How to Cut Your Restaurant’s Food Costs: Wholesale Suppliers, Reduced Waste and More

Running a restaurant can be extremely rewarding, especially when you’ve built up a loyal customer base of regular diners and have established a reputation for excellent service in your local area. Nevertheless, it’s no secret that managing a restaurant can also be expensive – especially when it comes to purchasing and preparing food. This is something we at Freshways recognise and always bear in mind when working with the hospitality industry. As the UK’s favourite wholesale suppliers, keeping our prices competitive is at the forefront of our business!

Top tips for reducing your restaurant’s food costs

Finding ways to reduce your restaurant’s expenditure while maximising profit is a great way to keep your establishment running smoothly and to ensure sustainable growth. To help you reduce your food purchasing and preparation costs – without compromising on the quality of your ingredients or the meals you serve – check out our top tips

Conduct regular inventory checks

The first step to reducing your restaurant’s food costs is to figure out exactly how much your business spends on food, and how much of that money could be saved. It will be impossible to make positive changes for your business if you don’t know where to begin, or where the problem stems from!

Conducting regular inventory checks will help you develop a much clearer picture of your restaurant’s food usage. From here, you can identify which areas need the most attention. For instance, you might notice during inventory checks that your chefs dispose of spinach and lettuce every week, because your diners simply don’t eat enough salad to justify the amount your restaurant orders.

Or, you might notice that one type of wine is significantly more popular than the other, or that there’s no difference in popularity between the most and least expensive bar snacks. Once you start to see patterns in your establishment’s food usage, you can find areas where your restaurant is overspending unnecessarily.

Work with wholesale suppliers

Finding reliable, trustworthy and reputable wholesale suppliers is one of the most effective ways to cut your restaurant’s food costs. Wholesale suppliers, such as Freshways, are celebrated for their expansive range of delicious products and competitive prices, so take advantage by finding a company you can develop a great professional relationship with.

There are myriad benefits to sourcing food products from wholesale suppliers, and cost is certainly one of the greatest. When you buy products in bulk, you can often take advantage of promotions and discounts that wouldn’t usually be available to you. This means your restaurant can buy more for less!

What’s more, working with a wholesale supplier means you can supply your diners with the freshest, tastiest food from leading brands. This will help to keep your diners eagerly booking tables! For instance, when you order wholesale goods from Freshways, you can count on us to deliver the very best dairy products in the UK, alongside eggs, baked goods and much more from leading brands.

Find fully-stocked wholesale suppliers

To save your restaurant money, it’s good practice to work with a select few wholesale suppliers. By finding a couple of great wholesalers who can supply everything your restaurant requires, you remove the need to order from lots of different places with varying delivery costs.

It is much more cost (and time) effective to purchase the ingredients you need from a selection of fantastic suppliers, as you can manage your budget and schedule accordingly! When you work with one or two great suppliers, you take away the need to fork out for multiple delivery rates.

Look around for discounts and cost savings

We’ve spoken about the many benefits of sourcing your restaurant food from wholesale suppliers, with one of the main advantages being that shopping from established suppliers can help you access great discounts. When you are regularly ordering large quantities of ingredients, even small discounts can help you make significant cost savings!

It’s always sensible to look around for discounts and promotions, which might mean changing where or when you shop. When you establish strong business relationships with wholesale suppliers and other local businesses, you will quickly figure out the least expensive ways to place orders, which products offer the best value, and which wholesale suppliers have the most competitive rates.

Order seasonal produce

There are myriad benefits to cooking with seasonal produce – including that it’s often much cheaper! If you are looking for ways to cut down on your restaurant’s food costs without compromising on the quality of the meals you offer your diners, then sourcing fruit and vegetables at the time of year they are most readily available is a great way to do so. As the food won’t need to be imported from elsewhere with a different climate, you will pay significantly less for fresh ingredients.

What’s more, your diners will love your changing menu! Dining at a restaurant with a menu that differs every time can help to make the experience entirely unique, so consider putting together a menu centred around wholesome, seasonal ingredients.

Keep your kitchen well-organised

Keeping your commercial kitchen well-organised isn’t just about maximising efficiency and making sure your food preparation staff can work in a safe environment. Taking the time to implement effective storage and labelling solutions can also help you make significant cost savings! Storage solutions, such as a first-in, first-out (FIFO) system, can make a world of difference to a commercial kitchen, as they make it much easier to see which ingredients you already have, which you need more of, and which need to be used up first.

Implementing a system like this will not only help your kitchen staff reduce the amount of food waste your restaurant generates – as we discuss in the next point – but also avoid ordering a batch of ingredients or items that you already have plenty of.

Limit your restaurant’s food waste

As expert wholesale suppliers who work with numerous cafes and restaurants across the UK, we recognise that minimising food waste is a key concern for many businesses. As a result, we recently shared our top tips for reducing food waste in your cafe or restaurant, with advice such as:

  • Track how much food you waste
  • Slim down your menu
  • Store all ingredients correctly.

Why is reducing food waste important for cafes and restaurants? Firstly, because we all have a responsibility to make better choices for the sake of our planet, and finding ways to cut down on the waste your business generates is a great way to do so. This includes reducing your organic waste, such as perishable ingredients and food scraps.

Secondly, because reducing your food waste will automatically help you cut your costs! There are many environmental and financial benefits to evaluating and changing your waste habits. For instance, by creating a more selective menu, you can minimise the leftover ingredients you throw away and simplify your restaurant’s shopping list. It’s a win-win situation!

Freshways: Wholesale suppliers you can rely on

Whether you manage a local cafe or large catering business, cutting down on food costs is essential. At Freshways, the UK’s favourite wholesale suppliers, our competitive prices and hassle-free food delivery services make this easier than ever.

As the UK’s largest independent processing dairy, we are proud to supply the freshest dairy products, including milk, cream, yoghurt and cheese, to hospitality businesses throughout the country – but that’s not all. We also stock the highest quality of eggs, baked goods, fruit juices, jams, spreads and dairy-free milk alternatives from only the best leading brands.

No matter your requirements, you can rely on Freshways to deliver exceptional wholesale food products every time. To discuss our services in more detail, or to place your order with the Freshways team, don’t hesitate to contact us today. We look forward to becoming your new favourite wholesale supplier.