3 Ways Restaurant Kitchens Can Save Money Through Technology

By: AJ Beltis

5 Minute Read

May 22, 2018

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Work Surface And Kitchen Equipment In Professional Kitchen Min 739215 Edited
ways restaurant kitchens can save money

Commercial kitchen costs remain high for restaurants for many reasons – namely inefficiency and food waste.

In this post, we'll highlight three ways restaurant kitchens can save money to lower overall commercial kitchen costs with three of the most efficient technological solutions available.

1) Kitchen Display Screen

In the heat of a Friday night, cooks can easily be overwhelmed by the number of chits or tickets printed out.

Sometimes room runs out to display tickets clearly and chits drop or get lost – the whole system is not conducive to an efficient restaurant kitchen.

One slip asking for two burgers and a grilled chicken salad, another slip asking for a grilled chicken salad and a shrimp appetizer, and another asking for two more burgers is a much more complicated way of telling a BOH crew that they need to start four burgers, two grilled chicken salads, and a shrimp appetizer.

A kitchen display system (or KDS for short) displays the "all-day" requirements from the kitchen, so staff know how much of what to make.

This turns your back-of-house crew into an efficient machine; food gets out faster and more accurately enabling you to serve more guests and sell more every shift.

ways kitchens can save money

A KDS is also a cost-cutter, eliminating high paper and ink costs.

Let's assume a 230-foot roll of printer paper costs $4 and the average chit is six inches long. By this math, you could fulfill 460 orders with each roll. Accounting for variance and that the first and last few feet are typically unusable, that number looks more like 450 orders.

This means it's a little less than one cent – or 0.89 cents, to be exact – per paper ticket. With ink, let's round that up to an even cent.

Use the interactive calculator below to see how much you would save on ink and paper alone each year if you eliminated paper tickets. Your number of daily orders is multiplied by the number of days your restaurant is open per week, the number of weeks in a year (52), and the cost of a chit per order (one cent).

Keep in mind this is just the tangible savings – it doesn't include extra earnings from serving more customers or the savings from more accurate orders, which means even more money for your business. Think about how many more customers you'd bring in– and retain – if your wait times were shorter for getting food and orders were never wrong.

2) Inventory Tracking

Kitchens are messy – and that mess could be costing you money. When food falls on the floor, your profits walk out the door. This is where an inventory tracking module can help save money in your restaurant kitchen.

While there are plenty of manual inventory tracking methods – like par inventory sheets – available for restaurant owners, an automated solution is a headache free, proven way for restaurant kitchens to save money. Mike Peasland of Sambazon noted a reduced variance from 5% to below 2% by "more closely adhering to recipes and controlling waste" after implementing Toast's integrated inventory tracking system.

Inventory tracking – especially through the POS – calls on all restaurant kitchen employees to monitor spillage, deter theft, and report wrong orders for the sake of accurate sales reporting and higher profit.

3) Restaurant Handhelds

Okay, you caught me – this is technically a front-of-house technology since its guest-facing use is on the floor, however its money-saving implications are rooted in the back of house.

Handheld ordering systems fire orders immediately from the table to the kitchen. Because of this, there's less chance for error, which typically happens when servers have to walk to the terminal and maybe forget a detail or two about the order.

Custom-built restaurant tablets, like the new Toast Go, feed orders from the servers hand straight to the kitchen display system, further eliminating paper costs and saving on errors. This practice, adopted at restaurants like Eventide, creates an end-to-end technological experience for restaurants and their guests.

By sending orders to the kitchen faster, getting customers their food quicker, and reducing table turn times with one device, you'll get more out of your kitchen than you may have thought, and even add a few extra dollars to your bottom line. With their addition of a handheld POS system, Florida restaurant O'Maddy's Bar and Grille reported a 20% increase in sales.

Saving Money in Your Restaurant Kitchen

It's not too difficult to turn the most wasteful part of your restaurant into the most profitable, especially when technology is on your side.

Kitchen display systems, inventory tracking, and handhelds like Toast Go™ are three of the best ways restaurant kitchens can save money. Learn more about lowering your commercial kitchen costs by brining these game-changing technologies into your restaurants here.

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