5 Small Ways to Make Big Gains on Your Profit Margins
5 Small Ways to Make Big Gains on Your Profit Margins
Dec 15, 2023

Food, beverage, and labor costs make up the biggest slice of most foodservice budgets. Keeping these expenses at bay is essential to running a successful operation. But what might not be as clear are the smaller, more subtle ways to make a big impact on your profit margins. Take a look at these top five tips to get more bang for your buck and send those profits soaring.

1. Control inventory

Food costs add up. Having a solid grasp on what’s coming into your operation is one of the top proactive actions you can take to control food waste and profit margins. An easy way to stay on top of this (without constantly pouring over inventory paperwork) is to first train your employees on the importance of first-in-first-out procedures. Be aware of use-by dates and store items properly. The next simple solution is to invest in a point-of-sale (POS) system that has an inventory control program included. Innovative programs help reduce waste by keeping you informed and organized while streamlining the ordering and inventory process.

2. Optimize menu selections

Carefully planning and preparing dishes that share ingredients can cut down on food waste. When more menu items utilize overlapping ingredients, there’s a better chance they’ll end up on a customer’s plate — through one menu item or another. In addition, creating daily specials that optimize unused ingredients also helps to limit food waste. For example, if you serve chicken fajitas for lunch service Monday, a smart move is to make a chicken tortilla soup for your Tuesday daily soup selection. Seasonal menu options also help boost profits by using readily available ingredients (and often less expensive) during their peak growing season. Local ingredients might also work to cut out some delivery expenses as well. Whatever the case, making smart food choices and menu selections is a big financial win.

3. Properly train employees

Labor is a big hitter in most foodservice budgets, making up approximately 28%-35% of costs. Training employees in process improvements is one way to gain profits by creating more efficiency throughout your operation. Also, explaining “the rules” to each new employee will pay off substantially. For instance, if an employee knows proper food safety techniques, they’ll opt to toss out the pot of leftover soup that didn’t cool properly. It might be sad to watch it flow down the drain, but waving goodbye to that questionable product could save your customers from getting sick — and save you from financial or reputation damages from improper food handling.

4. Repair or replace old equipment

Smooth running kitchens often work in synergy; even one piece of broken or old equipment can pull multiple areas of your operation down. Take a good hard look at the equipment that needs attention and weigh your return on investment (ROI) to determine if repairing or replacing the equipment is in your best interest. Preventative maintenance helps prevent equipment from breaking down. Doing this even once a year can avert the cost that comes with equipment downtime during service. In addition, modernizing your operation’s equipment is one simple way to boost your profit margins. You might have an upfront cost, but newer equipment is often more efficient and has features that can elevate your menu capabilities.

5. Capitalize on automation

Automation is one of those features that can fast track your business toward big gains by providing labor-saving solutions. Investing in commercial kitchen equipment with automation capabilities does this by increasing your staff’s ability to multitask. Programmable presets, conveyor ovens, auto-load/unload capabilities, and multiple other innovative technologies can help your people do more with less. In addition, smart tech works to increase consistency in the cooking process by lowering food waste from under or over-cooked foods. With automation at hand, it won’t be long before your budget (and your customers) begin to reap the benefits!

Domino toward big profits

Small investments or changes in your business can domino into substantial profits for your establishment. As a foodservice professional, your operation has unique needs. Paying attention to the small actions you can take now will pay off big in the end. Want help identifying other small actions that can make a big difference? Read our blog post, “Top 3 Ways To Create a More Sustainable Foodservice Business.”

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Shuttle® NEW 2600! 2000/1600/1200
Shuttle® NEW 2600! 2000/1600/1200

If you value precision and volume, Ovention has the perfect oven to fit your operation. The Shuttle sets the new standard for conveyor ovens everywhere. No other oven can operate as both a conveyor and a closed-cavity oven.

Matchbox® 1718/1313
Matchbox® 1718/1313

Cook a full menu of delicious offerings without an oven hood. The Ovention Matchbox 1718/1313 takes the traditional conveyor oven to a whole new level.

Conveyor 2600/2000/1400
Conveyor 2600/2000/1400

Simple, smart and the right fit for operators looking for a high-throughput conveyor oven. The Ovention Conveyor Oven is the most technologically elegant and operator-friendly conveyor on the market today.

Matchbox® M360 14/12
Matchbox® M360 14/12

Cook a full menu better, faster, and easier. The Ovention Matchbox M360 has Precision Impingement® technology, a unique cooking carousel, and a small footprint, making it the perfect fit for any operation.

Finishing F1400
Finishing F1400

Finish your plates with ease and precision with this robust IR finishing conveyor. Melt, sear, toast, and finish to perfection with this operator-friendly, quiet conveyor.

MiLO® Double/Single
MiLO® Double/Single

Revolutionary infusion of Linear Impingement and Infrared (IR) technologies. Independently controlled top and bottom cavities, each with its own interior light and control panel.


Introducing MiSA; Microwave Speed Assist. Higher quality, higher speed, smaller footprint.

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