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Optimize Menus with Speed-Scratch Ingredients

Menu optimization is key to the success of every operation – but finding a balance between dishes that excite customers and align with operator values, while keeping the checkbooks happy, can be a challenge. Here are a few creative tips to keep guests happy while keeping costs low:

Showcase & Innovate Popular Menu Items

If customers are consistently coming back for certain dishes that aren’t cost-effective, innovate! Take the classic and delicious steak and potatoes dish. Preparing mashed potatoes from scratch can be resource intensive, but they serve as a staple on many American menus. Replacing scratch-mashed potatoes with a more cost-effective and time-saving option, like speed-scratch options, can be an operator’s saving grace. Speed-scratch Fresh-Dried™ mashed potatoes maintain scratch-made taste and quality but are ready in a matter of minutes – significantly reducing the time and labor costs on classic meat and potato dishes. Speed-scratch options allow operators to showcase their most popular dishes more conveniently and consistently so that front-of-house staff can push signature items with confidence. With easy ingredient swaps, operators can serve signature dishes while saving time and money.

Lower Costs with Versatile Ingredients

To keep kitchens stocked at low cost, speed-scratch and shelf-stable ingredients that can be used for many dishes are essential. For example, Fresh-Dried™ potato products can be used in a myriad of appetizers, sides, entrées, and desserts, making them a vital ingredient in commercial kitchens. Fresh-Dried™ potatoes come in a variety of formats – from mashed potatoes to flakes, slices, and shreds – and are versatile across a variety of dishes and cuisines. Use speed-scratch potato shreds for traditional hashbrowns or get creative with refreshing shredded potato salads, hearty bowls, gluten-free bread replacements, and exciting happy hour tater appetizers. Fresh-Dried™ mashed potatoes and potato flakes are great as a traditional side but can be used as the base for craveable bowls or as an ingredient in pastas, soups, and pizzas. Using versatile ingredients such as these helps operators cut costs while still offering plenty of variety on their menu.

Embrace Trends with On-Hand Ingredients

While it can seem crucial to chase menu trends and immediately adapt to them, it’s not always what guests are craving. Constantly adapting to keep menus on-trend can lead to increased costs, labor, and food waste. Instead, focus on classic dishes that keep customers coming back while finding ways to introduce seasonal dishes and LTOs that embrace trends and give menus a fresh feel. Find creative ways to embrace trends with versatile on-hand ingredients. Doing so using speed-scratch ingredients, such as Fresh-Dried™ potatoes, can help operators stay efficient while tailoring their menus to current favorites, trendy foods, and seasonal flavors. Incorporating on-trend or seasonal ingredients as mix-ins, toppings, and dips is an easy way to spice up on-hand speed-scratch potatoes as exciting LTOs. Try keeping a rotating seasonal dish to utilize lower costs on in-season produce while keeping the menu fresh.

At the core of menu optimization lies high quality, versatile ingredients – and efficient ingredients lead to efficient operations. Learn more at www.idahoanfoodservice.com.

Content courtesy of Idahoan Foodservice