Innovate & Reduce Waste
Keeping Your Food Costs Down
Main Auction Services wants you to reap more benefits this year, be able to save money, and to have less waste. Many restaurant owners are using a variety of new ways to make this happen. State of the art tech in equipment, menu additions, specialty products, food scraps use, value added products to support innovation, better use of house systems, standards and organizational structure are all part of the 2016 strategy plan.
The new buzz for consumers in 2016 is items that resist passing as fads. Independent chefs and chain operators have always tried to reduce kitchen waste and keep overall food costs down. Past solutions still in place can always be added to, and value added products out there like meats, lettue,hot dogs, BBQ ribs and wings, will be very helpful in creation of new meals based on existing products you already carry, and make key selections on items that can be included to enhance current meal offers.
“Most of the waste is caused by a lack of strong back of house systems, standards and organizational structure,” said Dean Small, founding partner of Synergy Restaurant Consultants.
A good example of this issue Small cited included a major sandwich chain for which his firm recently consulted that uses a number of specialty products, such as hummus spread and olive relish, on its menu. Lack of kitchen space and employees not skilled in making such products were among the drivers for the fast casual chain choosing to purchase the specialty products. By not bringing in multiple ingredients to make each of these items from scratch, Small said the chain is able to reduce food costs, and also get a better yield.
Strategic product and equipment selections are critical in supporting innovation in any given kitchen setting. By inspiring innovation these new menu delights and surprises actually increase prospective dining patrons. “You have to be strategic about what value-added products you bring in,” said Small. “Any given restaurant looks for value-added products to support their innovation.” In turn, in addition to cutting waste and costs, specialty products can also inspire innovation.
If you find an item that works with a particular meal or course, that is a new product, it doesn't eliminate waste, it allows for unique opportunities for the menu which in turn delights and surprises your diners. Using a standard item you have selected in a different category is also a way to increase revenue, add to a breakfast, lunch or dinner option, or be able to offer for a managers special or limited time offer you have advertised.
Use of specialty products to customize and impact food costs in a positive way will go a long way toward reducing waste. Creative use helps restaurant chefs keep your clients and dining patrons exposed to the trends happening in your community or city and will translate into return dining. Restaurant owners will always remain focused on improving all aspects of their business. Consistency in presenting a quality menu for dining patrons assures you and your Chefs that integrity and high quality foods are still the most critical factor in preparing healthy food that tastes great!
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