
Increase your restaurant’s volume.
Once your restaurant finds a steady pace and you’re starting to think about expansion, you’ll have a few hard choices. Not only is it a potential risk, it won’t be profitable at first. Expanding your business means a lot of new costs as you work through the kinks: you’ll need to order more food, and maybe not all of it will be ordered. You’ll need to spend on marketing campaigns and extra staff, as well as the additional fixed costs like more tables and more kitchen equipment.
Sometimes, you can use the increased spending to set the stage for future spending. For example, find cooking tools and equipment that can help you with more efficient food preparation. This can range from griddles that have accurate and predictable surface temperatures to cooktops that offer multiple modes of cooking such as steaming. You can also use the expansion stage to experiment with different food suppliers that have pricier one-off sales but better bulk deals.
Once you’re getting more volume, decrease your expenses.
This is the category that’s both hard to see and hard to make happen. More business always means more expenses. But more business should mean a lower per unit (or per customer or per meal) cost. A kitchen griddle that can cook twenty chicken breasts at once is going to be more expensive than one that can cook ten, but it’s going to be cheaper than two cooktops that cook ten. So work on lowering the per unit costs, and, like that last example, starting with your kitchen equipment is the best way to start. Find a griddle that:
- shaves down the per unit cook times,
- offers more methods of cooking so you need fewer single-function tools, and
- has predictable temperatures so your staff can work on other ingredients instead of having to keep both eyes on the griddle.