A Sweet Way to Save


Wouldn’t it be nice if you could predetermine the exact number of guests that will visit your restaurant on a given day? What if you had advanced notice of the specific items they will choose from your menu? If you could know the precise amount of ingredients to order, then no food would ever be left-over and wasted at closing time.

But, as much as we can track consumer behaviors and ordering patterns, much of it is still a mystery, so operators are constantly faced with a waste problem. Throwing away food means you’re also tossing your profits out with each trip to the garbage –essentially trashing your bottom line.

As operators are trying to be more efficient in managing raw material costs, they are turning to food waste and spoilage initiatives. Some are trying innovative ways to maximize yield, while others offer limited, seasonally based ingredients, or lean on ingredient optimization to handle waste management.

According to Datassential, food costs are highest for entrées at 41%, which certainly makes sense considering these are often protein focused dishes. As a result, chefs have been experimenting with the “nose-to-tail” concept as they introduce new cuts of meat and exciting preparation methods to expectant foodies; addressing their operation’s waste issue at the same time.

But, chefs who have operational constraints that keep them from tapping into the “nose-to-tail” concept, can borrow from waste reduction initiatives like this to transform other parts of the menu like their dessert offerings.

Desserts can delight consumers unlike any other category on the menu and many are willing to splurge for their sweet tooth while dining out. Whether as a mini portion or a shareable sweet for the table, dessert can put the cherry on top of the overall dining experience.

But, the next highest menu category for food costs after entrées are desserts at 31%, so there is a real opportunity for operators to make a significant impact on waste management while they increase profitability through ingredient optimization. By turning what would otherwise be considered wasted food into a delicious dessert they can drive profits upward rather than throwing them away.

For instance, by transforming day old bread into Instagram-worthy bread pudding, you can create a signature dessert your patrons will love. It’s a terrific opportunity to waste not, and keep them wanting more!

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