Hiring someone that worked in Texas or the South to trim meat vs. someone from the west coast can have a huge impact on food cost and profit. Ever heard the phase: fat is flavor? It may be but customers in some regions can be repulsed by fat while others expect it and will give you poor marks if it isn’t just right. Demographics and region must play a big role in how you trim and price your menu items. This section presents valuable information that will help guide a kitchen with specific methods, review different region examples and staff inconsistencies.
Preparing just the right amount of food for your menu offerings is not an art, its science - and don't let anyone tell you otherwise. It's utilizing usage history from past similar days, seasons and sales records. All too often owners or cooks get over-excited the day after a very busy (unexplained) day and prep up huge amounts of food only to be burned by lower than expected sales. Over-preparing any kind of food (mains, sides, salads, etc) results in food that may or may not be used the next day. And then there may be quality issues, some of which can have a big impact on the customer experience and ultimately your business reviews and profit. Quite simple - too much food gets thrown away due to lack of planning. In this section, we will discuss examples and methods for preparing the proper amounts of food and how to compensate for really busy days.
Whether its food purchased at a store, delivered from a supplier or food that wasn't purchased - stuff expires and it must be thrown away. Typically food is good in your refrigerator for seven days, but that has nothing to do with the expiration dates stamped on packages. In this section, we discuss expiration dates on meats and other products based on packaged dates and preparation methods. Too often kitchen staff will "stretch" the limits in an effort to sell it, hide the lack of proper tracking or keep from throwing foods away. Expiration dates are there to help a business utilize the foods within the best quality time period. This is a great section related to profitability. Throwing expired food away is a leak in the profit plumbing that must be fixed.
Over-ordering is one of the most common causes for food thrown in the garbage - it expires or people are in specific food type ordering cycles without you tracking it - and it gets thrown away. In this section, we discuss menu item food trends that are affected by weather, sports, relationships and other stuff we just can't control. Ordering must be based - again- on usage. But, over-ordering can also be a sign, which won't be seen, of theft.
Over-Portioning is serving too much food to the customer - we mean way too much food to the customer. Large amounts of uneaten foods wind up in To-Go containers (cost) or in the garbage. In this section, we present several ways to determine what should be the proper portion size for your customer base. Over-portioning food can work against you, (and we show examples) on the customer experience.