How much is your food really costing you?
As if it wasn’t important to know your true food costs before the pandemic, it’s all the more crucial now as many restaurants around the country are having to operate at a reduced capacity, rethink their menus and determine where to best allocate diminished resources. By getting an accurate handle on your waste, over-portioning, theft and even the shrinkage of ingredients, you can see what menu items are really costing you – then adjust your promotions so you encourage guests to select your highest-margin items. A recent webcast from Restaurant365 reinforced the power of tracking actual vs. theoretical food costs as a means of accomplishing this. Theoretical food costs are what your food costs should be based on the cost of your ingredients, while actual food costs are what your restaurant actually spent. There will be variance in those numbers, but getting a more precise understanding of where it comes from can help you minimize it. While there are a number of places to focus to help cut waste, it can be most helpful to analyze your individual ingredients and identify those with the greatest cost variance. Drilling down like this can help you zero in on what needs attention or adjustment, whether it’s your portion control of a certain dish, the prices you are getting from a supplier, or the need for a substitute dish on the menu.
Don’t cut corners on cooling
Throughout the past year, takeout and delivery have occupied a larger part It may be cold outside, but don’t forget to take the proper precautions when cooling foods – particularly if you’re making winter soups or large quantities of other items to be refrigerated or freezed and served later. To keep foods out of the temperature danger zone (between 40°F and 140°F, where bacteria grow most rapidly), you don’t want to leave food unrefrigerated for more than two hours. On the flip side, refrigerating a hot food prematurely can also compromise the cooling of other foods in your refrigerator. To expedite the cooling of foods prior to refrigeration, try storing them in shallow containers – ideally stainless steel, which transfers heat away from foods more quickly; placing the food in an ice-water bath and stirring it frequently; using an ice paddle to distribute cold through a food; or storing it, loosely covered, in cold-holding equipment to help cool the food down.
Safe Food Handling
Food trends and Recipes