Do you have the desire to increase the bottom line? Or maybe you need to decrease expenses, but don’t know where to start? Here to tell us how to increase margins and revenue growth is Steve Larkin.
Steve possesses 15 years of experience in hospitality including the restaurant and food services industries. His culinary background as a chef brings a unique perspective and approach to the concept of business profitability. Currently, he serves as the Senior Director of Purchasing for Source1 Purchasing.
We talked to Steve about how to increase profit margins and revenue growth and he shared these three tips with us:
1) Reduce Costs
Decreasing costs on items you are already buying directly impacts the bottom line. However, when you increase revenue, there are items such as labor, product, and service costs to consider. Therefore, not all of the revenue influences the bottom line.
In the hotel industry, if you raise room rates $10 to $20, there are other charges, amenities, and disposables to account for in that rate increase. As a result, those costs would not be realized in the bottom line. For restaurants, while it may be tempting to offer a flat menu price reduction, you have to stay consistent to your brand. Customers may get the impression that the food quality has been sacrificed or isn’t worth the price you’re offering it for during regular hours and decide to come instead during a slower time when a discounted price is available.
Earlier in his career as a chef, Steve created seasonal and special menus rather than discounting the entire regular menu. By utilizing these special menus to pique customers’ interests they began to recognize each one had a story to tell. Then, they came back to try other menu items. The identity and branding of each of these menus was consistent without compromising the quality of the food offerings the brand provided.
A few months ago, Source1 Purchasing helped one of its customers increase margins through a cost reduction of thirty-thousand dollars per year by switching from what they were buying to offering a consistent product across all locations.
Steve and the team met with a management group in Ohio and chefs from the company who were conducting a product cutting exercise. They analyzed the top three costly items the group was purchasing, which were bacon, sausage, and French fries. Then, they included the supplier in the discussions about the product to obtain the client’s feedback for each of the different options that would be a fit. They selected three new options that would work for them and a significant cost savings resulted.
2) Utilize Built-in Incentives with Suppliers and Distributors
Take advantage of drop-size discounts, private label incentives, or quick-pay discounts. Inquire with someone in the accounting department about the feasibility of adjusting payment due dates. Instead of having invoices held in a ready-to-pay mode until the due date, during his days as a chef, Steve arranged to pay all invoices with a produce vendor weekly and was able to capture a 1.5 percent discount. These are some viable options to consider for increasing margins.
Rebates worked for Source1 Purchasing customer Wilderness at the Smokies Hotel & Waterpark Resort. Steve explained how the team also conducted vendor price comparisons and the resort could save money on items he was already purchasing from vendors he was already using. Between Q3 and Q4 of 2017, the resort increased overall savings by over 7 percent.
3) Raise the Quality of What You’re Providing to Justify a Price Increase
Stay true to your brand yet don’t be afraid of quality and value. When Steve worked as a chef at the family-friendly restaurant, Crayola Café, health and wellness was increasing in popularity. The team conducted a great deal of research to determine ways they could involve kids more into food selection at the restaurant.
He led the menu revision process which went from traditional American fare (chicken nuggets and French fries) to one that incorporated a healthier, build-your-own-salad component. Kids were engaged in the experience and had fun being a part of the decision-making process. Since a higher quality product was being offered, they were able to raise prices on the entire menu 5 to 10 percent. This is one way to increase revenue.
The Source1 Purchasing Solution
At Source1 Purchasing, we can help you in your quest to increase margins and grow revenue. With no charge for membership, we can supply everything from the parking lot to the roof top. Being a part of our group purchasing program means you’re eligible for pre-negotiated, national account pricing with suppliers.
You can realize discounts on nearly every category that hotels and restaurants already purchase from for food items, operating supplies, equipment, small wares, and services. There’s no long-term contract required and our supply partners collaborate with you to ensure your product mix is the best while maximizing returns.
Are you already a member? If so, make sure you’re optimizing your purchasing program with the tools available within the community Marketplace, mySource1Purchasing.com, such as the Contract Product Match Report. Steve pointed out the likelihood of items that are available at contract prices that you are currently buying at a higher cost.
There are items you were buying yesterday that you can make better purchasing decisions on today to increase your margins tomorrow. Another valuable resource is the Performance Report. It shows how much you’re spending on contracted items versus your total spend. The idea is to be able to grow that metric. In order to do that, Steve suggested capturing as many discounts, savings and rebate opportunities from the Source1 Purchasing program as possible.
If you are not a member of the Source1 Purchasing Program, let us work with our supplier partners to determine if you’re utilizing the top items and obtaining them at an ideal price. Signing up allows you to tap into our suppliers. Steve reminded us that it often requires a small change from you to venture out and order with someone new. With the possibility of a 7 to 12 percent savings, you have everything to gain including increases in margin and revenue growth.
Contact Us today and get a free purchasing analysis.
Are there any other ways you’ve increased margins and revenue to meet your goals? How are you going to utilize the tips we’ve shared to help you in 2019? Please let us know by commenting, below.