5 Tips Saudi Restaurants Can Use To Control Portion Size And Control Food Costs

Illustration of Lower Food Cost Tips

Food cost is one of the most significant expenses faced by restaurant operators everywhere. No matter the geographic location, the restaurant industry is plagued by rising food costs. Looking at the scenario, exercising portion control is crucial for a restaurant’s well being. In this article, we will discuss how restaurants in Saudi Arabia can execute portion control in their restaurants and increase their revenues. 

Importance Of Portion Control In Restaurants 

Portion Control is a procedure that defines the quantity of raw material to be utilized while preparing a dish and, finally, serving it. A standard portion also means offering consistency in taste, quality, and amount of food, which eventually results in higher customer satisfaction. Controlling portions becomes crucial for any restaurant’s success as it has a considerable impact on food costs.  

Tight margins and high competition in the restaurant industry have led to a dire need to control food costs. Portion control in restaurants is one way you can keep food costs in check and maintain your restaurant’s overall health. Here is why portion control is necessary for restaurants:-

1. Controls Food Costs

Controlling the portion size plays a massive role in keeping food costs in check. A slight imbalance in serving can also negatively affect your margins. Ideally, the food costs should constitute 30% to 40% of the selling price of an item.

2. Reduces Wastage

Food leftover by customers cannot be recycled and is probably one of the worst types of food wastage. In a survey, 86% of the respondents felt that large portions in the restaurants are a key reason why leftovers were created. Over-serving food items often lead to wastage and ultimately results in inflated food costs.

While overserving can increase the overall food costs, under-serving can lead to unhappy customers. Therefore, implementing portion control techniques greatly helps in eliminating this issue. You can also specify the portion size in the menu or inform customers about the number of dishes while they place orders, to reduce food waste.

3. Maintains Consistency

One of the main reasons why some of the largest QSR brands such as McDonald’s, Dominos, Subway, etc. are successful is mainly because they follow standard procedures and offer consistency in terms of taste as well as quantity. Even if you own a standalone restaurant in Saudi Arabia, there is a dire need for portion control, as consistency is the key to excellent customer service. 

How Portion Control Can Reduce Food Costs and Improve Your Restaurant Revenues

Proven Tips On How Saudi Restaurants Can Control Portion Size

Mentioned below are some effective ways to exercise portion control at restaurants. 

Standardized Recipes

The standard recipe is a prerequisite to the success of any restaurant business. It is a set of predefined instructions and guidelines that the kitchen staff must follow while preparing and presenting a dish. It constitutes the quantity of the ingredients along with the portion size to be served to the guests.

With a standardized recipe, restaurant operators in Saudi Arabia can analyze the optimum portion size per guest and highlight that on their menu. Apart from setting the preparing instructions, standard recipes must also include-

  • Weight/volume of each ingredient
  • Serving size
  • Recipe Yield
  • Equipment and utensils to be used

Right Plating

Like standard recipes, written plating instructions are also essential to control the food and portion size. Seek your chef’s assistance while drafting the plating instructions in order to eliminate any guesswork. Having reference pictures of how the actual dish looks like is also an excellent idea. 

Right Measurement

One of the most critical parts of effective portion control is using the correct measuring utensils and tools. Portioning utensils such as measuring cups, spoons, ladles, jiggers, etc. are handy in preparing and serving the dishes. It is also recommended that you invest in an excellent commercial kitchen scale for weighing items such as meats and cheese. You can measure ingredients in three ways-

  • Measuring by count- In this way, you can count the number of elements to be used or served.
  • Measuring by volume- In measuring by volume, you can use measuring spoons, cups, and ladles, etc.
  • Measuring by weight- In this way, you use a scale for measuring the ingredients.

Recipe costing, when done the right way, helps in maintaining food consistency and controls food costs. 

Staff Training

If your kitchen staff is not trained professionally to execute all these measures, your efforts to control portions can go in vain. The entire kitchen staff must follow the exact recipe as defined by the head chef to keep the quantity balanced. Ensure to provide proper measuring utensils to your staff while preparing the dish. In addition to keeping the portion size and recipe aesthetics in mind, staff must also be well trained in serving the food properly and following the right plating techniques. 

Buying Right

Most of the portion control worries can be resolved if restaurants procure the right type of raw materials in the correct quantity. Keep track of all the different ingredient requirements of the kitchen staff. It is also vital to consider the product yield of the item and the number of portions it offers. Consider delivering partly-prepared items such as batters, meat, etc. While they might cost more, you can still save substantially on the labor overheads.

Portion control is an integral part of restaurant operations and has a significant impact on your overall revenues. Follow these effective measures to offer consistency in food and service and elevate your customer’s dining experience!

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Daniel McCarthy is a seasoned restaurant consultant and serves as the Communication Manager at Restroworks, a prominent F&B SaaS company. Drawing from his vast knowledge of leveraging innovative technological solutions, Daniel excels at enhancing restaurant operations and revenue, thereby contributing to the ongoing transformation of the industry.


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