Cutting Back on Your Restaurant Costs

Everyone wants to own their own business. One of the most common and popular business ideas is the restaurant. A restaurant is ideal for those who value the culinary arts, which is basically everyone. There are many perks in owning your own restaurant, you have creative freedom over your menu and the ability to make and work your own hours. Sure, in theory, opening a restaurant seems like a formidable feat.

cutting restaurant costs
photo credit: Scott Smith (SRisonS) via photopin cc

Statistically, opening and managing a restaurant is one of the hardest jobs in the market. In a study by Cornell and Michigan State University, the data gathered showed that over 70% of businesses will end up closing their doors before even reaching ten years of business. It seems that recently, it takes even less time for business to close down, some not lasting a year.

There are several factors that contribute to the closure of businesses, but perhaps one of the largest contributors is poor finance management. The only way restaurants have been able to survive this economic environment is by cutting costs without depreciating the quality of their products. If you’re in the restaurant business or planning on venturing into it, here are a few creative ways you can cut costs in your business to keep it running for a lot longer than ten years.

Cut Down on Deliveries and Suppliers

A huge cost for restaurants are delivery services for their products. Many times, restaurants will receive products from multiple deliver services on multiple days. A creative way to cut costs is by only using one supplier for your products. If you need to, shop for suppliers that will produce everything you need in order to keep the back end supplied with quality ingredients. Also, be sure to cut on deliveries if you can. Perhaps instead of receiving deliveries on four days of the week, try cutting back to two.


A common habit among restaurants is automatically serving water to guests when they sit. Rather than immediately serving water, wait for them to order it if they want a glass. This will help you cut back on the water bill and encourage guests to order a fountain drink or a beverage off the tap (alcohol).


Large portions can be the death of the restaurant. Make sure you don’t serve your customers heaping portions of food. Keep an eye on how much food your customers are leaving on their plate. This should give you a good estimate on how big your portions should be in case you need to make changes.


You don’t have to cut back on the employees you have, just use them efficiently. By identifying slow days and times, you’ll be able to manage the amount of scheduled employees in order to use them when you need them. This will keep your restaurant from being under and over staffed.

Follow Recipes

Sometimes, cooks and chefs can be wasteful by “eyeing” the amount of ingredients they add to a dish. By having a fixed recipe with accurate measurements, you’ll be able to make the most out of the ingredients and supplies in your inventory.

Buying Wholesale Restaurant Supplies

Restaurant ingredients aren’t the only things you can buy wholesale. It’s also cheaper to buy restaurant menu covers, chairs, tables, napkin dispensers and cutlery. If you’re looking for a way to keep your restaurant supplies stocked and costs low, shopping wholesale is a great way to do it.

Opening and managing the finances of a restaurant can be difficult, but by following these easy tips, you’ll be cutting costs as well as growing your customer base in no time! Keeping up with strict policies can help you from spending unnecessary money. If you really want your restaurant business to succeed, remember, keep that money in your wallet!

About the Author: This article is written by Tara Miller