It’s a well-known fact that, among the various costs of restaurant businesses, food or ingredient costs take up the highest percentage. Therefore, maximizing the value of ingredients boosts opportunities for profits while minimizing problems associated with high costs.
Do you know that, in a leading restaurant, one of the basic things that kitchen employees have to learn about as soon as they start work is how to accept and store products. Read on to find out about everything involved in ingredient management from acceptance to usage in cooking.
Product Acceptance: When Products Arrive
The employee responsible for receiving products should do the following:
Check the weight/quantity of the ingredients: Do the ingredients have the same quantity as ordered? Some ingredients have specifications that say how much there is per kilogram of each kind. It’s necessary to randomly check to see if the sample matches the per-kilogram size specifications.
- Inspect ingredient quality: After the first inspection above, it’s necessary to try checking quality. For example, what is the condition of the shrimps received? Are some of them headless? Maybe the bacon pork has the correct weight, but does the meat and fat ratio meet agreed specifications?
- Check the expiration date: Some ingredients are delivered with an expiration date. The expiration date is specified, so also check when the ingredients received are going to expire and whether or not it would be possible to use them all up before expiration. If it’s not possible to use them up before expiration, it’s important to decide whether or not to accept them, or whether or not to accept only some of them as can be used in time.
Ingredient Storage: Dry, Refrigerated and Frozen Goods
Once ingredients have been bought, and you’ve returned to your restaurant, or once the supplier makes the delivery, after inspecting your ingredients it is necessary to prioritize ingredient storage. Put the refrigerated things away first, because the refrigerated goods will become gradually heated as they travel to your restaurant, so much so that it might be possible for bacteria to proliferate, which could spoil your ingredients or harm your customers. Thus, refrigerated goods have to be stored first, followed by frozen and dry goods, respectively.
Ingredients to be stored should not be left piled on the floor. Otherwise, they might be vulnerable to contamination from dirty things on the floor.
Ingredient Usage in Line with FIFO
In general while using ingredients, people apply the First-In, First-Out or FIFO principle. This means that ingredients that are bought first are used before the ingredients most recently bought. The purpose is to minimize the risk for ingredient spoilage and expiration.
Accordingly, a standard should also be set for the arrangement and usage of ingredients, for example, by picking ingredients in order from front to back and left to right. Ingredients purchased first will be pushed to the front, followed by recently purchased ingredients. This method makes it easier for employees to pick and use the right ingredients.
And you should create a document for inspecting ingredient expiration dates. You should check expiration every morning before beginning sales. That way, you will learn which ingredients are about to expire and will effectively be able to quickly put them out before expiration. Doing so also makes it easier for you to learn whether or not you have enough ingredients for sale. That said, it’s not necessary to check every ingredient as you do so. Instead, just check those that have a short usage life.
Thus, entrepreneurs should regularly inspect their kitchens to ensure that everything is working according to set standards. This minimizes the likelihood of excessive food costs in restaurants while maximizing profit opportunities. Try it out if you don’t believe us.
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