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Food & Overhead Costs: Are You Throwing Your Money Away?
Patrick SherwoodTue, Mar 17, 2020 @ 06:55 PM2 min read

Food & Overhead Costs: Are You Throwing Your Money Away?

Gotta spend money to make money, right?


But still, the ultimate goal of owning a restaurant is to make money. Reducing your overhead is one way to increase your profits, and there are several things you can do, even today, to start saving cash.


You might be tempted to cut back on labor — a good place to start, but be sure that it won’t affect your quality of service. Your reputation as a restaurant depends on it!


So what else can we do?

Keeping Your Overhead Underfoot

Some overhead costs, like rent, are fixed, recurring expenses. However, certain costs are influenced by the way in which you and your employees work.


Take your electricity bill for example. You may not have the budget to go out and buy the newest, most energy efficient lights and appliances, but you can ensure that the equipment you do have performs at peak efficiency:

Ensure kitchen refrigerators are clean and working properly.


  • Refrigerators: Cleaned inside and out, including the top and vents where dust might settle. Ensure seals are clean, intact, and working properly.


  • Water Heater: Again, the unit should be kept as clean and rust-free as possible. Refer to the manual for proper maintenance procedures, then incorporate those into your cleaning/maintenance schedule. To save more, power the unit down before arming your security system each night


  • Lights: Ideally, you’ll have LED lighting throughout your restaurant, but give priority to the most frequently used lights


  • Climate Control: Your A/C and/or heating system needs regular maintenance and cleaning. Be sure to clean vents and ducts where you can, but if you don’t know how to properly clean and maintain the unit itself, call an expert. 


Your other utilities can be managed in a similar fashion; be mindful of how much you’re using, check (and clean) equipment, and upgrade to more efficient options when that becomes economically viable. 


Food Waste (or Cash in the Trash)


Simple as that. Wasting food is literally throwing money in the garbage. 

Prepare food on sanitized surfaces & avoid cross-contamination.


That being said, the easiest way to avoid wasting food is to ensure your refrigerator shelves are organized and clean, and that everyone is practicing FIFO with food shipments. Ensure each item is accounted for, and that damaged goods are reported as soon as everything is put away. 


You can help mitigate food waste in the kitchen itself with proper portioning of ingredients. Scales and measuring cups should be readily available and consistently used, by everyone on staff. Most importantly, only prepare food on sanitized surfaces, and avoid cross-contamination.


Is Your POS Costing You Time (And Therefore, Money?)


In just the past few decades, we’ve seen unprecedented advancements made in technology. It’s kind of a double-edged sword; newer tech is faster, more efficient, and handles time-consuming tasks in an instant, when it would take a human laborer much longer (possibly many hours). However, flashy new tech also tends to sport a hefty price tag. Thrive Point-of-Sale can help. Give us a call at 817-750-3947 to see what our affordable POS with business-building features can do for your restaurant. 



Patrick Sherwood

Patrick Sherwood is a DFW-based copywriter and regular Thrive POS blog contributor.