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  • Tips for sustainable food sourcing, food handling and menu engineering for restaurants
    someone There are some things that can stop your ability to keep going almost immediately including e coli in produce or ground meats pathogens in fish and shellfish and salmonella in chicken Where you choose to get your food supply matters not just to you but to the whole restaurant industry If you make a big enough mistake you could actually kill someone and that is an unacceptable risk to the sustainability of everyone in the restaurant business Basic food handling Extinction can also start with ignoring basic food handling procedures Keeping good foods fresh and safe is just as important as where food comes from in the first place A few things I have personally seen in restaurants that give me the shivers include Thawed hamburger patties with a big red spot in the middle Ground lamb delivered in unrefrigerated white plastic buckets and Raw chicken stored over top of raw produce in a cooler Dirty kitchens poor hygiene rotten garbage these are always cause for concern In most speeches I do I ask the audience Who has been in a restaurant in the past month with a dirty washroom I always get at least 70 per cent of the hands going up Dirty washroom says dirty everything to a guest Even an informal survey such as this suggests that some operators need to do better if we truly want to be sustainable Sustainable menu engineering There is the death by a thousand cuts method to going out of business on food Guests reward good restaurant operators with their loyalty and they punish those who are poor operators by going elsewhere There is a long list of restaurant operators who are dead and gone from Forgetting how to serve good food to their guests stripping the goodness out of

    Original URL path: http://restaurantcentral.ca/sustainablefoodsourcing.aspx (2016-02-14)
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  • Restaurants going local with house-made food products
    for everyone These days an exclusive ingredient or product made on premises with local sustainable ingredients from a pickled vegetable sandwich filling to house made sausage can deliver both a measurable sustainable benefit to restaurant operations and a secret sauce value to the menu It also happens to be a relatively easy and very affordable way to add more green to the plate Reduces waste adds value Of course there s nothing new under the sun here Making sausages and terrines or condiments and fruit compotes is a time honoured culinary process to reduce waste and maximize food value Some of the greenest of local specials follow this tradition particularly for chefs such as Vancouver s Robert Belcham Refuel Campagnolo who regularly purchase whole animals directly from the producer For Belcham a wide variety of in house charcuterie is a mainstay of his regular menu However restaurant concepts with less time and capacity for processing can readily add local flavour with ingredients brought in specifically for that purpose Examples abound on menus everywhere for instance the regular endive salad at Raincity Grill in Vancouver s West End is garnished with a local organic blackberry gastrique made in house with seasonal berries and featured year round And there are growing numbers of hyper local products appearing on menus Executive chef Scott Dolbee and his team at the Four Seasons Resort Whistler process their modest harvest of seasonal produce such as strawberries and herbs from the hotel s roof garden into sauces and flavourings for a variety of sweet and savoury applications in the dining room and cocktail lounge An abundance of benefits Nevertheless the real break with tradition of these types of secret sauce ingredients is that they should never be a secret at all a simple or single regularly featured

    Original URL path: http://restaurantcentral.ca/Restaurantshousemadefoodproducts.aspx (2016-02-14)
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  • Managing waste at restaurants and foodservice operations cost-effectively in Halifax
    is visiting businesses in downtown Halifax specifically in the foodservice sector Their goal is to help enhance your recycling and composting programs All business industry and commercial establishments must meet the requirements of By Law S600 and the Nova Scotia Environment Waste Management Regulations through use of a waste management program Do you need bins Waste management starts with the proper containers You should have bins to accommodate the separation of waste if your business generates organics e g food waste boxboard paper e g receipts invoices envelopes blue bag recyclables e g plastic bottles glass or tin cans or corrugated cardboard Structuring a waste management program A waste management program has two components Interior Waste is separated inside your business by employees customers contractors etc Exterior Waste is placed in separate bins that are collected by a contracted waste hauler unless your business takes the separated waste to the appropriate waste facilities How to save money Using your bins properly is key to any effective and cost saving waste separation program If you have one large bin for garbage and are not using the green cart or paper recycling bins you may be paying more than necessary to manage

