Running a restaurant is one of the most difficult business ventures you can take on. Scores of restaurants close every day. Costs can rage out of control and totally wipe out whatever meager revenues are taken in. While you may not want to cut corners, there are certain things you can do to save time and streamline your processes. For one, not every item on your menu has to be made in-house. Below are five examples.
In Italian cuisine, antipasto is a traditional first course. As such, it’s an excellent appetizer to add to your restaurant menu. It’s a very easy appetizer to assemble because there is no cooking involved. It’s also convenient because you don’t have to make any of the components—usually cheese, Italian cold cuts, and olives—in-house. Instead, you can assemble the antipasto quickly, setting up an attractive presentation with light foods that will satisfy your diners while you prepare their meals.
Hummus with Pita Chips
Another great appetizer you can outsource from a supplier is hummus with pita chips. It’s a simple classic Mediterranean dish that is hard to mess up, and it’s easy to serve, requiring very little time. You can buy your hummus and the pita chips that go with it from a supplier and make a hefty profit by adding it to your menu.
Most restaurants use bakeries and baking companies as suppliers. Baking your own bread is time consuming, requiring a lot work and early hours so that the loaves have time to rise at least once. Outsourcing that work to a trusted supplier is often the best choice. It will ensure that you have enough time to devote to your other food.
Bread often fits in with any of several parts of a meal. If you serve bread to the table before the meal, as a side on the meal, or as an appetizer component, you can save yourself some time and effort by contacting a supplier for your French baguette loaves.
Dessert is one area where you can outsource, and customers will typically not notice or care. In that regard, one of the biggest crowd-pleasers on a dessert menu is cheesecake. Before you serve the cheesecake, you can add some easy embellishments, like chocolate sauce, whipped cream, or nuts. That way, diners won’t think about whether it was made in house or not.
One of the most often outsourced menu categories is the drink menu. Soft drinks, beer, wine, juice, tea, iced coffee drinks, and other beverages do not need to be made in-house unless you are connected to a brewery or vineyard. Unless alcohol is a focus of your restaurant, you probably don’t need a bartender, either. You can buy good wine from Wiens Cellars (Temecula Winery) and you can also find premade mixes for popular cocktails like margaritas that customers will love.
You can’t outsource everything on your menu to a supplier. However, there are certain menu items that do not need to be made in-house. Using another company to procure these items for you can save you a lot of time, money, and effort. That can make a big difference for the bottom line of many restaurants.
Anita is a freelance writer from Denver, CO. She studied at Colorado State University, and now writes articles about health, business, family and finance. A mother of two, she enjoys traveling with her family whenever she isn’t writing. You can follow her on Twitter @anitaginsburg.