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Getting F&B back to business: Protecting your profit

Any preparation you undertake to reopen your restaurants and bars should include steps to protect your F&B profit. With fewer guests permitted in your outlets, your revenues will be negatively affected and your costs will likely increase, due to the added labor required to clean and sanitize all areas on a regular basis. 

This is the final of three blog posts on this topic (ready my earlier blogs on preparing and training your employees and preparing your physical spaces to keep guests and employees safe and healthy).

Getty Images
Getty Images

Revenue generation 

Have you researched every additional opportunity to generate revenue? This may include the following:

  • Creating a menu of take-out items available for hotel guests and for locals
  • Creating additional seating areas around your hotel or resort for guests to eat that take-out food
  • For locals, consider family portions that can be put together easily at home (such as assorted pastas with sauces sold separately by the pint, large-format salads with dressings sold separately, proteins with vegetables easily reheated in a microwave, etc.)
  • Offering alcoholic beverages “to go.” You’d be surprised how many people will purchase cocktails. 
  • Offering special pricing on all your wines. This is a great way to reduce your wine inventory and generate cash.

Purchasing

Suppliers: Contact all F&B suppliers in advance to ensure they are ready to accept orders as normal. Do they anticipate any problems with delivery of any items? Work with them. In many cases there is a surplus of supply, in which case you can negotiate discounts. 

Receiving area: Re-organize your receiving area to ensure you eliminate any risk of contamination. Also:

  • Clearly post your policies and procedures for all delivery personnel to read
  • Be vigilant with the wearing of PPE for everyone
  • Ensure delivery carts are wiped down after each delivery

Profit

  • Re-do all schedules to determine profits assuming different percentages of usual business, i.e., 50% or 75% of business.
  • Ensure you budget for additional cleaning personnel and supplies.
  • Create a smaller “re-opening menu” to limit the number of cooks in the kitchen and the amount of food wasted.
  • Study your recent sales analysis. Focus on your best-sellers and eliminate slow-moving dishes.
  • Double-check all ingredient costs. If they have gone up, either adjust your pricing or remove the item from the menu. 
  • Use this opportunity to study your operating expenses. Costs to print paper menus and to purchase disposable napkins, etc., will increase. Are there savings you can make elsewhere without affecting the quality of your product?
  • Renegotiate all contracts. We’re all in this together. 
  • Ensure you re-forecast your F&B P&L to know where you stand. 
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