When pricing menu items and planning dishes, the defining factor is portion size. Whereas some potential customers will look for large portion sizes as the indication of a satisfactory venue, others will be happy with smaller portions, when they are offered a high level of food. Either way, the portions must be consistent. It simply won’t do to serve a small portion one time and a huge portion the next. Loyal customers will only be loyal if they expect the venue to keep up their standards. And on the business side of things, serving portions which are too large can cause the profit margin on the dish to be negligible, making the business less profitable. Food portioners offer a simple, efficient, and affordable solution for portioning most food items. This guide provides a review of some basic options available and outlines their potential uses.
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Scales are the most often used food portioning solution. They are useful for food businesses not only when portioning the dishes, but also for preparing baked goods which require exact quantities of various ingredients, as well as when receiving raw ingredients to ensure the weighing and billing was done appropriately by the supplier. When it comes to portioning pastas, doughs, meats, and fish, scales provide the easiest indication of size. Many burger venues offer patties by the pound, and those portions are weighed out using a kitchen scale to ensure that the customer is getting what they pay for, and that the business is making the expected profit off of the ingredients.
Food Portioning Cups
Food portioning cups are similar to measuring cups, and can be used to add previously decided upon amounts of a certain ingredients to a dish (such as herbs, for example) or to dish out an estimated amount of a component of a dish. For example, guacamole can be a very pricy dip, so instead of piling it on in different amounts based on the chef’s estimate of what the dish should be, scooping a set amount of it with a food portioner can be a smarter option. Food portioners can be useful for side dishes as well. Not only can they measure out adequate amounts of grains to add to a dish, if a grain such as rice is packed in, and the food portioner flipped over directly onto the plate, the grains can hold the shape of the food portioner, producing an aesthetic plating scheme. Food portioning cups can be used for the variety of applications mentioned above, and can also help provide customers with an idea of the nutritional value of their meal, if they ask how many ounces are included. Though food portioning cups can be seen as less critical for commercial kitchens when compared to scales, they offer a multipurpose tool to be used for the cooking process itself, as well as for plating.
Cafeteria trays are ideal food portioners for school caterers, since they provide a reusable, super-easy option for portioning. When considering using food portioners for cafeteria meals, the factors which are important go beyond caterer profit. With the awareness of obesity and the health problems associated with bad diet habits, eating the correct portion sizes and amounts of different foods has become a focus for schools and parents. Offering portioned cafeteria trays can help enable students to make wise food choices, and help the school caterer provide healthy solutions and good portion sizes while making a profit.
Food portioning tools are valued for their ability to ensure the amount of food being offered, and therefore the nutrition facts of a dish and the profit margin it will have for a food business. They also provide an easy way to measure out ingredients for a recipe. On the other hand, they can also be used to easily and aesthetically serve different dish components. Imagine an ice cream store serving ice cream with a regular spoon…doesn’t sound so attractive, does it? The ice cream scooper not only enables the server to easily serve the ice cream in an attractive way, it also allows the store owner or manager to price the scoop based on their expenses and effort for a given amount of ice cream. Food portioning tools are a must have for every food business, but which ones? Each food business will have to decide which food portioning tools are crucial for them, based on their menu and service strategy. Caterers offering buffets, for example, may be able to forgo food portioning cups in many cases. Food portioning is a basic factor that must be taken into consideration by every venue, even before sales start, in order to estimate profit potential and provide customers with a consistently positive experience.
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