From Scratch versus Ready To Go Coffeeshop Solutions

Operator Solutions Using Mocafe

One of the challenges facing foodservice operators dwells on the question of preparing items from scratch or purchasing products that require minimal labor. This question permeates the foodservice industry at all levels, from quick serve (QSR) to ultra-hyper-local-fine-dining.
Attend any foodservice or beverage tradeshow and you'll see numerous exhibitors offering solutions that address this question. How do you determine what is appropriate for your shop?
The factors to consider in this equation include, but are not limited too:
  • customer perceptions and demands
  • labor force skill, knowledge and passion and budget
  • brand promise and message
  • production space, design and storage
We'll come back to this topic again in the future, so for this blogpost, lets just focus on the second item; labor. Let me ask this question..
When you calculate the production cost of your menu items, do you calculate the average time it takes your staff to prepare said items? When I was anexecutive chef, that was a standard process in determining menu sell prices, production cost of plate and, ultimately, how much bottom line revenue each item produces to profit.
How do you calculate this factor? First, determine what average pay level will be preparing the item. Second, figure out the average time it will take to prepare. Those two variables will give you the information needed. Example:
Sandwich
Counter help average labor cost at $10 per hour. $10/hour divided by 60 minutes equals 17 cents per minute.
Average time to prepare sandwich equals five minutes.
17 cents multiplied by five minutes equals 85 cents per sandwhich.
This quick formula will give you one basis for evaluating whether to prepare items from scratch or from Ready-To-Go solutions. Again, we'll come back to this topic and look at other assessment tools in future postings.
Jeff from Mocafe

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