“Saving money is making money.” It’s a statement you must have heard before, and for good reason. The costs of opening a restaurant can be high, but they don’t need to be. Your bottom line is a major priority, and in the fight to keep it happy and healthy, knowledge is power. Maybe you need a way to draw more customers, optimize your restaurant labor costs, or spend less on overhead – and lucky for you, these common problems have common solutions. 

These changes won’t be immediate, but if done right, your restaurant overhead costs should start to feel far less daunting! Without further delay, we are pleased to present four hacks to save on restaurant expenses. 

Buy More from Fewer Vendors

Bigger orders from fewer vendors means bigger discounts, and that’s exactly the goal we’re aiming for here.

The value of a bulk order is tremendous, almost necessary if you’re looking to stock a kitchen. But you don’t just need one ingredient, do you? If you’ve got a menu to fill, there’s a large shopping list attached to it all. And if you have a lot of restaurant expenses to deal with, the size of that bill can seem daunting.

Of course, as any errand run can tell you, shopping for groceries at multiple locations often isn’t worthwhile. If you’re ordering ingredients from multiple vendors at once, see what you can do to cut that number down. The vendors you stick with will be happy to see larger orders from you, and maintaining those relationships will be key in the long term. 

Watch the Market

Responding to consumer demand is paramount in the restaurant business. And it’s clear from ongoing trends that people like a more digital experience. That’s no surprise – the pandemic has raised everyone’s interest in contactless experiences. 

According to a study, 57% of customers are more likely to do business with those who offer contactless payment options. For delivery, it’s a market that’s growing at a rate of 11% with each passing year.

It’s a trend so strong, 50% of businesses adopting these systems expect to keep them as a permanent addition. That same study also projects that, from 2018 and 2027, the food delivery market is set to increase 308! This is a powerful sentiment, one that you should be aware of – and one that you can leverage to combat restaurant expenses.

As such, the demand for restaurant-focused technology has increased alongside the demand for delivery, and you’ll need to move along with it. This is especially important if you think your competitors might get into the game – be ahead of the curve!

Communicate Data Effectively

All the time and energy your employees spend on finding information is money down the drain. Streamline that process as much as possible to increase efficiency. A digital, tech-savvy environment can be a huge boon here. We know how useful collected data can be, but it’s not just useful to you! Often, the same customer data can be used by you and your employees to make everyone’s lives better.

This isn’t just about co-ordinating your front-end and back-end staff, either. Your team members in the back end also work between each other, so make sure everyone’s on the same page! Develop a system of communication, one that’s accessible to every staff member at a moment’s notice. And make sure you have the right software to do it!

This can also reduce turnover rates, another major expense for restaurant operating costs. If you can reduce the frustration your employees feel, and add enough quality-of-life features that your competition can’t match, those employees should be more likely to stick around. Cut those restaurant labour costs short, and your bottom line will thank you.

Emphasize the Digital

You already know how important it is to have a good looking dine-in space, and given the modern landscape, that importance is shared by a digital storefront. That online ordering platform should be a priority for you – not just in ease of use, but in terms of user-experience. Having a clean, attractive storefront doesn’t just apply in the physical world! But unlike 3D space, an online ordering platform can also be used to increase sales – upselling orders and delivering targeted experiences to each customer.

And even if you’re not doing delivery, 40% of customers want some way of viewing menus on a personal device, largely due to pandemic safety concerns. According to the same study, another 36% want some way of paying on their device, too. The digital way is the way of the future, and that’s where you’ll be getting your profits! Be forward-thinking and innovative – money always loves a good market leader, and each dollar saved is another step towards solving restaurant expenses.


About Smooth Commerce

Smooth Commerce is an all-in-one digital commerce and customer marketing platform for restaurants that combines online and mobile ordering, delivery, loyalty, and powerful marketing tools to help you grow your business, while giving you access to your customer data to help grow your restaurant. 

If you would like to learn more or talk to a representative from Smooth Commerce about how our platform can help you meet your loyalty goals, contact us at learnmore@smooth.tech.