The Skinny on Over-Portioning: Saving $ on Food Costs

By Tricia Hoy

Pizza operators understand: cheese is a killer to your bottom line, and when portioning isn’t controlled on the make-line, waste adds up quickly. Controlling food costs with proper portion control takes longer than free-handing, but the cost savings are worth the time—and your POS system can streamline the process. Read on for more about controlling food costs with portion controls.

Restaurant margins tend to be slim, so cost control is critical.

By standardizing recipes, restaurant chains protect their margins and deliver a consistent product across multiple locations. For any pizzeria, portion control is a significant factor in controlling food cost and delivering a consistent product to your guests—and your profitability relies on guest satisfaction as much as operational cost control.

So what can you do to control over-portioning?

Weights and measures.

Don’t leave portion control to guesswork. Weigh everything, and consider portion cups for toppings.  Consider pre-portioning during prep as well, to support consistency and save time on the make line.

The more vigilant you are, the more control you will have on your food costs. Even a half ounce over the serving size called for on each pizza can translate into thousands of dollars in lost revenue over the course of a year.

Print recipes on your tickets.

Some POS systems can print weights and measures on every make ticket (or show them on your make line display). This is particularly useful if you have variable items on your menu such as create-your-own pizzas and daily specials. For example, the make ticket will show that the correct amount of pepperoni on a large pizza is 5oz, but only 4oz on a large pepperoni and bacon.

Effective portion control allows you to dial up a competitive price at a decent margin.


Never expect what you don’t inspect. Make a habit of pulling one item off the make-line each shift or day to weigh the key ingredients. Surprise your staff by ringing in an order yourself and weigh or measure the portion sizes when it’s being prepared.

If something’s not right, you’ve provided a training experience for your staff, while ensuring control of your portion sizes and keeping your food costs in line.

See a Demo

Posted on Mon, Jul 28, 2014 @ 16:07 PM.
Updated on May 28, 2020 @ 11:18 PM PST.

Posted by Tricia Hoy

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Tags: portion control, Restaurant Management, SpeedLine Inventory

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