21 Ways To Save Money In Restaurant Business: Priceless Ideas

Restaurants are businesses the same as the next and what it always does down into is money. If there’s no money there’s no restaurant, and if there’s too little money there isn’t a good restaurant. This means that saving money, budgeting, and spending money wisely is extremely important in order to maintain a good level of service and efficiency.

Within restaurant workers, it is widely known that money doesn’t grow on trees and we always talk about losing money to different causes and problems that seem to accrue every single week.

In this article, we are going to talk about money and innovative ideas in the restaurant business and I’ll give you some extremely valuable tips on what you can implement into your restaurant and save hundreds, even thousands of dollars. Let’s get started on our giant money-saving guide with 21 valuable ideas.

Be honest to your employees

Being honest to your employees about the restaurant’s money management, troubles, and money-saving ideas will help them to be more motivated and involved.

If your employees know what is going on, then they can share input which will make it easier for you in the long run since everyone knows their part of tasks that need to be done at work. After all, these are people who also want a paycheck! So by being honest with staff members about money worries, you’re helping them to feel more comfortable at work.

The restaurant will also have a better reputation in the community if it’s transparent with business matters and staff concerns are addressed properly as well which can only help your company grow from there!

Train your employees properly

Training your employees on how to properly use the equipment and supplies, how to handle ingredients, and reduce food waste will help the restaurant save money drastically.

Teach your staff time management and teamwork. When tasks are assigned properly, everyone understands their role in the restaurant’s success which will lead to a more productive workplace for all involved! This is because when employees work together as teams rather than individually they feel like they’re working with colleagues instead of against each other.

Motivate your employees

Motivating employees will result in money savings for the restaurant as happier employees are more productive and efficient, which ultimately leads to fewer mistakes.

When people feel appreciated they’re not only likely to be loyal but also come up with creative ideas that will help your company grow from there! You probably know what I mean by experience!

You should check our post about 17 Proven Ways To Motivate Employees

Reward employees from good work

Employee satisfaction is crucial for the restaurant to thrive. Rewarding your employees with gifts, promotions, and other rewards will not only help you save money but also keeps them happy!

The best way to motivate an employee is by giving them a little boost. Recognizing their hard work and even small achievements can make your employees feel appreciated which in return will keep them happy at all times when they’re working! To show you how it’s done, we’ve compiled the following list of rewards for good performance:

  • Flexible Workhours
  • Free meal at work
  • Bonuses for achieving restaurant’s goals
  • Discounted prices for off time for family
  • Small presents on holidays
  • Refreshment days with the staff
  • Company-sponsored training programs or conferences
  • Opportunity to advance within the company

Set a budget

Setting up a budget that’s smart and well-thought will help the restaurant save money because you’ll be able to see exactly what your spending so that in future months if something needs adjusting or done differently then it’ll make more sense than just guessing and trying different things for random periods of time! You should also try not to be too ambitious with estimates as this can lead to overspending in the future.

Partner up with the right supplier

Choosing the right supplier is vital to the success of any restaurant.
It’s a tough choice but it all starts with knowing what you need and finding out as much about your suppliers’ offerings before making up your mind. You’ll want to be sure they can not only provide quality ingredients but also have great customer service for when things go wrong or if there are questions that come up down along the way!

Learn More: Restaurant Food Suppliers: The Complete Guide

Order in bulk

Now that you’ve chosen a reliable and trustworthy supplier, it’s time to place your order. Ordering in bulk is the best way for restaurants to save money on their monthly food purchases while also reducing wait times between deliveries by pulling from one large stock! In addition, you will need to spend way less time ordering and thinking the next day. It can be tempting to take advantage of all those great discounts when ordering in bulk but remember, some suppliers only offer savings upfront, which means make sure before committing to anything. And don’t forget about how quickly products spoil even if they’re still safe enough to eat after the expiration date has passed!

Buy only what you need

We all know those situations when the dry ingredient stock room bursts with weird ingredients that you don’t even need. Buying smart is essential if you want to save money and space.

There are also some other ways that you should think about when buying the essentials from your food supplier. For example, think about what ingredient you can use for other dishes so you will need to order fewer ingredients which will save time, also ordering a lot of the same ingredient will save money as well!

Try different food grades

Food suppliers often offer many qualities of the same product and the prices will vary. You should try different ones and see which ones have a good price-quality ratio. This way you will be able to save money and also buy better quality ingredients.

I’ve seen the same situation a lot of times where people buy huge quantities of food they’re not familiar with because it’s cheap or free. There is always some risk and I really don’t recommend you take any chances, so be sure to do your research and testing before making such big purchases!

Don’t accept deliveries on rush hour

Accepting deliveries during the busiest time of day can lead to careless unpacking and storing. This will inevitably add up over time! Make up your deliveries with your food supplier appropriately, so that you don’t risk mistakes such as spillage or spoiling that would waste money, time, and effort to the winds.

Label every food

Labeling everything will save you time and money by reducing the chance of an employee making a mistake that can cost you both. For example, mislabeling something could be confusing for staff to figure out what should go where, when it is made, or even how much they need when stocking the kitchen! This leads to errors which in turn lead to spoiling food, therefore labeling is really important in terms of money savings among other things. Labeling containers with foods similar packaged similarly helps prevent confusion about products and keeps everything organized as well.

