When costs get out of control, what’s a restaurant to do? If they raise the prices too much on menu items, people will get turned off. If they hire a cheaper chef, the food will be bad.
The key is to trim around the edges, as Financial Week explains in the case of the good but not wildly busy West Village restaurant Paris Commune. The restaurant reduces cleaning costs by laying butcher paper over tablecloths, avoids a 66 percent increase in the cost of bread by serving rolls by request only, cuts back on sauces made from cream (up 45 percent), and saves energy by searing fish instead of roasting it. It's a compendium of some of the unseen measures that can add up to the difference between survival and closure in a tight economy. Many of the cuts are explained in the accompanying slideshow.
Bistronomics 101 [Financial Week]