Minimising waste can be a huge challenge for any business, but particularly for the hospitality sector – If the ‘small stuff’ is overlooked, over time it adds up and impacts profit. Given the current climate, it’s worth reviewing, as making some small changes could make a positive difference.

Focus on the tips below to help drive profitability:

Food waste: Ensure all fresh, frozen & dry food is correctly stored and ‘use by’ dates are closely monitored. Also focus on minimising waste throughout preparation. Portion control is also critical – Cater for your audience and don’t ‘over plate’ food that will end up in the bin!

Over Pouring: It’s common for mixologists to pour spirits into a jigger, allowing overflow into the glass. Keep a close eye to ensure exact amounts are poured to reduce waste.

Glassware: Ensuring glasses are clean and in tip top condition is vital to pouring a good pint. If glasses aren’t cleaned properly a build up of proteins, oils or bacteria will develop – Resulting in flat beer, which inevitably will be returned from customers.

Topping up: Post Mix is a product that generates high margins. However, topping up with a spirit and mixer where the glass is not full, can have a dramatic impact. Set post mixes to exact volumes to ensure it’s the same every time.

Equipment: Regularly maintain and check your equipment to ensure it’s running with maximum efficiency. Leaking dispensers are a very common issue, which very quickly increases waste.

Stocktakes: It is worth having regular drink and food stock takes so that you can keep a close eye on your profit margins.  A significant drop in your margins can highlight high wastage and, sadly, theft. The cost of a stocktake could end up being far less than the value of the stock you may be losing.

Promotional sales: Promotions are very effective in increasing sales and knowingly lowering the yield of a product for an increase in sales can still return a good margin. For example, if a drink were to cost £5 but the second drink was half price, the product yield would be 75%.

Stock rotation: Ensure deliveries are being put away properly. All new cases are going to be stored at the bottom of the stack, everytime – Selling the oldest stock first will prevent out of date stock.

Free drinks: Drinks ‘On The House’ are a great way to gain trust in your locals, but watch this carefully, as it can result in a huge drop in drinks margins.

Energy: Energy is hugely costly (particularly in the current climate) and often produces exceptional waste. Consider replacing old lighting with LED alternatives, heating your venue correctly and improving your cellar layout – For more useful pointers, see our blog on Energy Saving Tips.