First in First out (FIFO) method

The FIFO method is a great way to make sure that the ingredients you order are not wasted. All of your employees should be up to date with this system and when unpacking the load. The right way to use the FIFO method is by placing the new ones at the back while bringing forward the older ingredients or foods.

Reduce food waste

Reducing food waste will save a lot of money in the long run, but the savings aren’t small in the short run either. The first step in reducing food waste is to understand why do restaurants throw away food. Only then you are able to focus on the problematic aspects that you need to acknowledge before trying to reduce the waste.

When the areas to improve on are clear, then start taking action and you will see huge savings starting to pile up really quickly

Learn More: How To Reduce Food Waste: Our Top 30 Ideas

Use everything

Using everything from the excess salads to the main courses will save more money than you had thought. There are many ways how to use food that wasn’t used! I have listed the top ideas below.

  • Sell foods in a Surplus Food Marketplace like Food for All
  • Sell foods to the employees with a generous discount
  • Use excess ingredients for ”chef’s special” for the customer
  • Make a mixed salad
  • Freeze until you need to use it again

Have a food prep checklist

Having a proper mise en place checklist will keep you on track about every ingredient and dish that is prepared al will be! This way, you will have a better idea about how much to order and not over-order.

Having the right amount of ingredients on hand at all times is crucial for keeping your food fresh! This way when it comes the time that we need more ingredients, you will know it in advance.

Use smaller plates

Many people are concerned with the size of their plate, but it’s actually a great way to save money and make more servings for your customers! Smaller plates can help prevent overeating because they trick our minds into thinking we have had enough. This small change in tableware could be just what you need to set yourself apart from other restaurants while also making sure that everyone has plenty of food on their plate. Using smaller plates is extremely beneficial in buffet restaurants so if you are working in one, that’s a fruit for thought!

Trending: Why Do Restaurants Use White Plates

Think about the buffet’s layout

The layout of a buffet will have an effect on the amount of food you need to serve. If someone is trying to go down the line, they are probably going for what looks like it tastes good and there may be less appetite after getting some goodies! This can lead them to take fewer trips which means that few plates had been used. That guarantees your savings in two ways: less food has been used and our guests at the buffet will enjoy their choices as well. Furthermore, placing low-cost foods first also saves money while slowly decreasing preparation needs for expensive meals.

Hire part-time employees

Why not ask for the help of your part-time employees when you have a higher demand than expected? After hiring some of course! They can be called into work and provide an extra hand when you have higher demand than expected. And if the other hand, there is less need then it’s easy enough just to get fewer people working that day without having wasted money paying full-time salaries.

Simplify your menu

Making a simple menu instead of one that haves 50 choices of everything will help you save time and money. It’s good to have a variety of choices for your customers, but this will likely end up with more food going wasted because people don’t know what they want and because of the fact that there is no way that all 50 dishes will get ordered before specific ingredients start to spoil.

If the customer is overwhelmed by too many options then he or she may not be able to go through all menu selections and they will get paralysis by analysis which is caused by too many choices.

How To Save Money On Groceries x
How To Save Money On Groceries

Remove unpopular dishes

After a while, you will notice that some of your dishes are not worth the trouble and should be removed from the menu. This helps save time in inventory for food items that aren’t being sold as often, plus its good customer service to limit choices if they’re not desirable by most people!

Install hand dryers to bathrooms

Hand dryers are an easy way to save money on paper towel costs and help the environment too! They’re a great upgrade for any restaurant owner trying their best at saving up cash flow without compromising quality or customer experience standards. In fact, most customers myself included love to see a quality hand dryer in the restroom instead of trash bins bursting with paper towels.

The average time when the investment for the hand dryer will be replaced and the savings will start to come in is only 7 months! That’s unbelievable when taking into consideration that a quality hand dryer will function for years!

Start saving: 3 Best Quiet Hand Dryers For Commercial Bathroom

Use free/low-cost marketing methods

There are so many low-cost or even free marketing methods for restaurants out there. For example, you can use the power of social media to get your message in front of Instagram and Facebook with little or no cost at all! Free food samples are also a great way not only to attract new customers but keep current ones coming back as well–what could be better than that? A picture is worth a thousand words, so why not take advantage of beautiful photos? Another good idea would be inviting influencers to the restaurant and share their experiences on social media, YouTube, or you name it. Your imagination is the limit here but it can be overwhelming in the beginning so you should check our post about the best methods to do this!

Free & Low-cost Marketing: How To Promote My Restaurant In Social Media

Trending: How To Get More Customers In Your Restaurant? 16 Steps To Consider

Turn off the energy consumers

It’s important for restaurants to be mindful of their energy consumption. For example, excessive heating and cooling of restaurant spaces lead your bills to skyrocket if you’re constantly turning on the AC or heaters that may run after hours without being used. Check the power eater appliances and see what they are doing and many of them have power-saving modes so you could turn them on. In addition, be mindful of other appliances and turn off the lights always when not using them.


Our article had quite a few important and useful tips for saving money in the restaurant business. If you are currently running a restaurant, we want to encourage and motivate your decision on trying out some of these tips. If you’re not in the industry or just starting one up soon then I hope this article was helpful for saving money when it comes time!

It is important that restaurants do what they can within their power (and budget) limits each day to provide a comfortable and inviting atmosphere to their customers.

Omar Abdalla

I’m the owner of JRS. While I love writing about food, I also enjoy peaceful and relaxed cookouts at home.

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