Five strategies for cost control in commercial catering

Cost control practices can make or break your business. Here is a look at five great ways to ensure that you are not losing money through bad habits.

Five strategies for cost control in commercial catering

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1. Portion Sizes

If your portion sizes are a bit haphazard, the same dish will make or lose different amounts of money every time you serve it. Portioning things such as rice into portion pots in advance will make for a faster service and a consistent portion size, even when working with a number of different chefs.

2. Wastage

Throwing away food is like putting your cash straight in the bin. Getting your portions right will reduce wastage, as will keeping accurate records of stock. Regular stock takes will soon show you if an item is not being used effectively or costed properly and will make future ordering easier. It also gives you a chance to keep things clean and make sure that stock is being rotated properly and not left at the back of the fridge to go bad. It’s a good idea to do a full stock take at least once a month.

3. Record Keeping

Keeping records of your stock is not the only way to help control costs. Safe food practices, such as checking the temperatures of your fridges and ingredients upon delivery, will mean that your ingredients will keep for the maximum amount of time. The Food Standards Agency has a useful guide on what other records to keep.

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4. Staffing

Recording how many covers you do a day will help you predict busy periods and staff. Don’t be afraid to send staff home early if the shift turns out to be quieter than expected. It might not seem like much, but every penny counts when it comes to commercial catering.

5. Costing

Work closely with your chef to make sure everything on your menu is costed correctly. The money you take in doesn’t just have to cover the cost of the ingredients to make it, it also has to pay staff, electric and heating bills, rent, and much more.

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