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"86" Your Kitchen Trash Cans

Think about the trash cans in your kitchen. Probably not the most pleasant thought but trash cans in the kitchen have been referred to as "black holes of profitability."

Any restaurant is at risk for losing good, usable food products to their kitchen trash cans. If there's a training gap or people are careless when prepping fruits, vegetables or whatever, usable product can end up in the trash can. Say someone is preparing a piece of fish or meat and inadvertently makes a slice in the wrong place. Might they be tempted to hide their mistake in the trash can? Sure, it "can" and "does" happen.

I know of operators who have removed all the trash cans out of their kitchens and replaced them with clear plastic food boxes. They start by giving a clear plastic food box to each of their prep cooks with their name on it. The prep cooks are instructed to place all of their scraps, trimmings and waste into their own food box.

At the end of each shift, the manager briefly inspects the contents of each cook's food box. If good product is discovered, it's immediately brought to the employee's attention and, if necessary, they receive some on-the-spot training.

As they say, "don't expect what you don't inspect." Ditching your kitchen garbage cans for plastic food boxes, even for a just week or two, will give you the perfect opportunity to find out exactly what's leaving your kitchen and heading to the dumpster.


Featured Articles & Resources at RestaurantOwner.com.


Receiving: What Goes on at Your Back Door Does Matter


The receiving dock or back door is one of the most vulnerable areas in your restaurant. The potential to lose money during the receiving process is great. Implementing and executing a good receiving system takes some training and time but it's a high- return activity that will pay for itself many times over.

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Receiving: What Goes on at Your Back Door Does Matter


Download: Inventory Spreadsheet

This Excel spreadsheet contains two worksheets, one for calculating food inventory and the other for bar inventory. The food inventory in broken down into categories for Meat, Seafood, Poultry, Produce, Bakery, Grocery and Non-Alcoholic Beverages. The bar inventory worksheet has categories for Liquor, Beer, Wine and Bar Consumable products.

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Download: Inventory Spreadsheet


Strategies for Working With Foodservice Distributors

Is selecting a prime vendor for most items and cherry-picking specialty items the way to go? Learn what a broad-line distributor, a restaurant purchasing consultant, and two restaurant general managers think.

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Strategies for Working With Foodservice Distributors


ONLINE SEMINAR: Food Cost Fitness: What Every Restaurant Pro Should Know About Food Cost

This practical, real-world program provides a comprehensive approach to understanding, managing and controlling your entire food production process. You and your people will learn where your restaurant is most vulnerable to food cost losses and how to take immediate and effective action. Part 1 in a series of 6.

Members click here to access:
Food Cost Fitness, Part 1: What Every Restaurant Pro Should Know About Food Cost




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