You may think that despite providing a ‘all-you-can-eat’ service at such a flat rate how do a buffet restaurant business manage to stay profitable?
Well, while you’re too busy stuffing your plates up… the buffet restaurants are busy making profits in many ways.
For a buffet restaurant owner there are three things to focus on:
- Cut cost wherever possible
- Choose ingredients wisely
- Use customer psychology for your buffet layout
Let’s look at some ways a buffet restaurant makes profits:
1. By Saving Labour Cost
In a typical buffet mostly all the dishes are prepared in advance so the waiter only has to assemble the dishes before the buffet. Moreover, the buffet restaurant is self-serving so a huge team of waiters won’t be required.
As a result, you can operate with a small team and lower your labor cost.
2. By Saving Raw Material Cost:
A buffet has at least 10-12 varieties of food from starters to desserts. To prepare for any buffet raw materials are required in bulk. Such raw materials can easily be procured at a discounted price. You can also partner up with your supplier to buy raw materials which will give you an additional discount on your raw materials purchased.
This can significantly reduce your raw material cost and help you save a lot of money every time you organize a buffet which can easily increase your profitability.
3. High Beverage Markup
Buffets don’t include drinks as a part of their menu. This is a great opportunity for owners to make their buffet restaurant profitable.
People often like to drink alcohol or carbonated drinks while having a meal. People also tend to overeat at buffets which makes them more inclined towards ordering drinks along with their buffets.
Drinks are priced at 3x-5x times more than their actual cost. Given that beverages have a higher mark-up, your drink sales will compensate for your flat buffet fees.
4. Cut Down On Food Cost
Invest in a fast billing and inventory management process, implement first in first out storage method, set expiry and low stock level alerts to make sure you don’t waste your inventory and never run out of it.
A good restaurant point of sale software will enable all these features for you to use. These key technologies are important and can help your buffet business to cut down on cost and grow more.
Additional tips for saving costs in your buffet restaurant:
- Use large serving spoons for items like rice and vegetable to make your guest’s plates gets filled with it
- Use smaller spoons or tongs for stations like seafood, chicken and dessert
- Always have a salad bar, if your guests start from salad it will mostly fill them up by the time they reach to your expensive items
- Use small serving pans and utensils so you don’t put out huge quantity of food out at the same time and will also minimize your food wastage
- If you’re serving something like pani puri, sev puri or turkey make sure you have a specific station for it where a designated person will give out the food in a controlled portion
- Track the items that are being consumed quickly and which ones are not and make changes accordingly
Buffets are a great business model but it requires careful planning and expertise to stay successful in the long run. Hope this helps you in organizing your buffets profitably!
Your suggestions are welcomed in the comment section below.
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