With steadily rising food costs, thin profit margins, and intensely value-conscious consumers, the last thing your restaurant needs is sloppy portioning techniques.
Product portioning affects your guests’ experience, food quality, food cost, and how much money you get to keep.
When a guest receives a smaller filet than the person across the table or a down-sized serving of pasta when generous portions are the norm, customers notice and they feel shortchanged.
Then there is the issue of food cost. Consistently over-portion a $6 per pound product just half an ounce and it adds almost 19 cents to the serving cost. Say you serve 100 a day, that’s $133 lost per week or almost $7,000 in a year and that’s just one product.
Technological advances in scales and slicing equipment make it easier for employees to portion products faster and with much greater accuracy. The newest digital scales are portable, easy to read, have automatic counting functions, and can be equipped with push button or hands-free tare capabilities – this allows for zeroing out the weight of containers or individual ingredients.
Employees need the right low-tech tools, too, like properly sized portioning scoops, cups, ladles and baggies.
Also, never accept what you don’t inspect. One sharp operator has a habit of pulling one item off the line each shift and weighs the key ingredients on the plate in front of his kitchen staff.
If something’s not right, he addresses the issue immediately with his kitchen staff. He claims this one practice, more than any other, help him control portion sizes and keep his food cost in line.
Any portioning improvements you make will result in happier guests, lower food cost, and a healthier bottom line.