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When you own multiple units of a restaurant or manage a chain, it can be challenging to stay on top of food cost. Your menus may differ from location to location, making each menu item different in price and impacting profit margins.

There are strategies you can use to manage recipes across multi-units and chains as well as maintain consistency in your revenues and profits.

Repeat Recipes at Multiple Locations

There are a few reasons to use the same recipes and menu items at all your restaurant’s locations. First, it provides a consistent experience for patrons. If they dine at one location and then try another, they expect menu items to taste identical. If they don’t, they may be turned off from one location, or from your brand in general.

Also, using the same recipes at all locations helps you easily manage food costs. If you know that the hamburger plate costs $6.73 to make, you don’t have to recalculate menu item cost for something different at another location.

Use master menus at all locations, then maybe add a few local specialties. Maybe you have a rotation of five dishes that are only found at a particular restaurant location to give it a unique flavor.

Pay Attention to Customer Preferences

Just because you repeat recipes at all your restaurant locations doesn’t mean that every dish will be a hit at every chain. You may find that in the west of your city, where you have a few restaurants, not nearly as many people order steak as they do in the south. This information is valuable because it helps you winnow down your menu to the most popular and profitable menu items.

If there are menu items from your master menu that aren’t making a splash, remove them. This will cut down on food costs because you won’t have to continually stock ingredients for those dishes (that might go to waste if no one’s ordering them).

Use the Same Vendors

Working with the same food and supply vendors keeps your expenses consistent and easy to calculate. Also, the more you order, the bigger the discount you qualify for. You’ll also have consistent quality of products, which makes it easier to be assured that every dish you serve will be a hit.

Use One Restaurant Software Platform

Managing operations, inventory, and food costs individually at each restaurant is counterintuitive. Yes, you can see profits for that restaurant, but you don’t get the bigger picture. With one restaurant management platform, you get insight into how dishes are doing at each location, what expenses are getting out of control, and where you might make efforts to reduce food cost.

Learning how to manage recipes across multi-units and chains makes you a more savvy and productive restaurateur. You’ll streamline operations and reduce expenses with very little effort.

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