Restaurant guests can grab plate after plate of an endless array of dishes and cuisines. All of this for one low price. So what’s their secret to success? Well, these sorts of buffets have some tricks up their sleeve to keep business rolling, and you’re about to find out exactly what they are!
A strategic layout 2:42
The size of the serving dishes 3:13
Smaller plates and utensils 3:53
A huge food-cost margin 4:38
Computer-monitored food waste 5:15
The “Fill the customer’s belly cheaply” motto 6:08
Buying seasonal and regional ingredients 6:37
Profitable drinks 7:25
Eliminating labor costs 7:57
Charging higher prices for higher quality 8:37
Banning people 9:20
– At the start of the line, the first thing you see is carb-rich foods, like fried rice. The line starts with these dishes because they have the cheapest ingredients but still do the job of filling up your belly.
– Besides the layout, they also control the size of the serving dishes. Cheap starches and veggies are in big heaping trays with more jumbo-sized serving spoons.
– Buffets don’t limit this size control to the serving dishes; they also effectively monitor the size of the plates and eating utensils. They provide smaller-than-average dinner plates and tiny dessert bowls.
– The price the restaurant pays for the food or ingredients is just 30-35% of the price guests pay for a meal. A super-diner doesn’t burn a hole in a buffet’s budget simply because they have such a huge food-cost margin!
– They use sophisticated computer software to monitor food waste. This way, they can track everything from the weekly waste amounts, to how much is consumed daily, to what dishes are most popular for the diners depending on the day of the week or the season.
– They have a flexible menu designed towards cheap dishes. Vegetables and meat are bought in bulk and at a cheaper price, but they’re still high-quality and versatile.
– If an ingredient (for example, tomatoes) is in season, it’s a lot cheaper than usual, so a buffet can buy it in bulk. They also take advantage of locally-sourced foods or ingredients because they tend to be cheaper.
– Drinks aren’t included in the price of the buffet and don’t fall into the same 30% food-cost markup. Instead, they sell it at up to a 90% profit margin.
– They don’t need to hire waiters to serve food because diners get their own drinks and plates.
– Believe it or not, diners can get banned for overeating.
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