Phone: (413) 727-8897 email:

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Menu Driven Specials

When menu specials compliment the base menu offerings, there is an opportunity to significantly drop the level of waste and spoilage. The reasons are many for this phenomenon. Cycle menus are always developed with the future in mind. The second choices are often based on the previous day's primary choice.

The ability to utilize the same protein items used every day in your base menu in specials is a great advantage. Your wait staff may promote menu offerings which help minimize waste. Small forecasting errors won't create spoilage since the base menu uses the same ingredients. You'll focus your purchases on fewer protein items. Its possible to save on these key items as the purchase volume increases.

Contrast this style of menu specials with the policy of presenting new and innovative menu items on your specials board. This strategy implies a wider range of protein items. I have observed operations where the chef offered 5 to 7 completely different specials each night. Imagine trying to forecast and manage usage on 35 different protein items (in addition to all items required by your base menu) when the number of covers is uncertain. In addition, you need to forecast your guest's preference each evening to utilize all the expensive center of the plate items.

Not every operation has the ability to make this transition. If you use a cycle menu as a base, your offerings need to change each day to allow long term guests to enjoy a diverse selection. As mentioned previously, talented cycle menu writers take great interest in eliminating waste through careful menu design. I recommend following this style of menu design whenever you need to provide more protein options than called by your base menu.

No comments:

Restaurant Data Pros

web counter