Monthly Archives: May 2017

Profit with Housemade Chips

Potatoes

If your foodservice operation hasn’t been making housemade chips then you may be falling behind the curve. Customers always appreciate a personalized touch to main menu offerings and the side options are no different. By making your own chips in-house, you can flex your creativity muscles and expand your restaurant’s menu and side dish offerings. But did you know these crunchy treats can pay off big in your profit margin?

Potato chips are a classic snack choice which can be altered dramatically with the simple addition of seasonings. Because seasonings only cost pennies per serving, this investment can go a long way in the flavor department and save you money. Make housemade chips with a variety of seasoning choices to dress up or down your menu offerings. Browse our large selection of quality McCormick spices to add a personalized touch to your housemade chips recipe.

Follow the step-by-step guide below to easily make housemade chips for your restaurant:

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ pounds russet or purple potatoes
  • ½ cup distilled white vinegar
  • 8+ cups vegetable oil, for frying
  • Kosher salt or additional McCormick spices

Directions:

  1. Using a knife or mandoline, slice potatoes about 1/8” thick.
  2. Place potato slices in large bowl with enough cold water to cover the slices.
  3. Stir to release starch and drain. Repeat until water runs clear.
  4. Return potatoes to bowl. Cover slices with ½ cup distilled white vinegar and 6 cups water.
  5. Let the potatoes sit between 30 minutes to up to 2 hours.
  6. After the allotted time, drain and pat dry.
  7. In a medium-sized pot, pour in approximately 4” of vegetable oil, heating until temperature reaches 300 degrees F.
  8. Split the potatoes into 6 equal-sized batches.
  9. Fry potatoes, turning occasionally to cook evenly until golden brown or crisp. This will take approximately 5 minutes per batch.
  10.  Using a small fry basket or slotted spoon, transfer the chips to a paper towel-lined wire rack.
  11. Season with salt or additional McCormick spices.
  12. Before beginning additional batches, make sure the oil temperature is heated to 300 degrees F before starting the frying process.
  13. Keep potatoes at room temperature. Chips can be made up to 6 hours in advance.

For added charm and to command a higher price point, present the chips in a unique serving piece like these cone-shaped fry basket holders.

Growing Trend: Shorter Menus

ShorterMenu

Despite the long-held belief that longer menus make patrons more willing to spend money, these exhausting menus only bog down the dining experience. Creating shorter, focused menu offerings has become a growing trend in the restaurant industry. Restaurant goers now gravitate towards easier-to-read menu formatting with less choices rather than ones with a plethora of food options. Since shorter menus offer more compact and limited menu items, this growing trend can help your business cut costs and save on unnecessary food waste.

Offering an abundance of choices can make it difficult for customers to decide on which menu item to order. An extensive menu requires storing additional food preparation items and materials on-hand for even the most obscure menu items. If your menu has started to resemble a jumbled novel, consider putting some of your least popular menu offerings on the chopping block. Cutting down your menu offerings to highlight fan favorites shifts your priority to food quality over quantity.

Before narrowing your menu down to a clean, succinct set of offerings, poll your regular customers to get their take on which menu items should stay and which ones should go. This tactic will ensure that the focused group of menu offerings will be beloved by your regular and future customers, even with a shorter menu.

Solve Customer Complaints

Customer

In the restaurant industry, managers should do everything in their power to keep customers happy and get repeat business. But what if, after all the training and preparation, a customer experiences less than stellar service? In the age of social media, solving customer complaints has become even more important since the bad experience can instantly be spread to hundreds or thousands of people with one simple online post. Luckily, there is a step-by-step strategy to recover from a customer service mishap.

When trying to make amends with a dissatisfied customer, remember the acronym S.T.A.R.S. to quickly avoid further damage and remedy the situation.

Sorry. Apologize for the mistake without blaming the issue on the customer. Make sure to give full attention to their story and listen intently to the problem at hand.

Thank you. Thank the customer for coming to you about the issue. Instead of being unenthused about the interaction and complaint, use it as a learning experience to avoid offending a guest in the future.

Act. Act accordingly by doing anything in your immediate power to solve the issue. Something as simple as recooking a meal or switching servers can quickly put the flames to rest and satisfy the customer.

Recover. Offer something special to leave a better impression on the customer. For example, giving a coupon or comping their meal can go a long way to mend the relationship.

Share. Share the customer’s story and the follow-up experience with other employees so the entire team can learn from the situation. This will help avoid the same mistakes in the future.