When creating your menu, you (or someone in your company) took a lot of time and effort to dial in those recipes. This goes far beyond tuning the tastes – a really good recipe also takes each ingredient’s availability, food cost, prep time, waste ratio, and more into consideration. With so much effort behind a menu item, it is important to not just teach your staff how to make it; teach them the importance of consistency.
Why? While it might seem that it slows down the prep process, weighing higher end menu items such as proteins can really boost your profitability. Let’s take a quick look at how something as simple as not weighing out a burger patty could cost you over $10,000 in sales each year.
Consistency is key to your menu quality, to keeping repeat customers, and to having the best possible bottom line. Some operators believe that consistency is so key to their success that they go beyond just posting recipes – they even post pictures of the procedures along the way, down to how the final product should be plated and garnished. For the most successful operators, this includes using the scale to weigh the product each time.
Let’s say that you charge $10 for a hamburger. According to your analysis, the precooked weight of the patty should be 5 oz. for you to make a decent margin on it. Your prep team was trained to make the patties correctly, but they have been doing this for so long that it is common practice for them to eyeball the patty size. Over time, the portions creep up slowly and unnoticed. Now, a tray of patties weighs in closer to 6 oz. each. An ounce may not seem like a big deal; however, if a tray consists of 5 patties, that is essentially one patty on each tray that is being wasted. Now look at the big picture:
- One patty is equivalent to $10 in sales per tray
- 3 prepped trays per day is $30 in missed sales per day
- $210 in missed sales per week
- $10,920 in missed sales per year!
Now take that math into consideration for higher priced items such as salmon portions or cuts of steak… it may be worth your while to invest in a good scale and enforce its use.