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Watching the Margins

by Martin Boyd

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Let’s start on a positive note – things are Getting Better. (I know some of you will channel your inner John Lennon and add – ‘they couldn’t get much worse’*) But things are getting better across the Catering and Restaurant sector - the steady return to work for many will increase after the Summer, and of course, events have been increasing in number and size in the last few weeks.

However, as the pandemic upset subsides and things become more encouraging there is no doubt that it's still not plain sailing - the cost of food is soaring, staff costs are rising - it's now as important as ever to watch the margins – do you have the tools to do that? Let's consider...

3 ways to be a Canny Catering Manager

Keep up to Speed

When menu item prices are fluctuating things may need to change! Having the ability to update menu costs, or remove/replace items easily is vital. Spoonfed users have full access to their online menus and can make unlimited changes to prices and to any menu items and their associated allergens/calorie details. But what if a customer selects ‘Re-Order’ to get something they had last month? If a menu has been changed (in price or content) since that order they will get a notification that this menu is no longer available. Frictionless = crucial time saving for already stretched team.

Manage the Menus

As we just considered, menu management is crucial…but it doesn’t just need to be about increased costs. Building fixed price menus with ‘Extras’ sections and ‘Up Sells’ is another way to generate revenue – we can show you how to be smart with setting up your menus. Portion control too from item to item can be managed for platters and if you are making changes clear kitchen notes (which appear on the production notes) can be left for the kitchen staff to get it right every time. Or is it as simple as needing to remove certain menu choices because you don't have the catering team to do this efficiently and cost effectively? Spoonfed gives you the control required.

Be Clever with the Charges

Of course, you can set a minimum Order value for taking orders. But using Service Charges is where you can really start being clever across a number of areas, eg. applying charges when the order value is less than or greater than X. And you can make the charge a fixed price or percentage of the order amount. Having comprehensive control on Delivery Charges too is another key area where you can make sure that revenue isn't lost – each delivery zone with their own rules for when charges apply is key to getting this just right.

Using these tools, and many others, will help you to react to the demands that are placed on catering businesses at the moment and help you watch the margins.

*FYI - Getting Better – track 4 on Beatles’ Sgt Pepper Heart Club Band album


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