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Old 05-21-2007, 11:41 PM   #1
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Question Restaurant meal planning question

Ok, here is a question for anyone who is in the restaurant business that i have been wondering about for a while.
How do you know how much of a dish to make each night off a menu? like if there is a fish dish and a meat dish, how do you know if people will like the fish dish or the meat dish more, if you have to prep everything before?
do you prep everything as though it will be very popular so that you will have enough? what happenes if the fish dish is way more popular then the meat dish? do you just have tons of waste?

sorry for all the questions, it's just that i'v always wondered how it works
thx!

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Old 05-21-2007, 11:51 PM   #2
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One preps a special based on the amount of covers. If you are in tune with the operation, then you know who is there for regular items, or the blackboard.

When it comes to a special, when you are 86'ed, you are 86'ed, that is why it is a special.

All you have to do is ask the PM closing manager what sold that night, and it will tell you what was worth the special. of course, the Chef you have should ALWAYS make the special profitable for the venue.

Not to mention, anything brought in house, should ALWAYS have another use in case the special does not take off. there is always a few left over if it is not 86'ed, so there needs to be another way to utilize the product.
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Old 05-22-2007, 12:02 AM   #3
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Tatt...in English please. 86'ed? "PM"(night?) manager? For those who don't understand some of the terms you are using, please define.
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Old 05-22-2007, 12:14 AM   #4
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86'ed =Out of, gotten rid off. Comes from an old mob saying"86 him" which ment get rid of him, at the 86 Pier...according to some legends...

And yes, PM=Night time.

As far as a menu is involved, you keep on hand enough for what you need, based on sales, and a back up=reserve. All restaurants have a formula that is followed, but it is corporate chains that have the stability that a lot of better, mom and pop type places, do not have. Corporate tends to base the needs of a unit, based on unit sales, versus regional sales. And it is the comparison of districts versus regions that determine what the consumer gets. all this determines unit menus and what have you. Every unit is different to a point.

It is all a part of keeping an inventory that is NOT costing excess money. A sales comparison of kitchen sales/invoice amount, versus kitchen inventory is what determines if a kitchen is profitable. FOOD COST is the magic term. Basically, the less money BOH(Back Of House)spends, compared to what it makes, is the magic formula.
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Old 05-22-2007, 06:06 AM   #5
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After a while, and it's a short while, if you pay attention, you know what is going to move more. The night of the week, the season, even the weather, all have implications when it comes to 'how much to make'.

The idea behind a special is to utilize something seasonal, something the chef had a hankering to make, and something he got a nice deal on. All that being said, it's wise to have another way to use the product if it bombed.

It's bad management to run out of regular items on any night of the week, but it's acceptable to run out of the special. If it's really a special, with unusual to the house ingredients, it's actually preferred to run out.
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Old 05-22-2007, 06:09 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TATTRAT

It is all a part of keeping an inventory that is NOT costing excess money. A sales comparison of kitchen sales/invoice amount, versus kitchen inventory is what determines if a kitchen is profitable. FOOD COST is the magic term. Basically, the less money BOH(Back Of House)spends, compared to what it makes, is the magic formula.
I'll never forget the way I was taught this... It was plain and simple english: money on the shelf is bad, money in the bank is good.
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Old 05-22-2007, 04:09 PM   #7
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Like Tatt said, specials are specials; once they're out, they're out.

As far as regular menu items, we may prep a certain amount, say 12 orders, but that doesn't mean that there's only 12 orders left for the entire evening. We'll do a menu item countdown at five orders and depending on how busy it is, that will indicate as to whether or not we need to prep more. For instance, if we're down to five orders of lamb and it's only 7:30pm and we still have 40 more covers coming in, then we'll definitely start to prep more. But if it's 8:30pm and there's only 10 more covers coming in, then we won't. We always prep a little more on the starches, veg., and sauces, but not on the proteins. If you prep for 12 lamb and then end up selling 16, it's much easier (and cheaper) to have extra starches, vegetables, and sauce on hand, and then prep more lamb to order if needed. So, while we may have 12 lamb racks prepped, we'll have enough starch, veg., and sauce for say, 16-18 portions.
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Old 05-22-2007, 04:28 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ironchef
Like Tatt said, specials are specials; once they're out, they're out.

As far as regular menu items, we may prep a certain amount, say 12 orders, but that doesn't mean that there's only 12 orders left for the entire evening. We'll do a menu item countdown at five orders and depending on how busy it is, that will indicate as to whether or not we need to prep more. For instance, if we're down to five orders of lamb and it's only 7:30pm and we still have 40 more covers coming in, then we'll definitely start to prep more. But if it's 8:30pm and there's only 10 more covers coming in, then we won't. We always prep a little more on the starches, veg., and sauces, but not on the proteins. If you prep for 12 lamb and then end up selling 16, it's much easier (and cheaper) to have extra starches, vegetables, and sauce on hand, and then prep more lamb to order if needed. So, while we may have 12 lamb racks prepped, we'll have enough starch, veg., and sauce for say, 16-18 portions.
ahh, i think I understand
It was getting complicated there
thx I have always wondered.
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Old 05-22-2007, 06:56 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SurvivorGirl
Ok, here is a question for anyone who is in the restaurant business that i have been wondering about for a while.
How do you know how much of a dish to make each night off a menu? like if there is a fish dish and a meat dish, how do you know if people will like the fish dish or the meat dish more, if you have to prep everything before?
do you prep everything as though it will be very popular so that you will have enough? what happenes if the fish dish is way more popular then the meat dish? do you just have tons of waste?

sorry for all the questions, it's just that i'v always wondered how it works
thx!
S.C.O.R.E. is an agency of retired business executives who advise free of charge people who are contemplating owning a business whether it is a restaurant, clothing store, or gas station...etc. It's like having a marketing research firm for the asking. They can tell you how many customers you will have, how much they will spend and what they will order. They can also tell you how much you will make and what your expenses will cost you.
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Old 05-22-2007, 09:09 PM   #10
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SurvivorGirl, S.C.O.R.E. stands for "Service Core of Retired Executives" and if you are interested in learning more about them you can go here. It's an organization that is helpful to anyone interested in starting their own business.
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