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Offset the Cost of Food Waste

I am forever and ever reading articles about how restaurateurs battle the rising costs of food, and the devastating impact even miniscule increases have on their already razor thin margins. Today, I think I learned a little more about why managing food costs is so challenging – the problem of food waste.  According to a […]

I am forever and ever reading articles about how restaurateurs battle the rising costs of food, and the devastating impact even miniscule increases have on their already razor thin margins. Today, I think I learned a little more about why managing food costs is so challenging – the problem of food waste.  According to a story I heard on National Public Radio, food waste is the #1 material that ends up in landfills – and restaurants contribute 15% of that total.  Another interesting stat was quoted from Jonathan Bloom’s American Wasteland that said about a half a pound of food waste is generated per meal served. Who knew!

Aside from aiding in the procreation of the pest population, and contributing mightily to the creation of the highly potent greenhouse gas, methane, food waste also further eats away (pun intended) at the profits restaurants can attain. A handful of creative restaurants are trying new and innovative ways to reduce waste, such as removing the garbage cans from easily accessible places, but overall, the entire industry acknowledges that it’s a problem.

Here’s one idea – offset those food cost expenses by reducing your labor management costs (warning: shameless self-promotion is imminent). HotSchedules’ mobile and web-based employee scheduling, forecasting and communications tools can do a lot to counter-balance rising food costs by:

1)      helping you prevent unnecessary overtime,

2)      helping you enforce punctuality by pushing (and updating) the schedule in your POS, and

3)      delivering sales and labor forecast data that helps you schedule more accurately. 

At that doesn’t even take into account the time reduced managing employee phone calls and verbal or written requests for time off or schedule changes!

I’m not suggesting we shouldn’t overlook the food waste problem by any means.  But while we consider options and alternatives for improving on the issue, perhaps cutting labor management costs can help you keep the balance sheet in the black.

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