A Great Way to Keep Your Meals Tasting Consistent
All of Us Have Done This
We’ve frequented a restaurant, because we like a particular dish (insert favorite meal here). Then one day, you order that food and after a bite, you notice something is different. It could be the taste or the texture, but it’s definitely off. Some of us might ask the server to bring us a new dish; some of us might just eat the food and deal with it because it’s not that bad; or some of us might send it back and order something else, because the food is just too yucky to swallow. In the end we might forgive the offense and go back to the restaurant, but the likelihood of you ordering that meal again is pretty slim. The same principle applies to hospital foodservice departments.
You might have staff or customers that buy certain meals from your cafes, cafeterias, or retail outlets because they just love them. But when those products differ from their usual form, it could impact sales. There are many factors that contribute to inconsistency and some of them you can’t control. For example, the tomatoes you purchase from vendor B is inferior, but you bought it from them, because vendor A’s prices have become too costly. But one of the factors that you can control is the production and assembly of the food, and it could come down to how they’re written.
Tips for Writing a Well-Written Recipe
Poorly written recipes can result with kitchen staff adding varying ingredients to the meals or the presentation could be different from person to person. You can reduce this variability by writing your recipes properly so that the same products are made regardless of which person is making them. Here are five great tips for writing recipes:
- Accurate Yield – When developing a recipe, make sure the yield (the number of servings in the recipe) is accurate and without rounding. If a yield is rounded up or down, it will become a problem when the recipe is scaled for production and the amount of servings could result in over- or under-production. Having an incorrect yield can also become a problem when you are costing out a recipe or analyzing its nutrients.
- Ingredients Listed for the Recipe Need to be in the Order They are Used in the Methods – When reading the production methods, the first ingredient it refers to should be the first ingredient listed and so on.
- Detailed Production Methods – The recipe method should detail the process of preparing and presenting the recipe, so it will look and taste the same every time. Avoid general methods like, “combine all ingredients and serve.” Using steps to separate the methods can help others follow the recipe.
- All Ingredients List the Amounts Needed – No elaboration needed here, but you should avoid listing ingredients that do not have an amount needed (e.g. salt and pepper with a method that says “season to taste”).
- Amounts for the Ingredients Should be in a Measurement That Works for the Kitchen – Similar to tip number 4, all ingredients need amounts but they need to be in a measurement that will work for the kitchen. If the kitchen weighs everything, then you will want to list the ingredients in weight. If 1 cup of chopped onions works better than 6 ounces of chopped onions, then it should be listed the best way for the staff in the kitchen.
How recipes are written can make or break the products that you make on a daily basis. But if recipes are written well, it can help make life for your kitchen staff easier as well as continue to be great sellers in your dining outlets.
Article by: Erick Hankinson, Account Relationship Management Specialist; Fusion, 4th Quarter, 2015