How to Fight Inflation

Whether you’ve thought about it or not inflation is most likely affecting you in this day and age. So what exactly are the effects of inflation? Inflation can cause an increase in costs for those in the restaurant industry. Rent, food, labor, utilities, and insurance are prime examples. Customers can also be more hesitant to dine out as their everyday expenses are going up. Interest rates are also rising which in turn makes it more difficult for people to borrow money. 

How can you fight the effects of inflation? We’ve come up with several tips that can help save your business money while improving it at the same time: 

  • Use technology to reduce labor costs: Through online management systems, waitlist kiosks, and QR codes that lead to your menu or website. You can speed up tables and free up your employees’ time. Technology can optimize table utilization as well. Bussers can be informed in real-time when the table needs to be cleaned and servers can be kept up to date on all of their table’s statuses.

  • Rethink your processes: Rethinking your processes to see if you can reduce labor cost is a great way to help your restaurant make more money. If you have dishes that are very labor-intensive, consider if pre-made ingredients are worth the time saved or see if they can be made in a more efficient manner. 

  • Revisit your cost analysis: Take for example ranch dressing, is it less expensive to make your own or buy it from a larger distributor? Perhaps you could revisit your menu and retrain your servers to promote high-profit items. Perhaps even contemplate featuring these items as a weekly special or create a weekly special with items that your food provider has on sale. On the other hand, you can also take into account your low popularity/high-cost items as well as your low profit/low popularity items to see if they still belong on your menu. 

  • Increasing your prices may prove beneficial: You might even consider adding a special ingredient to some of your low-priced items. Perhaps you can increase the price of the original item, like a premium side, or see if you can bundle them with more expensive items. 

  • Evaluate portion sizes and ingredients: You can reduce portion sizes of some of your more expensive items. For example, consider reducing an 18 oz steak to a 16 oz portion. Also, look into substituting sides into less expensive options such as sauteed vegetables instead of mushroom risotto. 

  • Renegotiate with your technology providers: Some of the larger restaurant software corporations may be popular, however, they could be charging you per reservation or promote their loyalty program to your very own customers, costing you money in the long run. They could even be charging you for features that you don’t need and are not using. This can not only drive down your profits but also degrade your customer experience. Here at Hostme we encourage you to do your research and find the software that works best for you and your customers. We offer a free all-inclusive two-week trial and are more than happy to answer any questions that you may have about how we fit in within your business model! Contact us today to learn more.