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Tips to Lowering Catering Food Costs


Hey Catering Business owners! My name is John Cohen – Founder of Total Party Planner more commonly known as TPP! 

Let’s talk about food costs today!

Are you closely monitoring and controlling your food costs? This daily discipline is going to be the cornerstone of maximizing profits – so let’s take a look at 5 ways to decrease those costs! 

I also invite you to click the link below to download a seasonal ingredient cheat sheet!

So here we go with the costing tips for this week!

  1. Monitor your plate waste! Are the portions you’re serving just too big? This is probably the easiest thing we can do as caterers to reduce the overall cost of menu production.
  2. Limit menu offerings in a given time period. This will cut down on the overall number of ingredients to purchase and maximize usage of the ingredients you do purchase. TPP has a nice trend analyzer to help drive sales to particular menus.
  3. Check out a group purchasing program like SB Value! By leveraging the buying power of thousands of companies you’ll save big. On average companies are saving 16% on orders! We’ll be doing a short podcast with our friend Clint Elkins of SB Value soon.
  4. Utilize seasonal foods! When supplies are higher, prices are cheaper. Not only are you saving money, but it doesn’t get any fresher than the farmers market! 
  5. Implement a technology solution like TPP to easily track costs, see trends, and manage budgets. Instant cost analysis at the click of a button.

Back in my catering days as a young boy, my parents were always disciplined to keep food costs under 30%. Ultimately this produced an extremely profitable company giving them revenue to grow the company and also have a better quality of life outside the business.

So… Where are YOU currently the cost curve? 

So as a recap. 5 things to think about for reducing food costs:

  1. Know optimal portion sizes to reduce waste.
  2. Limit offerings in a given time period to maximize inventory.
  3. Talk to our friends at SB Value or find a local group purchasing program.
  4. Utilize those seasonal foods! I can taste the freshness and the savings.
  5. Utilize some kind of automation technology to track costs.

As a bonus, we put together a seasonal foods chart that you can download NOW by clicking this link!

Thanks for reading and we look forward sharing more catering tips soon!