Category Archives: disposable

Manage the Pennies and the Dollars will Follow

It should be no surprise even when considering the state of today’s economy, that 100 pennies still equal a dollar, but you might be surprised how overlooked this can be within the walls of restaurants. Everything from the oil you use in your fryers to the paper wrapped straws you hand out by the handfuls cost various quantities of pennies. Thoroughly reviewing your inventory and usage of these and all similar items could drastically benefit your Cost of Goods. This practice of Managing Pennies” can also spill into non product related areas of your operation.

One example of “Managing Pennies” in areas other than groceries, would be with your labor. Have you checked the employee break practices for your state? You may not be required to provide paid meal breaks or maybe you are; either way, it’s worth reviewing to insure that you are compliant with local laws. Continuing on the subject of labor, staggering employee clock in and out times is another underutilized option among operators. It’s likely that most restaurants “cut” employees early to curtail expenses, in fact I believe that practice has been in place since the first server ever carried a plate. But, how many of you stagger your schedule in the kitchen area? It may not in fact be necessary for all three of your lunch cooks to arrive at the same time, or for the stewards to be there two hours before lunch service. The solutions are as unique as the issues, but there are some proven solutions to these and many other problems.

The best suggestion is for you to tap your resources for solutions to these issues. Make it a contest for your staff to suggest ways to save pennies. I was involved with a project where this was encouraged, and over $8,300.00 was saved by a bartender who suggested the house salads served with every meal be made in advance rather than producing them to order. As a result, the bus person who’s job it was to make these salads, could now focus on the dining room better, and save a little labor in the mean time.

This was a real win-win opportunity, and they aren’t all so immediately beneficial, but your staff is in the trenches and they really know your business front and back. If you don’t have the resources internally, you should contact a professional. Similar to your house plumbing or your car being serviced, there are professionals in this field who can help you and your staff operate in a more efficient manor. Either path you chose to travel, keep in mind that everything, and I mean everything costs something. Maybe it’s just pennies a piece you could save, but they do add up.

Mark Ladisky

Restaurant Consultant