Operations

Top indies' keys to controlling costs

Operators share how they are keeping costs down amid rising overhead and increased competition.
Photograph courtesy of Original Joe’s Westlake

Given rising overhead and increased competition from both restaurants and retail operations, these top operators share how they are keeping costs under control.

Komodo: “Continuous increases in real estate prices, repairs and maintenance costs, supply and shipping costs, etc. have created many challenges for lots of restaurants. We try to manage our costs by monitoring through daily labor productivity reports, food and beverage cost tracking, an internal maintenance team, P&L recap meetings, etc. to ensure the management team is aware of the revenue, costs and profitability of the business they are managing.”

Carmine’s Times Square: “Had to cut back internal delivery service and utilize third-party delivery services; delivery is up 18%.
Junior’s Broadway: Tighter scheduling, cross-training.”

Virgil’s Real BBQ: “Utilizing third-party delivery services has had big returns. Delivery is up 36%.”

Franciscan Crab Restaurant: “Managing staff schedules.”

Abe & Louie’s: “We continue to manage overtime and control labor on a daily basis.”

Original Joe’s Westlake: “Staying proactive in seeking efficiencies to offset rising costs.”

Tavern on Rush: “Minimum wage continues to rise in Chicago with the fight for $15. We’re constantly looking for ways to cut costs, whether its regarding labor, food costs, marketing, etc.”

Paradise Cove Beach Cafe: “Keeping up with rising labor costs while trying to stay affordable to our middle market guest base.”

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