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Keeping costs on lobster down

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
First of all, we're in Utah so live lobster isn't exactly the best option

We buy in frozen tails, standard 8oz Aussy tails. Every couple weeks I'll order in a couple boxes of 5oz spiney lobster for a weekend special that we don't freeze. Obviously we can't have it on special constantly

The problem we're running in to is orders are so sporatic, we waste probably a tail for every one we sell on the 8oz. We'll pull 3 or 4 every couple days to have thawed, sometimes it's not enough and we'll have to that more mid-service, but more often than not we throw a couple away o'er week

I've thought of a couple things to try to get some cost back, bisque, chowder, veloute, Cajun seafood Alfredo... ect ect. But that would mean we would have lobster on special of some kind 3-4 days a week

Is that the best option or is there another way?

We're a steakhouse- 150 weekday 250-300 cover weekend, break down all primal, grind all meats, everything made and prepped in house for the most part
post #2 of 16

Find something locally grown/raised in Utah... lobster tails are just silly. 

 

You might have - fresh farmed trout, or other fish nearby.

Also don't forget farmed 'game' meats or maybe 'game' birds.

 

Being local is now a 'trend' or fad but it used to be just good common sense!

 

If you're dead set on lobster, don't forget that things have a 'raw' shelf life and a 'cooked' shelf life.  Thaw the tails and keep as long as reasonable... then cook them all and use them for as long as possible.  If you have lots left still then thaw less and sell at cost to employees to avoid waste and be cost neutral - it also happens to be an employee morale booster. (it is far better to tell a customer you are out of xxx than it is to throw out xxx)

 

Seriously though, find some other attraction than lobster.  tbh from my recollection most people in Utah don't like any kind of seafood / shellfish ... 

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"Plus, this method makes you look like a complete lunatic. If you care about that sort of thing".  - Dave Arnold

 

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----

 


"Plus, this method makes you look like a complete lunatic. If you care about that sort of thing".  - Dave Arnold

 

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post #3 of 16

Here's another way to put it ...

 

If you served an Ostrich loin salad sandwich and the orders where sporadic to the point of wasting product...

 

... what would you do?

 

Cut the Ostrich Loin?  Right

 

Cut the Lobster!

----

 


"Plus, this method makes you look like a complete lunatic. If you care about that sort of thing".  - Dave Arnold

 

Reply

----

 


"Plus, this method makes you look like a complete lunatic. If you care about that sort of thing".  - Dave Arnold

 

Reply
post #4 of 16
Thread Starter 

Just what I was afraid of. The owner is old school, he won't like this, but I guess it must be done

 

We serve local walleye that isn't the easiest thing to find on most menus

post #5 of 16

To make anything out of an 8 ounce tail other then serving it that way is plain crazy. You will never get your $ back. I would only run it 1 or 2 days a week and 8 ounces is far to big. Run a surf and turf  4 ounce lob. and 4 ounce  flat iron steak(it cost you much less. )  I would suggest a menu revision based on local availability. No place can afford an 8 ounce tail going bad to many times.

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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post #6 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelGA View Post

Here's another way to put it ...

 

If you served an Ostrich loin salad sandwich and the orders where sporadic to the point of wasting product...

 

... what would you do?

 

Cut the Ostrich Loin?  Right

 

Cut the Lobster!

This is the answer I was going to suggest as well.    If something doenst sell get it off your menu.   Its hard sometimes because you fall in love with a dish, but it has to be done most of the time.

post #7 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by chefedb View Post

To make anything out of an 8 ounce tail other then serving it that way is plain crazy. You will never get your $ back. I would only run it 1 or 2 days a week and 8 ounces is far to big. Run a surf and turf  4 ounce lob. and 4 ounce  flat iron steak(it cost you much less. )  I would suggest a menu revision based on local availability. No place can afford an 8 ounce tail going bad to many times.

+1! Run this as a special on Fri/ Sat and when you are out take it off the board.

The two most common things in the universe are hydrogen and stupidity !
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The two most common things in the universe are hydrogen and stupidity !
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post #8 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shootoo View Post


The problem we're running in to is orders are so sporatic, we waste probably a tail for every one we sell on the 8oz. We'll pull 3 or 4 every couple days to have thawed, sometimes it's not enough and we'll have to that more mid-service, but more often than not we throw a couple away o'er week
 

Think about poaching and freezing tails before they get wasted and save them til you have enough to run a lobster roll special for lunch or lobster cocktail with sauce american.

post #9 of 16

If any item is as you say that  Sporatic, then it makes no sense having on the menu in first place.

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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post #10 of 16

Get it off the menu, run as a special if you must have lobster. When it's gone it's gone.

post #11 of 16

You will  have to rise the price on the menu to absorb the loss if you decide to keep them on the menu at all .

Every smoker quits smoking sooner or later!

Only the smart ones are doing it while they are still alive.

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Every smoker quits smoking sooner or later!

Only the smart ones are doing it while they are still alive.

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post #12 of 16

I should have asked you first where do you ,as Sous Chef fit in all of this ?

Is the owner complaining to you about the wasted lobsters ? It seems that he has a money-making business and most likely is well aware of the facts you mentioned.

Very often we in the back of the house do not see everything that is going on in the front of the house.The owner might have a big investor (Who loves his lobster) and is trying to keep this investor happy ? Or there might be a few other important customers ( Important for the owner / big spenders) the owner feels he needs to keep them coming back  happy by offering them lobster tails on his menu and does not care if the food cost of this only item is out of hand.Or there might be another reason we  will never find out why this owner insists to keep lobster on his menu.

Every smoker quits smoking sooner or later!

Only the smart ones are doing it while they are still alive.

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Every smoker quits smoking sooner or later!

Only the smart ones are doing it while they are still alive.

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post #13 of 16

Great points, Berndy.

 

If you're only losing a tail a week, you could probably justify keeping it on.

If you're losing 50% of them...then pull fewer out of the freezer.

post #14 of 16

OK. Maybe I'm not getting this right.  Here in Chicagoland I'm giving $94 (reg price) / 20#'s of frozen 8oz lobster tails (they're on sale a lot too).  That's $4.70/pop.  Are you giving all that much more in Utah?  My first thought would be "Lobster Capri Salads"* @ $8-$9 ea. using half of that tail.  The other half would be for "Lobster Risotto", @ the same price, being that risotto seems to be the "flavor of the month" for the last coupla' years.  I'm not sure there is all that much difficulty defrosting frozen tails on-the-fly all so much if needed; +/- 20-minutes in room-temp water has worked for me for a long time. 

 

* "Lobster Capri Salad" (per. serv.):

4oz lob tail meat chopped

2 plum tomatoes, quartered, seeded and chopped

equal amt. mozz balls halved (the little kind)

1/4 each yellow and orange sweet bell peppers, julienned

1/4 sm red onion thinly sliced

minced basil

fresh grind pink salt, rainbow peppercorns and house dressing, table-side

"And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music."

I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin'.

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"And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music."

I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin'.

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post #15 of 16

Chef Bubba Best solution yet.

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

Reply

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

Reply
post #16 of 16

Lobster Ravioli 

 

dice up the extra , mix with a filling , in house make your pasta 

you have to freeze it anyway so the pasta seals 

that buys you an extra day + uses up the extra lobster 

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