MLF: WHAT WAS THE SECRET TO YOUR SUCCESS?
TH: It’s super simple… buying smarter. Knowing what your stock value is and buying only what you need from week to week.
In the past we’d been stock holding and buying food that we didn’t always need. We’re in a regional location so with the delivery challenges that brings, we had to learn to plan and place orders in advance. It’s ended up saving us a lot of money.
MLF: WHAT’S THE #1 THING YOU’VE LEARNED?
TH: Nowadays, we never make any menu changes til we run it through Costimator first to see the potential COGs and profit margin impact.
We fully cost up all Specials and trial them for a few months. If they tick all the boxes – selling well, priced right, means tested, products right – we consider putting it on the main menu.
MLF: WHAT WAS THE BIGGEST SETBACK, AND HOW DID YOU OVERCOME IT?
TH: Our regional location. We had to get into the habit of planning and ordering in advance to account for the 2 day delivery turnarounds with the right suppliers. Before that we were defaulting to our local suppliers for faster delivery which wasn’t sustainable anymore.
It took us a bit of time to get it right, and now we don’t think twice about it. Scheduling orders is just part of the weekly routine.
MLF: WHERE DID YOU GAIN EFFICIENCY IMPROVEMENTS?
TH: The first is the Menu Engine report in Costimator. It’s where we saw all our hard work fall into place, particularly with trialling new Specials. Being able to easily see our sales mix – what’s selling, what’s profitable – instantly, has saved us a lot of time.
It also gives us the confidence to run high cost items like steak on our menu under $40 for the plate. We know our customers love it, and the rest of the menu facilitates this by having the right mix of dishes.
The second is stocktaking. Our counts used to take us all day, now it takes 2 hours if that. It’s a good system that’s saved us a lot of time.