    Original URL path: http://restaurantcentral.ca/ManagingwasteHalifax.aspx (2016-02-14)
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  • Green cleaning in foodservice: Four items to consider when selecting a green cleaning product
    of food make production messy business and industrial strength cleaners are often needed Unfortunately the environment can be negatively impacted by the use of thes e harsh chemicals When these chemicals are in the air and water in large quantities they have been known to cause effects from minor skin irritation to more dangerous reactions such as endocrine disruption in fish Sewage regulations and procedures reduce the amount of harmful chemicals that reach public waters However this treatment process still allows for some chemicals to reach our ecosystems A stronger interest in environmentally friendly cleaning products has resulted in more green products becoming available Unfortunately some of these products tend to be weaker in strength or versatility than conventional cleaners making the cleaning process more labour intensive or altogether inadequate for a foodservice establishment The public and restaurateurs alike must also be cautious when shopping for these products as a myriad of different labeling systems presently exist which have different standards A number of products claim to be green or natural which in fact still contain harmful chemicals What you can do Look for products that have been certified by a credible third party program such as EcoLogo the EPA or Green Seal Ask your supplier about which green products are available and what makes them green If no products are available press your supplier to find more green products to suit your needs Have a bad experience Don t give up on all green cleaners Continue to try different products until you find one that suits your needs and meets your standards of cleanliness If nothing else look for cleaners and cleaning systems that come in concentration packing and dilution systems which cut down on waste See also Three green initiatives that drive top line benefits Five questions to

    Original URL path: http://restaurantcentral.ca/Greencleaninginfoodservice.aspx (2016-02-14)
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  • Bread: A business case for change in foodservice
    waste bread discarded by consumers Economic impact In recent years many authors and activists have realized the increasing importance of presenting the business case for change when discussing issues of sustainability and restaurant bread use is no exception A quick look at cost structures of food service establishments and you will find that bread can account for three to five per cent of the cost of food often tens of thousands of dollars a year With our research showing a current waste of bread sitting around 30 per cent it is easy to calculate how eliminating even half of this waste could see an addition of thousands of dollars to the bottom line Research The study of food waste in a restaurant or institutional food setting is difficult and this is reflected in the minimal amount of research that exists in this area One of the first studies by a group of agricultural economists in the journal Food Review 1997 found that food loss in foodservice was about 26 per cent The study reported that these losses came mostly from over preparation and excessive portions McAdams surveyed both consum er and operator perceptions about bread service and attempted to quantify the economic impact of bread waste as well as investigate possible alternatives that would result in less waste Over 20 restaurants and banquet facilities and 130 Ontario consumers participated Eighty five per cent of consumers were accepting of a practice in a restaurant where complimentary bread was only served upon request if the policy was mentioned on the menu or by the server Ninety per cent of consumers were accepting of the idea of French bread service where bread is served with trays and tongs by the server as opposed to being placed on the table in baskets McAdams found that the average bread waste among different types of facilities ranged from 25 to 35 per cent and the average cost per slice of bread was 13 to 18 cents each Ninety two per cent of respondents agreed that foodservice operators should be more conscious of and consider plate waste more closely This astounding number is surely a sign to operators that the time is upon us to re think the way we design our food service meals says McAdams Why the waste McAdams suggests that foodservice establishments must re evaluate the longstanding practice that associates portion size with value in a restaurant meal and says that this approach has led to an endemic problem of high levels of plate waste in our foodservice systems McAdams says the focus needs to be shifted towards quality not quantity and this must be considered at all levels of dining from quick service restaurants all the way to the finest dining rooms in the country McAdams research found that the high level of waste was the result of the automatic service of bread to restaurant and banquet guests Findings also indicated that consumers are willing to adjust their expectations and several operational alternatives

    Original URL path: http://restaurantcentral.ca/breadwasteinfoodservice.aspx (2016-02-14)
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  • Tips for cleaning and sanitizing food surfaces at restaurants and foodservice operations
    preparation serving or storage process Cross contamination is the most common and critical sanitation failure leading to foodborne illnesses It is crucial that every member of a foodservice team knows what constitutes a food contact surface and understands the importance of proper process and products to both clean and sanitize Cleaning and sanitization involves the effective physical removal of soils bacteria and other microorganisms This process when performed frequently and correctly will reduce the risk of direct or indirect cross contamination of food How to reduce the risk The following is a list of must do s to reduce the risk of cross contamination Follow provincial and local health department guidelines Follow equipment manufacturer s instructions regarding proper use of sanitizers Follow chemical manufacturer s instructions regarding proper chemical use directions dilution rates and safe handling directions for dish detergent and sanitizer Wash rinse and sanitize food contact surfaces before each use Always refer to the WHMIS Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System provided by the chemical manufacturer if you have questions about the use of specific chemicals Sanitizing and disinfecting Defined sanitizing means to reduce microorganisms on a surface to a safe and acceptable level Disinfecting is the total elimination of microorganisms on a surface and is more prevalent in healthcare environments due to the risk of infection after medical procedures To make shipping and storage cost effective sanitizers are commonly diluted from concentrate into required parts per million ppm solutions according to the manufacturer s label directions Dilution rates higher or lower than the recommended dosage are equally hazardous Dispensing systems help provide precise chemical dilutions and active ingredient test strips are always recommended for testing solution compliance When to clean and sanitize As a rule the following criteria should be applied as part of any best practice program

