4 Tips to Reduce Food Spoilage in Your Restaurant
As a restaurant owner, filing a liability claim due to a patron’s complaints about becoming ill after eating at your restaurant can not make you feel good. It is something that all restaurateurs strive to avoid. Preventing food spoilage is as important as serving the tastiest dishes you can. Whether you are new to the restaurant business or you have been a chef for years, it is always a good idea to revisit your food handling practices and remember these tips:
- Avoid overbuying. There is a hard balance to strike when figuring out how much fresh produce, dairy, and meats to purchase each week. You want everything to be fresh, but you do not want to risk buying too much and having it spoil before you can use it either. It may be a trial and error procedure. Try to build your menu around what is seasonal to help reduce costs.
- Label and organize everything that comes in. Keep meats away from produce and any raw cheeses, etc. You will want to include the date of purchase on every item so you will know how long it has been sitting in your store room or refrigerator.
- Inspect EVERYthing that comes in. Do not take anyone’s word for it. Check each incoming parcel to make sure it is not already spoiled or rotten.
- Keep everything at the correct temperature– including beverages. This goes for beer and wine, too. Do not let hot things get cold, or cold things get hot.
The main thing to remember in the restaurant business is “when in doubt, throw it out”. While you may risk it at home when you do not know how long something’s been in the fridge, you do not want to do that with your customers. While your business liability insurance will have you covered financially, you have more at stake than just money.
Have a meal plan for a set amount of time such as a week. Buy only the ingredients needed for that meal plan unless they are non-perishables for your pantry. Have a plan for leftovers such as roast and potatoes into burritos and stew or ham into quiche or casserole. If someting comes up that you aren’t going to eat a certain perishable meal on a given night, try to freeze it or use it the next day and delay cooking a different meal on the plan.