Foodservice operators continue to face many challenges as they strive to run profitable businesses. Increased labor costs, ever changing culinary trends and escalating food costs are continuous areas of concern. At the most basic level, operators need to keep costs down while still continuing to provide high-quality dining options to their customers. The quality of produce a restaurant serves is one of the easiest ways to tell how serious it is about food. Frozen or canned vegetables aren’t acceptable to today’s discriminating diners, but fresh produce perishes faster than any other inventoried items. The costs vary widely based on factors such as seasonality, organic, market demand and transportation prices.
Proper Cost Management
Storing and smart handling of food products to extend their shelf life is one way that operators can attempt to manage costs. We shared some ideas in a few of our recent blogs. This point is particularly important for operators who work with a lot of fresh produce and other perishable products. Fresh, highly perishable items tend to be among the most expensive, especially organics. So making fresh produce last for an additional two or three days could bring foodservice operators savings of hundreds or even thousands of dollars a month.
In some cases, making that happen can be as simple as educating employees on effective, food processing techniques, providing the right tools and explaining specific ways to handle perishable products to optimize their freshness. In other situations, buying and using storage products for perishable items can make a tremendous difference. Other ways to manage costs include:
- Changing produce suppliers
- Using local vendors and products
- Tracking food waste
- Adjusting food portions or menu options
- Minimizing inventory
- Evaluating, weighing and inspecting all deliveries
- Working with a chef or consultant to find other ways to stretch a budget
Profits Sealed and Delivered
Storage products are an initial up-front cost; however, operators can often recoup the amount they invest within a few months. They can then continue to benefit from additional profits for many years. In trying to address cost control for operators, Cambro has developed a solution by offering food storage products that are designed to retain the freshness, quality, appearance, flavor and nutritional value in perishable items for as long as possible.
Implementing use of just one type of product, the Cambro Food Pan with Seal Cover for instance, is enough to produce savings by itself. Combining several creative solutions will always have the most significant impact. Consistency, efficiency and management in every step of the operator process, from ordering items to storing and preserving them to preparing and serving them, are the details that produce successful businesses despite the variables involved in food service.
The Experts Weigh In
Third party laboratory testing has shown that when used properly with a Cambro Food Pan, Cambro Seal Covers can extend the shelf life of produce by two to three days beyond storage with disposable wraps, foils or no cover at all.
Want to see for yourself? Ask your Cambro rep for a copy of our third-party shelf life testing results and a free product sample. Try the test with fresh strawberries or spinach to see how you can ensure that your fresh produce investment is protected, fresh, crisp and appetizing until time of service.