The very best restaurants adhere to strict portion controls. Portion controls enhance consistency and reduce losses from waste.
1) Ensure your kitchen staff weighs all portions or use standard size ladles so as to meet your recipe specifications on every meal.
2) Establish recipes. Restaurant recipes have two purposes: to ensure consistency and control costs.
3) Be sure your staff is using scales, measuring cups, measuring spoons and appropriate ladles. Free handing usually results in over-portioning.
4) Find a use for all food items. Meat trimmings can be used for soups. Celery leaves can be used as garnishes. Pastry excess can be used for toppings.
5) Learn how to cut meats and fish to derive extra portions.
6) Maintain a fixed and limited menu. A fixed/limited menu allows for maintaining smaller inventory, easier training of staff and better portion controls. Use specials to break in new menu items or add interest to the menu.
7) Soups, bread, and salads have a far lower fixed per plate cost than entrées. Use side dishes to complete a meal and reduce the portion of the entrée.
8) Portion bread, butter, sauces, dressings, and condiments according to the number of guests to reduce waste. Bring more if requested.
9) Use the correct size plate for each menu item. Plate sizing is important in portion control and the perception of the customer. Experiment with plate sizes. Don’t be afraid to use different plates for different entrées’ items.
10) Staff training is important for portion control. They should know that portions and consistency are important and what goes into the preparation of a menu item.