Cost control of food involves several different practices and methods to ensure a restaurant or similar entity reduces spending on food purchases in order to maintain the appropriate profit margin for the business. It may include monitoring and adjusting purchases, changing storage methods and altering menus to include more economical options.
Purchasing food is one of the largest costs for any restaurant or food service business and, as such, requires constant monitoring to identify any areas of waste that can reduce the final profit of the company. One common cost control method is to review the purchasing frequencies and amounts for all orders from suppliers and compare it to the usage amounts of the restaurant in the same period to make appropriate adjustments. For example, if the restaurant orders 100 pounds of beef each month but only serves 50 pounds to customers, it can reduce the order by 25 pounds to save money while retaining an appropriate buffer.
Another method is to identify how much food waste the restaurant produces and look for ways to decrease it, which in turn helps reduce purchase orders. This can include teaching the chefs to utilize a larger portion of the food or updating the refrigeration units to keep food from spoiling. In some cases, restaurants may control food costs by removing dishes from the menu or replacing them with less expensive ingredients.