As a restaurant owner or manager, dealing with leftover is one of the trickiest part of the job. Using it again might lead to food-poisoning and throwing it out leads to wastage. So, what can you do? How can you avoid having leftover in the first place and if you do have any, how to deal with it?
We’ll tell you about a few simple ways to solve this problem:
1.Analysis of buying:
Analysis is the key here. You have a good idea, backed by the historical data, about how a day will play out. You have experience in this industry. You have a record of sales, seat occupation, percentage of desserts ordered, reservation percentages, no-shows, cancellations, everything that happened in the front. Over a few months you have had a good idea how things will pan out. This is the foundation upon which you purchase your food from suppliers. Some ingredients, like – say – onions, potatoes, etc. are purchased in very large quantities since they store well and don’t go bad easily, even if we don’t use them within a few days. Proteins and easier perishable ingredients are purchased based on an idea about the overall performance of the restaurant in certain brackets (right now, for example, you are preparing for a fully booked place for six days).
Segregate your purchased stuff into categories depending upon their level of consumption over a certain period of time and in time you will realize that the leftover amount has gone down massively.
2. Seasonal factor:
You need to take into account weather, events, even the question if a restaurant nearby is running some kind of event. All that comes together to form a simple equation which results in a simple number. Weather has an altogether different effect on the food. Certain things tend to go bad easily in summer while the same is not the case in winters. Seasons play an important role in managing leftovers.
3. Manage your chefs:
Sure, you have managed all the purchasing according to all the above mentioned factors but that’s not enough. You also need to train your chefs and make them understand the logic behind your moves. Too many “chefs” are being cranked out by culinary schools, these days. Young and old culinarians who have a sturdy baseline of knowledge but lack the experience and expertise that only a dozen years in the furnace that is a kitchen can bring. Bright eyed and bushy tailed they go on to open their own, only to realize that this is the one thing they know little about – the market they’re competing in.
4. Rules for re-using:
Even after all the precautions, you have had some amount of food leftover. What now? Depending upon the content of the prepared food, you are going to have to decide whether it is possible to re-use it or you have to throw it away. Because you don’t want to be known for “the place which gave someone food-poisoning that one time“. This kind of defaming can be hazardous for your place’s reputation. Also, don’t just throw away the food which has not been used. Just because it’s not being used by the end of the day, doesn’t mean it can’t be used to help someone. If it’s still fresh, put it out for beggars or any stray animals or for any hungry soul for that matter.
As we mentioned, managing leftover can be tricky but you just have to be smart about the whole situation. We hope that we helped you in solving this problem of yours.