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Top 5 profit vampires in your business

Profit Vampire #1: Not having accurate dish specification
One of the single biggest causes of lost profit is not having a clearly defined, fully-costed and up-to-date list of ingredients and component recipes to work to. Food retail is no different to any other retail and so we should all adhere to the fundamental rule of business which is to know exactly what every component that makes up each meal is, down to the last gram, and know the cost price for every recipe and every dish.

Profit Vampire #2: Guessing your cost price
Your chef may assure you his method of taking the protein cost, adding 50p and multiplying by 3.5 will deliver ‘near enough’ profit. The fact is that whenever these guestimates are subsequently accurately costed, an uplift in profit is guaranteed – usually in excess of 5%. Over the course of the year that’s a huge impact.

Profit Vampire #3: Garnish
How you garnish your food matters. If you find the majority ends up left on the plate and ultimately in the bin, the waste isn’t just the cost of the product (lettuce is the biggest offender). Consider also the man hours used over the year to prepare the garnish - washing it, chopping it and assembling it - as well as the power used to refrigerate it. Expensive ingredients such as fancy frilly lettuce and micro herbs have a limited lifespans so if you over-order there will be even more in the bin.

Profit Vampire #4: Not accounting for food consumed by staff
The main thing here is control – all food should be accounted for (and that includes yours if you eat at the premises). Staff even pinching a few chips a day will impact on your profitability. Get a staff food book and ask them to write in the details every day; let them know that if they have food without writing it down they will be charged full retail price.

Profit Vampire #5: Not using specific measures
If you’re not accurately measuring every portion that gets cooked you will be in danger of giving too much food on a plate or wasting food in the cooking process. For example, if you put just three too many chips into the fryer you may be able to re-cook just once but then they will spoil. Over the course of a year those three chips could add up to 165 kilos (assuming 20 portions a day).

Posted by on: May 5th, 2015

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