What To Do With Your Leftover Restaurant Budget
So you’ve been careful with your spending all month, focused your efforts on cheap staples, bought your fruit and vegetables cheaply from source, and now you have budget left to spare.
Now, it’s just a case of working out what to do with it.
You have two options for the leftover cash; either save and invest it in the running of your business, or use it to spruce up your existing menu.
We run through the two options below.
Save And Invest
The most obvious thing to do with leftover budget is, of course, to roll it over for next month. That way, if you have any unexpected costs, or just want to plan a slightly more ambitious menu, you have a pot of cash you can dip into.
You don’t even have to use it next month if you don’t need to – you can always put it in the piggybank for emergencies, or towards any future developments you wish to make.
Pay Off Debt
Another great use for saved money is to pay off any mounting debts your business may be accruing.
Sure, the £7 you may have saved from your budget for vegetarian options over the past month may not look like a lot, but save it every month, add in any other savings you might make on your meat and fish menus, décor, rent, etc., and suddenly, it becomes a lot more!
So why not take some of the pressure off your shoulders by putting it towards your liabilities?
Another great option is to use the extra cash to make more £££!
Every business needs advertising, and these days a social media presence too. Nowadays, few people will go to a restaurant without checking the website and online menu first. If you’re not visible on the web, your business doesn’t exist.
While tweeting, chatting on Facebook, and blogging may feel like slacking, your social media management actually plays an integral role in the marketing and sales process.
If you’re too busy with the restaurant to manage your own social media, why not put your leftover budget towards hiring a social media manager? Or perhaps put it towards your hosting fees for a website? Or maybe you could invest in purchasing sponsored posts on larger websites?
There are many options when it comes to social media marketing, so why not see what’s best for you and your budget?
Another aspect which makes a big difference to the amount you can charge, is your décor. Think about it, would you pay £20 to sit in McDonalds’ for a meal, even if the food was top quality? Probably not.
When it comes to décor, the little details count. Plastic napkins or cotton? Bare tables or tablecloths? Do you have decorations such as candles and/or paintings to give the place some life? Is the styling modern, themed, or dated?
All of these aspects make a HUGE difference to the way your restaurant is perceived. Why not start a savings pot for a ‘restaurant makeover’? By next year, you could have gone from bog-standard eatery to local hotspot. Why not get the ball rolling now?
Dress Up Your Menu
Another option is to invest money on food items you wouldn’t usually splash out on.
Below, we’ve put together a list of useful ingredients which help to dress up your menu and make it appear that you’ve spent more money than you actually have.
Herbs And Spices
Herbs and spices are the fast road to flavour. Good spices can make the difference between a meal that tastes like a million dollars and one that tastes like a huge mistake. And of course, dried herbs and spices last for years – but they can be expensive.
So if you have leftover budget this month, what better way to invest your spare cash than in your spice rack?
A quick and simple way to dress up the appearance of any restaurant or bar is the addition of finger food. By adding these little extras, you can make your restaurant appear more upmarket – meaning you can then afford to put up the prices of the dishes.
These extras don’t even have to be expensive – they just have to look fancy. Extra bread, roasted corn, peanuts, hummus, and topped crostini are all great examples of low-cost food that will make your restaurant sparkle!
Invest In Wines
If you have a good amount of extra cash this month, one great choice is to sink it into your booze selection. Alcohol retailers will often give a discount when you buy in bulk, so why not get a little extra bang for your buck?
Buy a little extra this month then either sell it at full price and keep the profits, or sell it at a discount and encourage more customers to come through your doors – it’s up to you!
This is also a good time to think about purchasing the more expensive ingredients on your menu. Have a special with artichoke? Or a pricier cheeseboard? Well, why not get procurement out of the way now and buy those ingredients while your pockets are lined?
Likewise, if there are any large purchases of ingredients that you need to do (like for example, bulk buying potatoes or canned ingredients etc.), you may as well do it now!
If you buy a little extra of the canned or frozen ingredients you need, you can often keep them stored away for the future – while still making the most of your bulk discount!
This is also a great moment to check your stocks of condiments, salt, and pepper.
Sauces can be quite pricey, and it never hurts to have some extra in the cupboard, so you might as well check how much you have in reserve. Most condiments also last for months, or even years – so sauces are another food item that can be regarded as an investment for the future!
There’s plenty of ways to splash the cash; simply work out your restaurant’s weak areas and invest accordingly. But most of all, make sure you have fun with developing your business!
Article by Caterquip