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Buffets

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

My quetsion is how to controle your food cost on a buffet, I vave been given an intruction that my food cost can not be more than 38% and it is 46% at the moment

post #2 of 8

Perhaps a description of how your buffet is set up would help---and the types of foods---

 

One tip---place the most expensive items last--so the plates are so full with cheaper items,that there is little room for the pricy items.

 

Tell us more--------

post #3 of 8

When you cost out a buffet, you should have a pretty good idea of how much a normal person could eat.

As and example......if you served chicken, a beef, and a fish item on the buffet you would keep the pieces small, say 2 oz. knowing that

people would take one or two of each thing.

You can prep more heavy on the vegetables and starch as those don't cost as much to prepare as does the proteins.

Other things to consider are:

time of day

gender of customers

the weather outside

what type of get together 

time of year

 

all of these have effects on the amounts of food eaten.

post #4 of 8

Without knowing your situation I would start with minimizing waste.  Try to keep it fresh and don't leave food sitting out for hours.  It will not lower your food cost that much but it might help.

 

Are you doing brunch, restaurant, smorgasbord, family style, Las Vegas style?

post #5 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikeswoods View Post
 

Perhaps a description of how your buffet is set up would help---and the types of foods---

 

One tip---place the most expensive items last--so the plates are so full with cheaper items,that there is little room for the pricy items.

 

Tell us more--------

 

this technique works , i used to work at a buffet and its a good trick

 
Usually start off with salads and cold line , then move to rice , veggies , puree , the carbs aka pasta should be closer to the end more then half way through. Then meats , chicken , and poultry towards the end. 
Serve chicken , fish , and one red meat on weekdays , and up to 2 variety of pastas. 
Weekends you can serve 2 kinds of red meat, fish , shrimp , and chicken and 3 varies of pasta one being lasagna since its heavier. 
Considering weekends tend to have more of a rush. 
 
Also hide a thermal bottle of hot water in the kitchen or on the buffet , that way when food with broth , sauce or a puree starts to dry out you can just add hot water and mix it a bit without having to make a new dish. The hot water trick works for making things looks more lively , keeping food that drys out quickly wet , and makes the food shiny and a bit more appealing.  Also if you raise the value of the meals by at least 1 dollar you will already be making more money daily without using more product. 

Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.

Dr.Seuss

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Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.

Dr.Seuss

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post #6 of 8

What type of buffet?

 

Some typical cost control methods include:

Pre-cutting portions and putting less in a pan. The smaller the portions in the pan, the less people will take, and they will also take less if the pan is not jam-packed with food. It still needs to appear "full" to be more attractive, but it should be less dense when full.

As already mentioned, put the highest cost items last on the buffet. Remember too, that you need to be considering "cost per portion", not "cost per ounce". People serving themselves are going to take a piece of something based on how it looks in the pan, not based on how heavy it is.

Use smaller serving utensils. The less food that fits in a spoon, the sooner the customers will get tired of spooning it out and the less they'll take.

Expand the choices of lower cost items like breads, soups and prepared salads. These are a cheap way to impress and to get the customer's plate full before they hit the expensive stuff. A larger selection of salads means you'll go through less portions of your main dishes.

Smaller plates. This is pretty self-explanatory. Less room to put food means people will take less food each trip. If you are using 9, 10 or 11 inch plates, try switching to 8 inch plates.

One plate for everything. If you have a continuous buffet and not separate tables for salads and main dishes, you can put out one plate for everything instead of a separate salad and entrée plate.

 

Those are all simple "tricks" that can be implemented quickly. The most important changes you can make are in your cost control systems. Do you use production sheets and pan recipes? You should be using these tools in addition to a leftover log to track what comes back from the buffet. This allows you to track your ideal cost on buffets and compare it to weekly inventories. This one practice knocks 5 points off the food cost of most restaurants simply by adding awareness of costs. If you have pan recipes and updated costs for those pans, it makes it easy to set a cost budget for the buffet based on expected guest levels. Then, you can create your productions sheet so that you are only preparing a set dollar amount of food. Tracking the leftovers lets you calculate actual food usage on the buffet. If you also track customer counts, this will help you become better at forecasting how much food you'll need to prepare based on customer forecasts.

Brandon O'Dell

 

Friend That Cooks Home Chef Service

www.friendthatcooks.com

O'Dell Restaurant Consulting

www.bodellconsulting.com

 

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Brandon O'Dell

 

Friend That Cooks Home Chef Service

www.friendthatcooks.com

O'Dell Restaurant Consulting

www.bodellconsulting.com

 

Reply
post #7 of 8

One other small thought---this applies to catering especially----

 

If you make the guests wait in line to long they will heap the plates full---who wants to go back for seconds and wait in a long line-----

 

There are many ways to keep the lines shorter---If you are interested,I'll come back and add more information----Mike-------

post #8 of 8

I hate lines----they bring out the worst in people---

 

But a buffet can be a show piece and an opportunity to cook and carve for the guests---

 

We offered what we called " A Formal Buffet"------this style of service controls the lines and adds dignity to the humble buffet.

 

This was a formal service--linens and china---tables all set---the Appetizer and Salad were served at the table--as the tables finished the first course(s) the table was invited to the buffet for the main course---

 

As you know---not all tables eat at the same speed----so the buffet line was very manageable---the carvers were not slicing and slapping--and the buffet cooks could stir fry or what ever and keep up with the line---

 

This also made clearing the tables of the first course fast---

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