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Four Tips to Cut Food Costs from NATSO's Conference

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For two and a half days, the industry gathers to find knowledge, solutions and connections at NATSO Connect. Just like NATSO Connect, the NATSO Connect Magazine is your source for improving your travel plaza business operations. 

Four Tips to Cut Food Costs from NATSO's Conference

During The NATSO Show 2017, Michael Ouimet, president of Oiumet Resources, which operates travel center restaurants in 11 states and provides consulting work, led a session on food costs for operators. “It has become really, really important in our restaurants to get the food cost right,” Ouimet said.

Ouimet will be back again to present on food service best practices during the Good to Great Workshop during NATSO Connect 2018, which will be held February 10 - 13, 2018. 

During the session in 2017, Ouimet shared his insights to help operators cut costs and improve operations, and urged operators to find ways to save 2 percent or more in food costs and other restaurant-related expenses.

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Understand Costs: To start, operators should calculate their theoretical food costs, which is what they should achieve if everything is perfect. “What’s a good food cost for my location? It depends,” Ouimet said. He shared general guidelines during his presentation, which is available online at https://www.natso.com/library/library/view/215.

Conduct Inventories: Ouimet said it is important for locations to get organized and have all of their like product together, with all items front faced. Then, they should conduct regular, accurate inventories. That way they know what they have and eliminate the risk of having obsolete inventory.

Undertake a Menu Analysis: Operators can look at their point-of-sale systems to uncover data that will help them analyze their menu. “That report is very important to help get the items off the menu that doesn’t sell,” Ouimet said. “You should be looking at your menu mix regularly to remove the non-sellers.”

Look Internally: No matter how operators choose to approach food costs, Ouimet always suggests they start within the location’s four walls. “Do a menu analysis. Get organized. Cost out your items. Do your menu mix. Then we’re prepared to know where we’re at,” Ouimet said. 

See the full schedule at www.natsoconnect.com

/// NATSO Connect 2018 will be held February 10 - 13 in Nashville, Tennessee. Register and learn more about NATSO Connect here

Photos credit: Brittany Palmer/NATSO

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About the Author

Amy Toner

Amy Toner

Toner markets NATSO products, services and meetings. She is the content editor of NATSO's core websites, Stop Watch magazine and Highway Business Matters biweekly articles. In addition, she provides creative services across all departments. Toner joined NATSO in 2006. Prior to joining the association, she served as director of membership services at an association for ambulatory surgery centers. Toner lives in Washington, D.C., with her husband and son.

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