Holiday meals come stuffed with roasted vegetables, roasted meats, breads, pastries, and sauces. We have 4 tips to help you maximize your time, your staff, and your inventory while lowering stress this holiday season.
Tip #1 – Prep Aggressively With These 3 Steps: Cook it, chill it, bag it.
Use large batch cooking to prepare all your sauces and portioned menu items ahead of the holiday rush. Follow the batch cooking with blast chilling to preserve the texture and flavor of the food before vacuum sealing. When vacuum sealing portion these menu items to so you only pull food as needed. These three techniques used together will extend each component’s food life, reducing food waste and improving texture and flavor of your dishes.
Tip #2 – Keep Production Running While Your Site Is Dark
Find equipment that does it all – chilling, freezing, thawing holding, cooking, proofing, pasteurizing – and when no one is on site. With the influx of guests and large parties during the holiday season one of the quickest ways to expand production it to utilize the hours that no one is on site. Modern kitchen technology makes it possible to take food from frozen to thaw to serving temp through pre-programmed recipes without needing anyone to be onsite to start the process. Aside from increasing production, you are cutting labor costs by preparing food unattended – which will help your bottom line fight rising food costs and keeping your staff available for shifts where you need someone onsite.
Tip #3 – Use Menu Cross-Utilization To Save Money
Building a menu where you use a single ingredient across multiple menu items is called “menu cross-utilization.” This is especially helpful now during the supply chain issues, food shortages, and rising prices. By using each ingredient in several dishes you can greatly reduce your food waste by repurposing scraps and using all parts of the ingredient before it turns. Plus, you make your kitchen manager’s life easier by:
Sharing ingredients builds a unified flavor profile throughout the menu without much effort.
Streamlining inventory and ordering by having a concise ingredient list to track.
Using less storage space by turning over the ingredients more quickly allows you to order in larger quantities to stay ahead of food shortages and receive price breaks.
“People are afraid of focusing on who they are and they try to by everything – this menu cross-utilization lets them be who they want to be.”
– Jamie Dwyer, Corporate Chef / End User Specialist, Elevate Food Service Group
Tip #4 – Prepare Multiple Dishes At The Same Time
Utilize equipment that has independent rotisserie chambers you can prepare multiple dishes, sides, and mains at the same time. Modern cooking technology prevents flavors and scents from each ingredient contaminating or altering the other ingredients being prepared on the same piece of equipment. This will ease the stress on your staff during the high-volume holiday rushes.