Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Margins and the Little Things

I read recently about a firm that looked at restaurants to optimize their operations and provide predictive analytics on what food to cook ahead of the lunch time rush. With margins so small in the restaurant business it makes sense to try to cut pennies and find efficiencies where ever you can.

With that I think that condiments are going to become the next efficiency frontier. For instance I drink coffee black and it is virtually impossible to get them to not bring out cream / sugar at higher end restaurants. If you say no someone thinks that you have been improperly served and usually brings it out anyways.

For our Chinese take out - I tell them not to give me white rice - since we make our own brown rice at home (it is instant) and use that with the Chinese food instead. Now I am used to brown rice and white rice seems impossibly sweet. This also lets them save whatever it is that they spend on rice. That restaurant is smart because they also ask whether or not I need utensils before throwing them into the bag. If you are getting carry out usually you are eating at home on your own plate so that is another savings.

Restaurants should join the eco people and try to make savings on all these little items a cause which also happens to save them money. Also I would like to meet the one guy who is able to eat the immense dollop of butter that they bring to your table - it would be best if they just brought some and brought more when that one guy finished all of his. I have no idea who could use all of these condiments that just get tossed (hopefully) when you get up and leave.


Dan from Madison said...

On Bloomberg (where else) I heard an interesting discussion with the guy who invented Sweet and Low. He said that the personal size sweetener pack saves restaurants a zillion dollars a year due to losses from those old sugar shakers we used to see, that got caked up in humid weather.

Gerry from Valpo said...

That one guy who is able to eat the immense dollop of butter that they bring to your table here, raising my hand in the back of the room with a big shit eating grin : )