With record-breaking inflation, restaurants are looking for every way they can to cut costs and keep menu prices consistent. If your restaurant is feeling the crunch of increasing expenses, here are a few ways to cut costs and balance your books. 

How to Fight Restaurant Inflation 

To fight restaurant inflation, try these tactics to spend less while getting more out of what you already have. 

Offer customer-facing ordering options. 

Labor costs are going up, and restaurant employees are becoming more difficult to hire and keep on staff. To avoid the increase in expense that comes with hiring new staff, use technology that allows you to continue serving guests with a smaller team. Fast casual and quick service restaurants can use self-ordering kiosks to take orders and process payments, all without decreasing the customer experience. 

Customers are already familiar with self-serve touchscreens, so they can easily order from a kiosk or tabletop tablet. Plus, self-ordering kiosks can speed up service and lead to more accurate orders while requiring fewer staff.

Related: The Ultimate Guide to Using Self-Service Restaurant Kiosks

Improve your inventory use. 

Each time your restaurant throws away spoiled food, it is money in the garbage. To cut costs and fight restaurant inflation, set up better restaurant inventory management systems that prevent food waste. To improve your inventory systems, use a restaurant POS with real-time inventory monitoring. When your POS is synced with inventory management, you can see stock levels adjust after every order, allowing you to only order what you need (and make sure you’re always stocked with what you need). 

Another way to better utilize your inventory is by monitoring portion control. Make sure your team is trained to serve the accurate portion of food on every plate. Utilize BlueTooth portion control scales to help your team keep an eye on every serving before it goes in a dish or on a plate. 

Related: 7 Ways to Reduce Waste in Your Restaurant

Make changes to your menu.

To adapt to restaurant inflation, you may need to make changes to your menu. Review your menu and the costs and profit associated with each menu item. Since prices have gone up, now is a good time to re-evaluate the profit and popularity of your menu items to see if you need to make any changes. 

Use your point-of-sale system to pull sales data on your menu items and calculate the cost of each item. Then, determine if you need to make any changes to your menu and offerings such as:

  • Update your menu to highlight high-profit items to increase order frequency. 
  • Remove low-profit, unpopular items that customers don’t like and cost too much. 
  • Try to change ingredients on low-profit, popular items to bring down food costs.

For more guidance on updating your menu, check out Lavu’s free ebook How to Create a Successful Restaurant Menu.

Evaluate your vendor list. 

While reviewing your menu, also take the time to review your vendor list. Pull a report on all of your vendors and your ordering history. If you don’t have an accurate vendor list, use a tool like Sourcery to organize and manage all of your vendors in one place. 

Review the vendor information and see how you can make changes to create savings. 

  • Can you condense vendors to order from fewer companies?
  • Can you get a deal for ordering more from one vendor? 
  • Can you cut down on delivery frequency to save on delivery fees? 
  • Can you find vendors offering the items you need at a lower cost?
  • Can you buy non-perishable items and materials like to-go containers and napkins in bulk to bring down costs?
  • Can you negotiate pricing with any vendors that you have a good partnership with?

Audit your expenses. 

To save money, you need to know how you’re spending money. Spend time auditing all of your expenses to see where you can cut costs. You might be surprised to find that you are paying for things you don’t need or that there are cheaper, better options available to you. 

Some places where you might be able to cut expenses include: 

  • Credit Card Processing Fees: Credit card processing fees are often one of a restaurant’s biggest expenses. Consider implementing a cash discount program to help your restaurant cut this high expense while also putting more money in the pocket of your customers.
  • Point-of-Sale System: Some legacy POS systems have high costs or equipment you no longer need. Consider your restaurant POS systems costs and see if there is a better, more affordable option. 
  • Marketing Costs: When you have a restaurant to run, it’s easy to set some processes and let them run without checking in on them. Marketing can often fall into this category. Take time to review your marketing initiatives, budget, and ROI to ensure you’re getting the best bang for your buck. 

Related: 20 Cost Saving Strategies for Restaurants to Reduce Expenses

Get Tools to Fight Restaurant Inflation 

Restaurant inflation is real, but there are ways you can combat rising prices. Use the tips in this post to save on costs and make adjustments to bring down costs. By lowering costs, you can keep menu prices consistent and customers happy. 

If you need help with adding new technologies and systems to bring down restaurant costs, Lavu is here to help. 
Talk to our team about how our restaurant POS system offers features to support self-ordering kiosks, sales reporting, inventory management, and other tools to help you cut costs and run your restaurant with less overhead. Schedule a demo with our team today.