Food costs continue to climb, making it harder and harder for operators to grow margins. Compound that with food waste, and you have a persistent and costly issue facing operators today. The restaurant industry generates about 11.4 million tons of food waste annually at a cost of about $25 billion per year.1 So what can operators due to reduce waste, grow margins, and improve the bottom line?
Creative solutions can be found to utilize odds and ends in fun and innovative recipes that create excitement on the menu. Operators may want to take a second look at instant mashed potatoes and tater appetizers as a cost-effective solution for saving time and labor costs, while offering a canvas for creativity with a variety of leftover ingredients.
Consumers love trying something new, and the appetizer menu gives them a fun way to satisfy their flavor adventure cravings. Tater appetizers are a great way for operators to take advantage of the small plates trend. For example, savory bar bites capture a casual, flavor-forward vibe and provide a great platform for menu innovation. Mix in leftover protein such as chorizo or beef sausage, fry and serve with a signature sauce. Skillet dishes are a rustic presentation that says authentic. Operators can prepare potato-based appetizers and top with leftover veggies and cheese, served in a mini skillet.
Operators can also stuff potato-based appetizers with high-impact ingredients like jalapeno, blue cheese crumbles, cheddar, shrimp or other leftover protein for an indulgent option in a smaller portion.
Instant mashed potatoes also offer a number of inclusion opportunities, putting a new spin on the classic dish that everyone loves. Plus, in today’s fast-paced kitchens, who has time to peel, cut, boil and mash? Instant mashed potatoes provide customers the rich and creamy mashed potato experience they are seeking in a matter of minutes.
With a little creativity, the possibilities are endless and profitable with modest food costs delivering high margins to boost the bottom line.
Content courtesy of Idahoan Foods