3 ways to cut food and labor costs

Operators working to increase profits can do so by taking a hard look at what’s already going on in their restaurants. To optimize costs, it’s important to know where to find some common hidden costs. Inexpensive equipment may seem like a great deal upfront, but could end up costing more in the end due to inefficiency, labor clean-up and waste.  Operators should analyze a few areas of their operations to help uncover and mitigate potential pitfalls.

Minimize Waste

Inefficient processes and food waste can add up quickly. Finding equipment that minimizes food waste and products that are packaged to enable a long shelf life for “as needed usage” will help decrease waste.  For example, Monin has shelf-stable pumpable fruit purees which can be used instead of large tubs of refrigerated fruit puree that expire in seven days, perhaps before being completely used up.   

Additionally, investing in the right type of equipment for your operation is critical to cost savings.  Traditional soft-serve machines tend to be large and bulky and need to be cleaned daily with excess product disposed of.  However, there are new technologies available today, like the f’real B7 behind-the-counter blender, with smaller footprints that use single-serve products, which means operators can decrease waste and food costs and dramatically reduce cleaning times. 

Use equipment that multitasks

By finding equipment that is designed to be versatile and designing menu options around that equipment, operators stand to benefit greatly. For instance, if a restaurant offers paninis, creative LTO options can regularly be introduced, keeping the menu fresh without needing to add additional equipment to the kitchen. Similarly, finding a frozen beverage machine that can make milkshakes, smoothies, frappes and blended drinks without needing individual blender jars is a great way to minimize space, reduce capital costs and keep the menu continually fresh.

Minimize cleaning and prep time

Equipment that requires a lot of prep work and clean-up is a definite labor and waste pitfall.   Finding products that are packaged for quick and easy preparation and equipment that is designed to be easily cleaned will save on labor costs. For instance, disposable cups can be used instead of washable cups—which can help with to-go business as well. In the realm of blended drinks, quick-wash blenders may not seem like they’d save a lot of time, but consider this: with a machine that takes less than three minutes to clean (both between drinks and at the end of a shift), how much time does that add up to over the course of a week or pay period?

Researching the right type of equipment, food products and packaging for your store can go a long way in developing smooth and efficient systems that avoid waste and ultimately save costs and increase profits.

This post is sponsored by f’real foods


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