May 17, 2020

How Restaurants and Chains are Cooking Up Savings

tips and tricks
restaurant chains
Frazer Jones
3 min
How Restaurants and Chains are Cooking Up Savings
With produce and other food costs going up, restaurants, bakeries, and specialty shops across the country are searching for ways to cut culinary costs w...

With produce and other food costs going up, restaurants, bakeries, and specialty shops across the country are searching for ways to cut culinary costs without sacrificing quality.

From small artisan bakeries to multi-location restaurant chains, retailers are making sure they don't overcook their budgets. With lowered expenses in mind, here are a few ways food producers are cooking up some savings:

Keeping Track of Popular Items

Inevitably, some menu items will be more popular than others—keeping track of this can help inform food producers about future buying trends. Whether it's a dinner dish that sells out every night, or a sweet treat that flies off the shelves, tracking popular food items is one way restaurants and bakeries are making cost-effective food choices.

When food producers know which food items are likely to move faster than others, they can avoid over-ordering ingredients and overproducing items that aren't as popular. This eliminates food waste, which is one of the largest expenses in the food industry.

Cooking From Scratch

When restaurants and bakeries take a do-it-yourself approach to the food they make, it results in major cost savings. Buying bulk ingredients in separate amounts instead of premade quantities takes the premium off the price tag while improving overall quality.

For example, restaurants that purchase flour and baking soda instead of premade dough can save money on commodities as well as on refrigeration costs for dough that would otherwise have to be stored. (Not only that—cooking fresh food from scratch always tastes better, too.)

Eliminating Unpopular Options

Just as tracking popular menu items can help inform food producers what to buy in the future, tracking unpopular food items can help inform what not to buy.

As the following article shows, cutting unpopular items from the menu and the budget is just 1 of 4 routine expenditures you can cut back on if you're trying to save money in your restaurant.

Tech savvy restaurants and bakeries may track ordering through their computer systems, but the wait staff can also inform the restaurant on which menu items aren't being ordered.

Cutting unpopular items from the menu is another key way to reduce food waste, save on refrigeration and storage, and open up space on the menu for new items.

Using Multiple Suppliers

Having one or two food suppliers makes the ordering process easier, but costs tend to rise as a result. Many smaller restaurants and bakeries use multiple suppliers in order to keep costs down.

Instead of buying all their meats from a single source, they may buy their beef cuts from one butcher and their pork cuts from another. Using multiple suppliers not only creates competition and bargaining power for food producers, it also gives them access to the best product possible.

From meat to seafood to produce, buying from multiple suppliers means restaurants can choose quality over quantity. This also means smaller bakeries and local restaurants don't have to buy in bulk and waste money on food they don't need at the moment.

When it comes to culinary costs, food producers are doing all they can to save money while still cooking up quality eats and treats.

Adam Groff is a freelance writer and creator of content. He writes on a variety of topics including food and budgeting


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Jul 13, 2021

Lidl's climate targets and carbon neutral ambition

Helen Adams
2 min
Discount retailer Lidl vows to reduce emissions from its own operations and to support suppliers in their own climate targets

Discount retailer Lidl has announced its aim to reduce CO2 emissions from its own operations. 

By 2030, Lidl aims to reduce its operational emissions by 80% across all 32 countries it operates in.


Lidl lowering prices and carbon emissions

To achieve this, Lidl will focus on cutting carbon emissions across its retail stores and distribution centres in a number of ways:

  • Solar panel installation on all new stores, where possible
  • Improving overall energy efficiency through investment in the latest refrigeration and lighting technologies 
  • Lidl will operate 350 electric vehicle charging points at its stores by 2022
  • The company will also oblige suppliers, representing 75 % of product-related scope 3 emissions, to commit to their own climate protection targets according to the methodology of the Science Based Targets initiative, by 2026
  • Lidl will continue to support farmers in Lidl GB’s Grassroots programme, to conduct develop carbon reduction plans.


Lidl’s ambitious targets to make a significant contribution

Lidl has been building partnerships with other suppliers to boost sustainability, such as its initiative with Wyke Farms to produce a supermarket-first carbon neutral cheddar and Lidl’s commitment to ban peat from its compost range by 2022.

“With the UK hosting COP26 in November, this is a crucial year in the fight against climate change and we recognise our responsibility to reduce our emissions to help tackle this important issue”, said Christian Härtnagel, CEO at Lidl GB. “As part of the Schwarz Group, Lidl has a presence in 32 countries around the world and more than 310,000 employees globally. We’re therefore one of Europe’s largest retail businesses and through these ambitious targets we hope to make a significant contribution by not only rapidly decarbonising our own operations but also supporting our suppliers to do the same. As a discounter, it is ingrained in us to be constantly looking to maximise efficiency and reduce waste. Whether it’s how we heat and light our stores, or how we transport food from our suppliers to our warehouses, we are continuing to find ways to cut emissions across our business.”


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