Increase the profitability of your pub menu

The devil really is in the detail when it comes to increasing the profitability of your menu, with small changes to buying and processes potentially delivering a big impact to costs

Tips for improving profit margin

Reduce food costs through effective benchmarking

Consider own brand products

Making in-house VS buying-in

Tips for improving profit margin

In these challenging trading times, the profitability of your dishes has never been so vital, and it is key that every dish earns its keep on the menu and delivers a strong GP, or on selected dishes, a cash margin balanced by the overall GP achieved across the menu mix.

We recently put together ideas for how you can focus specifically on your meat offer and your drinks menu to drive more margin.

There are a range of simple ways you can increase the profitability of your menu

  • Switching to cheaper cuts of meat
  • Stretching the protein in dishes by mixing with other ingredients
  • Using more cost-effective fish species
  • Using vegetables as the star performers of more dishes
  • Using more seasonal produce
  • Reducing portion or product sizes and looking at strategies to help reduce waste, such as ensuring every ingredient has multi-uses on the menu

By working closely with us, a wholesale foodservice, we can advise you on new opportunities or benchmark pricing in your range to support you with maintaining or driving GPs further.

An expert account team at your service

Our expert team are always here to share their support and advice to support the profitability of your pubs business. Alex Boynton, National Account Manager for Pubs business shares the following thoughts on this crucial period:

“With the cost of living rising, it is essential to keep customers engaged with your outlet and coming back for more. No matter whether you are looking to create a destination feel for that luxury meal out or to construct a price fighting weekday menu for savvy savers, we are here to help.”

For more support and pub menu ideas to help you overcome the challenges faced in the industry, discover ‘Unlock Your Menu’.

Increase profitability - tips for improving profitability Alex Newman Bidfood

Reduce costs through regular reviews

Regularly review the ingredients and products you are using for menu purpose, quality and price. Score each product and consider if its cost is justified and if it’s essential to a dish.

This exercise isn’t about cutting quality, but ensuring you are buying as cost-effectively as possible. Some of your more expensive ingredients will be essential to continue using for the quality and flavour profile they bring to a dish, consumer demand and market fit, but there may be an equal quality but cheaper alternatives available.

Look at where there are easy savings to be made, without a fallback on quality.

Discover our wholesale meat and wholesale poultry range for new ideas and to start your benchmarking process.

Lewis Allington, Head of Food at St Austell Brewery tells us how they have switched to a buttermilk chicken burger from Bidfood. Lewis says:

“The burger is a fantastic product, which came out top in a blind tasting. As the highest selling item on one of our menus, it will make a big cost saving to us over the year.”

St Austell Brewery are a family-owned company with around 38 managed pubs and 140 tenanted and leased pubs.

Consider own brand products

Oakman Group uses Bidfood’s ‘Everyday Favourites’ mayonnaise (04135) on its menu. Ross Pike, Chef Director says: “It is a really good product and at the cheaper end. We use this mayonnaise as a carrier to create things like our harissa mayonnaise.”

High volume items such as chips (including sweet potato fries), tinned tomatoes, flour and base tomato sauce are among products where many pub/bar operators are making the switch to own brand product to benefit on price.

Expert advice from our team

Ian Whittingham, Bidfood’s Business Development Controller says: “Our expert teams have the knowledge to know which products will be an acceptable switch to an operator or those that won’t work for their market and customer.”

Bidfood’s ‘Everyday Favourites’ range includes over 700 chef-approved quality products to help support chef teams ranging from scratch cook ingredients, prepared meals and valuable time-saving solutions.

As well as analysing ingredient costs, it is also worth considering the profitability of each dish in terms of the labour, productivity hours and the energy costs it takes to make the dish.

Analyse ingredient costs

Analyse ingredient costs and consider the profitability of each dish in terms of labour, productivity hours and the energy costs it takes to make.

Would it be better to buy-in quality stocks or sauces, so in-house skills on menu areas where customers will notice the difference will make you the most money?

Labour costs

If you are short on team members and skill in your kitchens then consider removing labour-intensive dishes/ingredients, but if you have skill available, then look at if more dishes can be taken in house to increase the GP.

You may want to retain some elements of the dish for your chefs to create, but assess if there are components that can reduce labour and energy costs by buying-in.

Ready-prepared dishes

Take the strain off labour by including some microwavable individual prepared meals, such as a multi-portion curry or chilli.

Use frozen products

Use frozen products such as diced chicken breast, vegetables for pies, soups and hotpots instead of fresh, or a frozen risotto base which can be customised by the chefs. These will all help to reduce prep time, waste and cost.

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