Posted by: Matthew Molinari | April 12, 2012

Save Money While Saving Product with Smart Portion Control Tactics

Today I’ve got my first ever guest blog post! This post comes from Andrew Call who provides blog insights regarding restaurant management and marketing at The Back Burner, which is written by the employees of Tundra Specialties, a company specializing in restaurant equipment, parts, and a wide variety of food service supplies and sundries. Enjoy!

                Breaking into the restaurant game is hard. From the buffet of quick service chains, fast casual establishments, and fine dining destinations finding your niche and making a name for yourself as a restaurateur is challenging to say the least.

With the uphill struggle hard enough as it is owners and operators often become so overwhelmed with the big picture that little things can slip through the cracks. Practices like portion and water control and managing inventory loss get mixed up in the shuffle of balancing the books, managing the staff, and pleasing the customer. Pretty soon the extra ounce of product making its way onto every plate, the day’s worth of drips from that leaky faucet, and the gallons of water used to clean your floors can add up. This means more money out of your pocket every month.

Fortunately concepts like portion control and inventory loss don’t need to be foreign ones. Here are a few simple steps you can take to protect those precious resources:

Monitor Your Water. From the dozens of dishes washed during the day to the complimentary glasses served to guests, water consumption eats away at your monthly budget from almost every aspect of your establishment. Training your employees and tweaking restaurant equipment to perform more efficiently is a good start.

-          Fix your leaky faucets today and avoid letting that drip turn into a drain on your budget. A little know-how and some elbow grease costs much less than the gallons you’ll waste if you let the drip persist.

-          Running the dishwasher with full racks is smart, but you’d be surprised how often your staff starts a cycle with a less-than-full load. To make the most of the water you’re using with every wash don’t let anything other than a full rack go into your dishwasher.

-          Installing foot or knee peddles on your hand sinks is a move that can save gallons upon gallons of water in the long run. Providing a sanitary way for your employees to operate the sink, these convenient contraptions automatically shut off when not in use and can essentially cut your water consumption in half.

-          Landscape conservatively to keep your outside water consumption at a minimum. That decorative line of shrubs or colorful flower garden lining your property line can consume more water than you’d think.

Weigh your proteins. When it comes to portion control outfitting your kitchen with a quality portion scale is invaluable. Your proteins (meat products) are most likely the priciest items on your menu, as well as a substantial piece of your restaurant supply, and with this in mind you simply can’t give away extra with every order. Quickly and easily stretch your proteins having your cooks pop each portion onto the scale before getting started.

Use standardized serving utensils. Spoodles, ladles, loons, and portioning spoons are all great ways to control how much product is being served. Without one of these tools at your disposal your starches, vegetables, and soups are susceptible to a wide range of portion variation. Keep each portion exact to ensure waste is at a minimum!

Train your employees. Often the linchpin on which any conservation or sustainability plan rests, your employees are the ones who can either put your plans to practice or ignore them completely. A poorly trained employee can quickly derail any forward momentum you’ve created, and it’s up to you to ensure each employee has the proper tools and know-how to help make your plan a reality. Hold regular review sessions to keep everyone on the same page.

Effective and aggressive portion control and inventory loss management is a surefire way to reap the most benefit from your resources. If you can’t be sure how much of this or that product is going out each month, or what your water bill will look like when it comes, then there’s a good chance you’re losing money. Assuming rather than knowing where your resources go each month is a dangerous game to play, and it’s a gamble that can quickly backfire on any aspiring restaurateur. Put some proper portion control practices into place and you’ll be glad you did!

 


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