, UK

10 tips to survive the rise in food prices in the restaurant industry

Food inflation in the UK hit its highest rate in three years in June. Food and non-alcoholic beverage prices were 2.3 per cent higher than a year earlier, up from a rate of 2.1 per cent in May. Therefore, restaurant operators need to get wise to this growing expense without causing harm to their business.

Mark Kuperman, chief operating officer of Revenue Management Solutions (RMS), gave ten tips for operators looking to reduce costs without impacting their bottom line.

1. Rethink the menu

Executive chefs need to be sure before re-engineering their menus. It is all about using fewer ingredients more creatively and wisely. This will present operators with ways to cut costs in a way that will be invisible to customers.

2. Don’t try to be everything to everyone

Streamlining the number of dishes on offer to customers will help operators reduce food costs, whilst also improving execution.

3. Do the maths on operational efficiency

Chefs should look at the operational impact of specific menu items, to see if the way certain dishes are prepared impacts on profitability or throughput. There are menu items that are very profitable, but actually slow down service. It’s about understanding operationally where those bottlenecks occur.

4. Understand price barriers and which ones your customers are reluctant to cross

For both independent and multi-site restaurant operators, there are certain price barriers consumers are reluctant to cross. Chefs would be better off re-engineering portion sizes or the ingredients served with a dish, than crossing barriers that may be prohibitive to customers.

5. Be unique

If operators get creative with menu items, using lesser-known ingredients, customers are less likely to have a frame of reference for price, which in turn means they will be less likely to balk at any price increases.

6. Leverage loyal customers

Savvy operators need to be reaching out to their customers through social media or point-of-sale data to provide incentives for repeat visits.

7. Combat rising costs with greater efficiency

Operators should be turning to technology, not only to deliver on that all important customer experience, but also to get ahead of the competition in terms of increased efficiencies. Technology seamlessly steps in as a silent partner to take care of all aspects of the customer journey, leaving staff to deliver on the experience.

8. Keep price changes small and more frequent

For many operators, price increases are inevitable. However, in an environment of increasing costs, this is much easier for customers if done in small increments over time.

9. Change your hours of operation

A restaurant open for breakfast, lunch and dinner may not open between 3pm and 5pm. Therefore, there is room for operators to better align their opening hours and in turn, staffing requirements. This is where independent restaurants reap the benefits of flexibility.

10. Don’t cut staff

Cutting staff impacts the overall restaurant experience. There’s the saying, ‘food brings them in and service drives them out’ – it’s important for operators to remember that cutting back on service is not the answer.

Join QSRMedia UK community
Since you're here...

...there are many ways you can work with us to advertise your company and connect to your customers. Our team can help you dight and create an advertising campaign, in print and digital, on this website and in print magazine.

We can also organize a real life or digital event for you and find thought leader speakers as well as industry leaders, who could be your potential partners, to join the event. We also run some awards programmes which give you an opportunity to be recognized for your achievements during the year and you can join this as a participant or a sponsor.

Let us help you drive your business forward with a good partnership!

Top News

Benugo to provide food & drink offering for upcoming ABBA Voyage
The offering will include a premium ‘Departure Lounge’ area, a concourse eatery, four public bars, and a Prosecco bar.
Promotions
German Doner Kebab bolsters operations team with new appointments
Nick Scovell has been appointed director of operations, taking over from Michael Biggins who begins his new role as director of strategic initiatives.
Caffè Nero signs delivery partnership with Just Eat
The new partnership with Just Eat is another step in expanding Caffè Nero’s ‘New Channels Strategy’.
Operations