Eight Ideas for Minimizing Food Cost

When you were a kid, did you ever look under the couch cushions for loose change to buy something you really wanted or needed? A lot of us did. We knew we’d find something to help our cause, even if it was just to chase down the ice cream man!

With wholesale food costs breaking the bank—up 15.6% from May ‘21-May ’22 as reported by the National Restaurant Association—it’s a good time to apply that strategy on a larger scale. 

Making small changes in a variety of under-the-radar places in your kitchen can add up to meaningful savings.  

To supplement your existing cost-saving strategies, here are eight ideas to try.

1. Weigh Pricey Proteins

Ensure you’re not leaving money on the table with solid cut portions of meat and fish that are consistent and accurate. 

The Bravo Digital Portion Scale by Edlund was designed specifically for commercial foodservice, so it’s impervious to food drippings, frequent cleaning, and high levels of humidity.

2. Measure Toppings and Portions

Generosity is a virtue, but not when it comes to portioning! Portioning Spoons by TableCraft accurately measure hot or cold foods for prep and serving. Available in 6 sizes, from 2 to 8 ounces, these valuable tools support consistency and prevent waste. 

3. Monitor and Pare Down Pre-consumer Food Waste

To make sure kitchen staff aren’t cutting too deep into costly produce, consider using a Cambro CamSquare Storage Container to measure and monitor pre-consumer fruit and vegetable waste. A clear container with colored graduations provides a visual reminder to trim off less and use as much of each piece as possible. 

Mercer Millenia Paring Knives make precise trimming easy with a slim, sharp blade and a protective finger guard for added safety.

4. Keep Stored Foods Tightly Sealed

Sealed storage containers protect food from air, moisture, and potential contaminants that can cause premature spoilage and send them to early disposal. 

The Seal Cover for Cambro Food Pans provides content visibility and a tight seal to provide 2 to 3 extra days of shelf life of produce and proteins.

5. Vacuum Seal for Longer-term Food Preservation

Vacuum sealing and refrigerating or freezing can save the shelf life of raw or cooked foods. 

The Sammic Vacuum Sealer preserves valuable foods and maintains quality for serving at a later date so you can take advantage of volume discounts or manage unexpected service disruptions or periods of slower demand.

6. Practice First in First Out Food Inventory

Rotating food inventory to keep older items from getting pushed to the back of the cooler and destined for the dumpster is easier said than done, especially with multiple cooks in the kitchen. Dissolvable StoreSafe Labels by Cambro help entire teams and different shifts effectively manage valuable food inventory with a simple, fully-dissolvable labeling system.

StoreSafe Endure Food Identification Labels by Cambro provide a longer term labeling system. These reusable rotation labels stick to any polycarbonate container or food pan and stay securely affixed through 300 washings in a commercial dishwasher. Scrub off markings made with a wax marker or grease pencil, and the label is blank and ready to use again.

7. Protect Fragile, Pre-prepped Foods

Hold foods with high-moisture content up and out of their own juices to keep them from breaking down and getting soggy.

Cambro Colander Pans allow liquids to drain down and away from the food into the pan below for clean and simple disposal and reduced handling. Use with a flat cover for safe storage in your walk-in cooler.

8. Use Smaller Serving Pieces

Smaller serving pieces like TableCraft Mini Servers and colorful Soup and Casserole Dishes by Tuxton highlight customer favorites with an appealing presentation, reducing focus on serving size. 

Smaller portions are also more likely to be finished, so your staff will spend less time scrapping and less food will go to waste.

Our goal is to help you improve efficiency, reduce waste, and contain costs, all while offering quality and consistency to your customers. 

Contact us for specific solutions for your operation.