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Looking to cut costs and stay on top of the ‘healthy dining’ trend? This post is for you.

By Katya Baxter, Nutritionist,

Does your restaurant want to cut costs? Consider reducing your protein inventory.

Just the other day I came across The Hotel News Resource article that lists some of the practical ways to cut costs for your restaurant in 2011. At the top of the list: cutting stock levels or slashing expensive protein purchases.

What does this have to do with a blog on nutrition? Everything!

If your restaurant wants to capture the growing ‘healthy dining’ trend, or is considering either creating or expanding its healthier menu selection, this can be a perfect starting point. Not only can you lower costs, but you can also create a more balanced and healthier menu.

Clearly, as a society, we use more animal protein than we need, and this shows up in our overall declining health, as well as on the balance sheet.

If you are concerned that your customers will feel as if they are losing value because of smaller portion sizes, consider replacing the missing ounce or two of protein with a slightly larger side dish. Uniquely prepared side dishes are highly sought after as suggested by menu expert, Nancy Kruse. And customers will be more than willing to pay a premium for such uniquely prepared healthful items they otherwise would not  cook at home.

Where do you start? Review your recipes to see which ones might be good candidates for a makeover. Play with different portion sizes and recipe costs by plugging them into MenuMax application. It will save you time and food waste. And when you have a good idea of what your new portions might look like, begin testing them in the kitchen.

With the healthy dining trend on the rise, this is a perfect opportunity to capture its benefits while also cutting costs.

What are some other food items you can consider cutting down on to reduce costs?

1 comment to Looking to cut costs and stay on top of the ‘healthy dining’ trend? This post is for you.

  • One of the most important things a restaurant can do is to accurately access all of their recipe costs. It is never been more important to update your recipe costs every month. When you consider that most restaurants have approximately 30-40 entree offerings updating the costs can be a very daunting process.

    I have discovered that using MenuMax is a great way to accomplish that. Additionally, frequent analysis of your menu will enable you to identify the drivers of your business, many times the items that sell the most are not always the items that are the most profitable. Food costs are rising daily and you just can’t wait until month end close to find out that you are losing money on every sale.

    The suggestion that using less expensive protein items is a great one and using a tool like MenuMax to build your recipes, costing, and nutritional information is a great tool to enable that strategy.