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ordering food

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
I know this is probably in the wrong category, but I'm hoping someone can help!

We are planning on opening our dining area to include dinners (right now it is only open for lunch) The lunch part is pretty easy to do as it mainly consists of bar food (i.e burgers, hoagies, pizza) We plan on doing a lot of steaks and seafood and the such. My question is this.....if we do the steaks on the menu, is it better to keep them frozen, or do you have them delivered in fresh everyday. Not real good at figuring all this out yet!

Any ideas or suggestions for me?
post #2 of 9
If you're talking about ordering pre-cut, shrink-wrapped steaks and seafood, your ordering schedule and specs will change depending on the volume you do and your sales mix. Seeing as you are just starting out in this, I'd keep the steaks un-frozen with a reserve kept in the freezer for emergencies. Most pre-cut seafood comes in frozen; you'll just have to guess how much to thaw at any given time. Depending on your employee's skill level and your ability to utilize scrap, you may want to look into ordering sub-primal beef cuts and/or whole fish or whole sides of fish.
Some questions for you that will help you get better answers:

1. What types of steaks and seafood do you plan on serving?
2. Do you plan on ordering your steaks and seafood pre-cut?
3. What's your forecasted volume?
4. Of the items you plan on serving, of which ones are you predicting to sell a lot?
5. How much storage space do you have in your cooler and freezer?
Anulos qui animum ostendunt omnes gestemus!
Anulos qui animum ostendunt omnes gestemus!
post #3 of 9
The other consideration is your location. You may not have the option of everyday deliveries from some purveyors.

The nice thing about pre-cut, cryo-vac'd steaks are that they have a pretty long shelf life. I have used sealed steaks that were 2 weeks old and still perfectly good. I have been told that they have a shelf life of about 21-28 days though I have never gone that long. I usually order steaks once a week. Seafood I order twice a week, usually buying whole or sides, then butchering it myself.
post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 
Wow..what a headache!!! I'm ready to stick with pizza! But with such a beautiful dining area, I just can't see it go to waste any longer.

Ok, does anybody know any good steak suppliers? I'm in Pennsylvania and locally haven't found any that I'm satisfied with!
post #5 of 9
you dont say how big your kitchen is, what kind of equipment, ect.. to go along with your pizza maybe some pasta dishes, that would keep your food costs down, add a little seafood pasta or a steak and pasta, get out the phone book and look for local distributors, good luck:lips:
"what doesn't destroy me, makes me stronger"
"what doesn't destroy me, makes me stronger"
post #6 of 9
Have you tried talking to other chefs or restaurant owners, in the area? Most chefs and restaurant owners are very happy to help out fellow businesses. They could steer you in the right direction, give you names of some good purveyors.
post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the great ideas! As for other bar/restaurant owners...we are a huge threat to them. we are in what they call the hop zone (bar hopping that is) around here....which in my opinion is a great thing, unfortunately for other owners....we have more potential. The kitchen is huge with all the latest equipment (half of which we don't use right now.) and most of the other places only have the capability to make bar food. That will cause a problem for them. i know in my experience, if I could eat, drink and dance all in one place I was pretty satisfied.

We have a good friendship with most of the popular DJ's in our area (most we've known for years) so they choose to play for us first. The only owners that we are pretty close with are 5 miles away and only do simple stuff (wings, burgers), so they aren't a good source of information - we've already asked.

Speaking of wings.....we have not yet ventured into "wing Night" which is hurting us right now. The cook that we have right now isn't real experienced at coming up with new ideas and recipes, so we have not mastered a wing sauce....anybody wanna share some ideas? While we plan on hiring a chef (I think he starts in 2 weeks) we have to put up with the cook for now, which means we miss out on the new ideas.

Thanks guys!

post #8 of 9
Steaks increase your food cost. Cryovac steaks increase it even more. Although they last a lot longer, you don't take inventory to the bank. Are you sure your customers are willing to pay the premium? 12oz Ribeyes could cost you up to $6 apiece.

IMO You cannot compete with wing night and sell $teak$ in the same location. You either drop wings and commit to serving quality steaks or grab your share of the wing market. I may be wrong, but $0.10 wings and $15 steaks don't seem to fit in the same demographic.

post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 
While normally i would agree with that whole demographic thing...we are of a different breed here in Southwestern PA!!! hehehe! It's amazing what a variety of people are around here!

And in reality, until the "finer" dining end of things takes off which could be as long as 2-3 months before we open for dinner, I'm sure it can't hurt to add other things to the menu that we have!

Thanks for the input! I'm really learning a lot from everybody!
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