Reducing cost is the most challenging aspect of healthcare foodservice today because of the emphasis on cost control. Finding the balance between cost, labor and profit takes a lot of time, accuracy and data collection to help run an efficient operation. While it may seem difficult, it is not impossible. Here are 7 tips to start saving more and wasting less.
7 Steps That Help Your Operation Cut Cost
Keeping track of your production need is vital to your inventory level. Making sure that your inventory matches your production flow helps with accurate ordering. This includes updating your inventory list regularly and not mixing seasonal menu items with the base list.
Retail meals generate over 60% of hospital revenue. While many hospitals are upgrading their retail meal quality and menu items, few are actually adjusting the price. One way to maximize profit from this revenue stream is to price meals correctly. Complete a comprehensive pricing audit and incorporate the cost and labor to determine the right price. Instead of offering meals that are below average in quality and price, offer competitive menu items that match the food quality and price of local deli shops or cafeterias. Revenue streams can also be increased by adding new items at market price.
The Receiving Department is crucial for cost control. This is where things can go wrong if left unnoticed. Training staff and assigning one specific employee to be in charge of receiving provides consistency. It’s important that this staff member checks each box, be able to identify the quality of the product, and compare items received with the order placed. Implementing standard Receiving procedure reduces the chance of orders and product quality being compromised.
Similar to inventory, storage levels should be as close as possible to your production rotation. This is an example where storing less is more because if you order more than you cook, your operation will lose money by having to discard spoiled produce. Placing perishable items in the freezer may diminish food quality and increase potential for loss. Conducting monthly inventory control, tracking unused products and adjusting subsequent orders accordingly all help with cost reduction. When storing organic produce, use sealed and air tight storage containers to help extend the freshness as organic produce spoils at a faster rate.
The entire production process is an important one as expenses can quickly get out of control if not closely monitored. Control cost and waste by following accurate production recipes and procedures. Disburse only the amount of ingredients needed to produce the quantity of food needed in order to improve efficiency and limit unnecessary food cost.
While it’s easier to control portion size in room service, portion sizing retail meals in cafeterias can be more challenging. A lot of times, more food is served than is actually consumed. By finding the right balance and making sure that the portion size is consistent with consumption, operators will reduce cost as well.
Investing in security cameras, having a no cash policy and keeping valuable products locked and safe help with revenue accuracy and increases staff efficiency as well.
Often times, food service adjustments are required in more than one area so proper and consistent documentation of each step of the process is equally important to a well-balanced food service operation.
Talk to a Cambro Healthcare Specialist for ideas on how to save in your operation.