    Original URL path: http://restaurantcentral.ca/cleaningandsanitizingfoodsurfaces.aspx (2016-02-14)
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  • Three steps to creating a winning restaurant team through financial transparency
    the following concerns Dispelling some myths Myth If my staff knew my profitability wouldn t they take advantage of me We have surveyed thousands of staff and have learned that they believe their employer s profitability is five to 10 times more than it actually is So the opposite is actually true Myth Won t the transparency create jealousy and animosity Unfortunately those two things may already exist in your business and if anything this process reduces them Transparency lets people know where they stand and what it takes to get to the next level Myth Why bother educating staff when they just leave anyhow We believe it is better to have educated staff that might leave than uneducated staff that stick around Little room for error Many Canadian hospitality businesses struggle to earn a five per cent net margin That is a lot of work for a low return and those sorts of margins leave little room for error creating huge risk I have worked with hundreds of managers and am always surprised at how few actually have their finger on the fiscal pulse of the business they run Most can t tell me the break even point of their company on a weekly basis the point where their business tips from loss to profit Recently we hosted a workshop with some of Canada s leading operators and only 20 per cent of them knew this piece of data What sets apart the most profitable businesses that we work with You could find out their break even point from their dishwashers Getting started I urge you to pull together at least your leadership team if not your entire core group of staff The more people who understand these numbers the more focus and momentum you will have in your business Step One Educating your team on your break even point will allow them to truly understand what it takes to keep the business running Most staff members are shocked at how much it costs just to keep the doors open Step Two Add five per cent to your break even number to display what the average hospitality operator in Canada is making I can almost guarantee that your staff believes you and other operators are making significantly more than you are Almost all of your staff know someone or have worked for someone who is no longer in business let your staff connect with the sensitivity of this number Step Three This is where the exercise gets really fun Show your staff the impact on the business if you can deliver revenues 15 per cent over your break even point and what the impact would be on your profitability The fact is Increasing your sales by 15 per cent over your break even revenue requirement can triple your profitability when factoring in 35 per cent cost of sales percentage For example Weekly Sales Required to Break Even 15 000 Average Weekly Profit 5 750 Average Weekly Profit 17 000

    Original URL path: http://restaurantcentral.ca/financialtransparency.aspx (2016-02-14)
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  • Eight ways to lower costs at your restaurant or foodservice operation
    or having your staff upsell these items 2 Evaluate your inventory Restaurant or foodservice owners and operators have a tendency to over order on food products resulting in waste and spoilage or ordering food without a real sense of how much they should be ordering Keep track of each and every single item you use on a daily basis for a few weeks and figure out an average of how much of each ingredient you are using per week Then order accordingly You could be saving yourself thousands of dollars a year 3 Check waste Chefs line cooks and prep cooks can be careless when prepping food and tend to waste a lot of good food In order to keep track of who is wasting what replace the garbage cans in the kitchen with clear bins Give each cook his own bin so at the end of each shift each employee is accountable for his her own wastage 4 Save electricity Save on your electricity and gas bills by turning off unused burners stoves and fryers during off peak hours Calculate how many minutes each appliance needs to get to the desired temperature so you know what time you need to turn them on before you begin your lunch or dinner service 5 Portion all menu ingredients Portioning all your ingredients ahead of time will not only help your restaurant serve your customers more efficiently but will also help to control freshness waste and spoilage and help chefs stick to the original recipe It is also a good idea to establish a schedule routine for prepping food based on anticipated sales thereby cutting on costs 6 Evaluate your labour cost Overstaffing will take up a big chunk of your profits so it is essential that you evaluate how much staff

    Original URL path: http://restaurantcentral.ca/lowercostsatyourrestaurant.aspx (2016-02-14)
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