“Less is More” philosophy A strategy for decreasing costs Rob Clickstein Shelly Demmon History A philosophy developed by Shelly to target areas were we can control reduce costs History Rob then took the philosophy and turned it into an incentive based strategy. The following can be adapted for your District. “Less is More” A philosophy devised to not only save money but also save time. Now is the time to get back to the basics of managing our kitchens. “Back to basics” • Checking orders in. • Maintaining organized store rooms and refrigerator/freezers. • Utilizing products on hand. • Supervising and educating your staff to follow recipes. • Forecasting food and paper needs monthly, weekly and daily. • When placing orders be aware of how much product you really need and when it is actually needed. The focus will be on five specific areas which allow you to control and manage each of your operations more efficiently and effectively. The five areas we will focus on are: • Menu engineering • Budgeted purchasing • Exact portioning • Finite inventory • Targeted merchandising Menu engineering: The idea of menu engineering is simple. » Look at what you are currently making and see if you can remove a high cost ingredient and substitute it with a lower cost one. » Look at your high cost entrée’s and see if you can replace it with a lower cost version. “Sometimes it’s just the little things that can make a difference” Challenge your staff to be more creative with ingredients and to utilize commodities and leftovers. For example: • Home made hummus • Grilled vegetables • Diced chicken and ham in the salad bar • Rice salad • Parmesan mozzarella blend Budgeted purchasing: Each school will received a weekly budget for each of the following categories. The challenge is stay with in this budget each week. FA Day Middle School Sept-November Sum of PRODUCE Sum of PIZZA Sum of DAIRY Sum of GROCERY Sum of BAGELS Sum of BAKERY Day Total $1,156 $2,808 $6,716 $23,766 $119 $1,030 Average weekly $105 $255 $611 $2,161 $11 $94 Also concentrate on lowering the following: Chemicals: • It is important that every manager is aware of what they have and what they need. • Look at how many times your sinks are drained and refilled. The cost is approximately $5.oo Paper: • When ordering paper it is necessary to physically walk into your store rooms and look at your stock. • Organization in your store rooms is pertinent to the “Less is More” strategy. Exact portioning: Start looking at “exact portioning” this will allow you stay with in your budget and maintain the nutritional value of the items you serve.. • Portion control: Portion control one of the biggest obstacles. The key to success is to be diligent, stringent and educate the staff on the appropriate portion size for each recipe. • Service: Before service inform the servers what the portion size is and what comes with the meal Finite inventory: Keep a target amount of monthly inventory on hand. • Provided each location with a monthly targeted inventory amount. • Explained the need to turn their purchased inventory over every 1.5 weeks or every 8 days. • This will allow you to see what is on hand, not over produce, waste products and allow for an accurate inventory. Targeted merchandising: Challenged your staff to come up with innovative ideas to sell their food. Start by looking at: • The visual impact • Name brands • Freshness • Colors • Ease of service Action Plan • Purpose-focus on specific areas • Goal-reduce expenses & increase participation • Reason- You need to come up with a reason? Action Plan Phase 1: September-November focus on menu engineering and budgeted purchasing. • Each team will concentrate on their menu, forecasting and production records. • Production records will help the school plan their menu and forecasting will help when purchasing items. Menu engineering • Look at your menu and decide what you can eliminate and/or substitute. • When writing your menu always look in your freezers and store rooms. • Always check with your Principal to ensure you are up to date on all school activities. • Menu writing should start 2 weeks before the end of the month and turned in by the 25th of each month. Budgeted purchasing: • Production records will need to be filled out on a daily basis. • All orders need compiled by physically looking. • As managers you need to communicate to your staff what is expected of them daily. December managers meeting • Discuss the first three months of the individual schools food cost. • Managers will need to share improvements and the strategies they used. • Each school will receive their individual food cost goal. A decrease of X% points. Phase 2: December-February Each team will need to concentrate on: • Controlled portioning. • Finite inventory. • Targeted merchandising. • Continue to work on menu engineering and budgeted purchasing. Controlled portioning: • Deli bars need to be monitored and controlled. • Develop the “City/Town way” to roll wraps. • Always use scoops, spoodle’s and ladles. • Inform cashiers of the portion size. • Never assume your staff knows what is expected of them. Finite inventory: • Set up par stock levels. • Keep on hand only what you need for 8 days. • Reduce your paper and chemical spending. • Check in all chemical deliveries to ensure the product ordered is what you need. • Monitor how you are using grab & go containers and how much paper products the staff is using. Target merchandising: • Go through your stations as a customer. • Look at colors, station heights, signage, and ease of getting products. • Talk to students. • Decorate for the season. • Get rid of that institutional look. • Brand if you can! March managers meeting • Discuss each team’s purchasing practices, targeted inventory and the decline in percent of spending • Discuss the overall food cost and participation for the secondary schools. Phase 3: April-May “Maintaining what has been accomplished”. • Continue to menu engineer. • Stay with in your food budget. • Maintain and use your production records for forecasting. • Monitor portion control. • Maintain your targeted inventory for all categories of products. Phase 3: continued “Maintaining what has been accomplished”. • It is in the best interest that each team maintains what they have accomplished in phase 1 and 2. • Stress to your staff this is the time to use their management and leaderships skills. “The home stretch” June managers meeting • Report on each team’s year to date numbers and the secondary as a whole. • If the schools met the goal of reducing food cost by X% and increasing participation by X%. • The entire secondary team will be allocated up to X dollars to be used for a team year end event. Final words to your staff As a team the food service department can make the necessary changes to reduce expenses. It is our job to manage our people, vendors and products. By thinking “Less is More” we will all end the school year on solid ground with much deserved respect. Remember use the philosophy of “Less is More” to help guide you through this challenge. Good Luck!
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