Are Astronomical Food Costs Worrying Your Restaurant?

by | Feb 24, 2023

Restaurants are forced to increase menu items due to exorbitant food prices, leaving owners & managers with a serious challenge.

Restaurants are forced to increase menu items due to exorbitant food prices, leaving owners & managers with a serious challenge.

How is the QSR industry keeping up with the increasingly astronomical food costs?

We all see the jokes about the cost of eggs. While the memes are funny and the jokes are well intended, the reality is that everyone, from farmers to customers, is struggling with the rising costs of food. So what does a QSR restaurant do to offset those costs and keep customers coming in?

There are a few tried and true methods. The first is the easiest and, in many cases, does not change customer behavior. Check your portion sizes. We’re not suggesting you shrink all your portions, but at least evaluate what you serve for the price.

Consider the difference between serving size and portion size when evaluating food costs. These terms are often used interchangeably but are very different:

According to Food Insight, portion size is the amount of food or beverage that you choose to consume. On the other hand, serving sizes are the amounts listed on food labels. These are not advice for how much to eat; they are the amount used to calculate information on the Nutrition Facts label.

Americans, on average, eat portions much larger than necessary for each meal. So one way to assist customers in regulating their intake is to demonstrate portion control/sizes and calorie counts. This practice also benefits the restaurant financially as customers will accept and understand the size of a proper meal.

Below we will discuss food costs and how to determine appropriate portions that will simultaneously satisfy customers and your finances.

For quick-serve restaurants, offering the right portion size and food quality is essential to ensure customer satisfaction and keep your business afloat. Portion sizing has many implications, such as cost control, plate presentation, and menu design. Analyzing what portion size you should offer effectively can be difficult, but with the right strategy, it doesn’t have to be!

When choosing portion sizes for your menu items, it’s essential to consider a few different factors. First, you want to ensure that the portions are sized so that customers get enough food for their money. This means understanding the cost of ingredients and providing that customers are not paying too much for too little food. Additionally, you’ll want to consider the size of your serving wrappers, boxes, and other serving packages. Make sure that there is an appropriate portion size for each menu item. Finally, it’s essential to think about the overall presentation of your menu items. Do larger portions look better or worse on a plate?

Once you’ve considered all these factors, it’s time to start experimenting with different portion sizes.

This can be done in several ways. You can test other size options on smaller groups of customers and gather feedback, have taste tests with different-sized portions, or even ask your customers what they think. Again, customer insights can help determine which portion size works best for your menu items and the overall customer experience.

In addition to experimenting with different portion sizes, it’s also important to consider how these portions fit into the overall cost of each menu item. You’ll want to ensure that you’re not pricing yourself out of the market while still providing customers with good value for their money. By offering portions that are appropriately sized and priced, you can maximize profits and keep customers happy. It is a win-win situation!

Lastly, add calorie counts to your menu if you don’t already. Customers may not like to know their portion sizes may decrease, but they certainly will like to know they are consuming a realistic calorie intake. When that happens, the smaller size will have less impact.

Choosing the correct portion sizes for your menu items is essential for success in the QSR industry. By taking the time to understand cost control, presentation, and customer feedback, you can ensure that your portions are appropriate for each item on your menu. This will go a long way to increase customer satisfaction and boost your business’s bottom line. Best of luck!

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