By standardizing recipes, restaurant chains protect their margins and deliver a consistent product across multiple locations. But even for an independent pizzeria, portion control is a significant factor in controlling food cost and consistently pleasing guests.
So how can you improve portion control in the restaurant?
Weights and measures. Don’t leave portion control to guesswork. Weigh everything, or consider scales for proteins and portion cups for vegetables. Consider pre-portioning during prep to support consistency and save time on the make line. The more vigilant you are with portioning, the more control you will have on your food costs. Because there is no way around it: free-handing toppings typically results in over-portioning and waste.
Print recipes on your tickets. Some POS systems enable you to print weights and measures right on your make tickets. This is particularly useful if you have variable items on your menu such as create-your-own pizzas. The make ticket shows that the correct amount of pepperoni to use on a large 1-topping pizza is 5 ounces, while only 3 ounces should go on a large 4-topping.
Inventory software for pizza. Unlike most restaurant inventory applications, an application such as SpeedLine Inventory easily tracks ingredient usage for create-your-own pizzas and half-and-half orders. Menu items built on the fly like these are an impossible challenge for traditional inventory applications that require you to define a recipe for every possible combination.
A pizza-specific inventory application calculates topping usage based not only on pizza size, but also on the number of toppings on the pizza. These tools also deliver accurate inventory control for build-your-own sandwiches, pastas, and salads.
In an era of deep discounts and razor thin margins, a standard recipe and accurate portion control are incredibly important factors in menu pricing decisions. Tight control over portioning allows you to price strategically to ensure healthy margins without sacrificing value to your competitors.
What steps have you put in place in your restaurant to control portions?
Posted by Tricia Hoy| Author's website