How to make £10,000 in a single day

Posted on Analysis Mar 2010 - by Tandoori Magazine
How to make £10,000 in a single day

Create opportunities in your restaurant and your finances will be much better, as restaurateur Ajmal Mushtaq tells Tandoori.

It is not by chance that sales at my restaurant Mushtaqs have increased by 60%. The focus is on cooking food that gives customers the ultimate taste experience and this is the starting point of all activities. I simply refuse to let doom and gloom of the current recession dampen my appetite for running a sucessful business.

A recession brings challenges, challenges present opportunities - opportunities to build a more successful and profitable business.

Firstly, this is a great time to distinguish your buisness from the competition by offering superior customer service. Secondly, this is the best time to build the best team possible. Staff attrition is 250% in the catering business. Mushtaqs combats this by offering employees salaries that are significantly higher than the industry average.

Thirdly, in a recession, suppliers would rather keep your business at a discounted rate than lose you altogether. It is this third point that will be used to give an illustrative example of how Mushtaqs saved £10,000 in a single day or shall we say “made £10,000”.

It is important to review each contract on a six-monthly basis. I set aside one full day with no distractions or operational tasks. Make a list of all suppliers, services, spend, reference and telephone numbers. It is important to be very self-critical and question every single item that you have are currently paying for.

Alarm Contract: have you had no call out charge in the past three years? Mushtaqs had no extra call outs requested in three years and no incidents over past 10 years. I opted to reduce the service from gold (£600) to basic (£250). Mushtaqs sits on the main commercial road in town that is covered by CCTV. A reduction in service was calculated risk worth taking. Saved: £350.

Waste Contract: when was the last time you looked inside your bins? Have a look in your bins. Is the rubbish being disposed of effectively? Are the cardboard boxes/bulky items broken down before they are binned? Six wheelie bins were uplifted twice weekly. This was reduced to two large 660 ltr bins with 1.5 uplifts. Saved £1100.

Electricity: Do you know when your contract period ends? Commercial companies tend to lock you into long contracts and present you a very short window to change your tariff. Look out for this three-week window and push for the most competitive rate. Saved: £1,800
Gas: Do you know when your contract period ends? Apply the same principle as electricity supplies. Again, know your renewal dates and ensure you seek out the most competitive rate. Companies would sometimes rather offer you an attractive discount rather than lose you altogether. Saved: £2,100.

Poultry: My biggest bill each week is the poultry supplier. During the fuel price boom, the cost of food soared and companies were quick to pass on the increase. Since 2008, food prices have been declining and these savings are not always passed on as quickly as they should be. I now have three suppliers competing for my business. They focus on quality and price. The price has come down by 12%. Saved: £4,400.

Visa /Switch Payments: This was by far the easiest discount to obtain. One short phone call and the company were very happy to apply a 15% average discount across all types of transactions. Saved: £900.

Insurance: Save as you would when buying normal house or car insurance. Business insurance seems to more difficult to shop around for. It is being made simpler by companies such as Direct Line. Saved: £300.

Laundry: We regularly had laundry items that were unused, but were still charged as part of our contract. Ensure that your contracts match your requirements. Carry out a regular audit for all your services. Saved: £250.

Total Saving: £11,200.

This figure will no doubt vary depending on your cost base and usage, but the principles applicable are the same. Take the time out to work on your business. Make it a habit to review all your contracts on a regular basis and drive cost savings into every aspect of your business.

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