Profit Strategies: Waste not want not, keep your profit out of the trash.

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spatulasSmall business, independent restaurant owners may sometimes see as little as 1% of revenue as their profit at the end of the year. If there is no plan for controlling waste, that 1% might just end up in the trash or down the drain. Here are four ways to avoid turning your treasure($$$) into trash.

Transparent trash receptacles
The first lesson I learned in culinary school, and a good habit to transfer to any food establishment, was to see what is aimed at the trash BEFORE it gets there. Of course, my instructor did it in order to access our knife skills. But whatever the motive, the object is the same. Place a transparent container on the prep table along with the knife and cutting board. Every station should have one. You will truly be surprised at what your employees consider trash!

Use rubber spatulas
It always amazes me that my students think a wooden spatula can form the shape of a round stainless steel bowl. It can’t! Use a rubber spatula to get out the last drop before the bowl goes into the dish room. Sometimes there is enough left behind for several portions…kaching, kaching!

Guessing what looks about right, is a sure fire way to waste ingredients and sometimes leads to tossing the whole enchilada. Use measuring cups, spoons and scales and stick to the standardized recipes. What? You don’t have any? Another sure fire way to toss your profit out with the trash!

Utilize over production
No one is perfect. No matter how much you practice, how much you prepare, there will be times when you have just made too much. Customers are fickle! When that happens, make sure you can utilize what you have left. I am considered somewhat of a “leftover” queen so I have never been at a loss as to how to use my leftovers. But, don’t just plan on using leftovers in specials only. When planning your menu, include plenty of items with crossover ingredients. That way, if you overproduce on one, you can easily use it in another.

Buon Appetito e Buona Salute, Chef Angela Bell
Beyond the Bull (an “eat smart” kitchen)
233 W. Main St., Central, SC 29630

Last modified: March 13, 2013
Angela Bell

This story is part of our Small Business Corner, a peek into the life and trials of small business owners.

Category: Insider's perspective, MPR Authored, Restaurants, sales, Small Business, Small Business Corner, small business owners, strategies, Tips

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