Staff costs are often the biggest expense of any hospitality business – one that has risen and risen over the last few years. According to the UKHospitality Christie & Co Benchmarking Report at the end of last year, payroll costs stood at 29.4% of turnover, an increase of 1.5 percentage points from the year before.
Obviously businesses are looking at ways to help reduce these costs through things like better forecasting, smarter schedules and employee retention. But savvy operators are now also turning their attention to the product side of the business to help offset some of these costs – by optimising menus, purchasing processes and inventory management.
Maintaining menu profitability
Keeping on top of changing ingredient pricing and how this affects your recipes can be a challenge if managed manually. And if you can’t manage the impact of increases then you run the risk of dishes on your menu quickly becoming unprofitable. With technology, any price changes to a particular ingredient automatically update in your recipes, so you can easily see how it affects the menu item. Using analytics, you can also fully understand the performance of your menus, so you can easily see your best sellers and most profitable dishes, and identify areas for savings and improvements. Technology can also help you deliver a better guest experience, by providing full information about your menu on your website, apps, digital displays and more. Including nutritional and allergen information on your menus also means health-conscious diners, or those with intolerances, can be confident in the options available to them. Not only does this attract more people to your business, but also promotes guest loyalty to keep them coming back.
By automating the purchase-to-pay and inventory management process, you remove unnecessary administration. For example, 3-way auto-matching of the invoice, goods received note and original order means you can manage invoices by exception, rather than having to review every one. Automation also eliminates paper from the process, minimising the risk of errors caused by rekeying information that can be costly if not identified, or add more work to resolve. In addition, technology also allows you to get more control over your purchasing, with sites being only allowed to purchase ingredients that they need for their specific site and from approved suppliers. Not only does this reduce ad-hoc purchases from local suppliers that can be more expensive, but also means you can capitalise on volume discounts and rebates.
Managing inventory and reducing food waste
Stock counting is essential for every business but when it’s a manual, paper-based process it can be unnecessarily lengthy and prone to error. With a fully-integrated, mobile solution you speed up the process and eliminate paper. Staff can complete stock counts quickly and easily on a mobile device, which can also work offline and upload the data later. As the process is quicker, stock counts can be completed on a weekly basis so you’re more on top of how much inventory you have, and its value. Combine this with more accurate forecasting and you’ll also be purchasing just what you need, which reduces waste and can have a big impact on your bottom line.
Our complimentary white paper has more hints and tips on how to offset rising staff costs with optimised menus, purchasing and inventory.
Stock-counting frequencies vary by organisation. Finding an inventory counting method that fits with the way you work (or even one that aligns with your brand or concept) is crucial to maintaining a healthy bottom line and avoiding nasty surprises.
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