How to Scale Recipes to Save Money and Reduce Waste
You've introduced a new lunchtime soup, but you didn't anticipate how popular it would be. Now, you need to make twice the amount to satisfy customer demand. On the flip side, you discover a stew that was once popular during lunch is lagging in sales and you need to reduce the amount you're making.
The popularity of on the menu is always ebbing and flowing, leaving restaurants to figure out how much of any is just the right amount to make. Too little and you risk losing customers who don't get their orders. Too much and food is wasted.
That's why it's important to know how to ingredients.
Scaling a refers to either increasing or decreasing its . Of course, chefs need to know up, but there are also instances where scaling down is just as important.
In this article, we'll discuss , which recipes well (and which don't), and the importance of conversion factors.
Why Should You Consider ?
Of course, it's important to recipes when you're taking them from the test kitchen to your menu. Particularly for recipes made in large batches ahead of time, scaling up a correctly will ensure the small or your chef experimented with will taste exactly the same when made to meet the for the breakfast, lunch, or dinner rush.
It's important, however, for all of your head chefs and kitchen managers to know how to a up or down so that there is never too much or too little to meet demands.
for lunch and a smaller one for dinner, but how much broccoli, cream, and cheddar do you need for each , and how much you should keep on hand? helps control inventory and food waste, as well. Your broccoli cheese soup, for example, may be a popular lunch item that's less frequently ordered at dinner. You make a larger
Knowing the of each of your ingredients and correctly will help you keep inventory levels precise.
Which Recipes Should You on Your Menu?
There are recipes that well and there are recipes that don't. Let's take a look at some examples.
Recipes that Easily
Most recipes that don't involve can be scaled pretty easily. Even so, there are some ingredients that don't well, such as spices, seasonings, and alcohol. For those ingredients, it's best to add a little at a time while , recording how much you add every time, until you get the flavor just right.
For example, a for tofu stir fry is pretty easy to up or down. Simply divide or multiply most of the ingredients to reflect the increased . If you wanted to double the stir fry, you would simply double most of the ingredients. Want to make only the number of servings? Cut the ingredients in .
We're saying most, here, because soy sauce falls into that category of trickier ingredients. Doubling the soy sauce may make the stir fry too salty. In that case, it's best to add a little at a time, then include the new measurement in your cookbook.
Recipes That Don't Easily
Recipes such as , , and yeast don't lend themselves to scaling as easily. You can't simply add double the amount of in your bread and expect it to come out well. with leavening ingredients such as
If you do need to one . a like that, it's important to pay close attention to your conversion, or scaling, factor. Or better yet, stick to the and make more than
In some cases, the volume in the , put all the into one big , and bake it at the same . The edges will bake, while the center won't cook at all. will play an important factor in scaling. You know, for example, that you can't simply double a
The same goes for casseroles, baked pastas, and baked egg dishes. It may be better to simply bake more than one for those kinds of dishes, as well, using more than one at the same time.
To a , you need to know the for each . In fact, you can calculate that ahead of time and include it on your cards. That way, kitchen staff can recipes up or down on the fly.
The conversion or is the number that tells you just how much you need to your ingredients up or down. It helps determine each you'll need for recipes you're scaling up to more than double the original.
Let's say you want to up that broccoli cheese soup, which normally serves 4, to 15. (Of course, you'd need a lot more than 15 servings for a lunch rush, but we'll use small numbers just to keep things simple.)
15 ÷ 4 = 3.75
Your is 3.75.
Once you have your , you can up your by multiplying the measurements of each by your . So, if the calls for 2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese:
2 x 3.75 = 7.5.
You need 7.5 cups of shredded cheddar cheese to up from 4 to 15 servings.
To down, simply reverse the calculations. If you need to down from 15 servings to 4, you would still use the of 3.75. But instead of multiplying the original measurements for each , you would divide them.
7.5 ÷ 3.75 = 2
Now you know you need 2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese to make a .
As you use conversion factors, you may get some fractions that don't translate well to your ingredients, like 3.75 eggs. In that case, it's okay to round up or down without affecting the .
If you do digital before figuring out your and new measurements. a , like the we mentioned above, it's best to convert from volume measurement to (such as , , or ) using a
For example, if your calls for 4 cups of , 2 cups of sugar, and of vanilla, instead of getting out your and tablespoon, you would convert to weight measurements using a and then calculate the percentage of each against the weight of the , which is always 100% in the .
(16 oz sugar ÷ 32 oz ) x 100 = 50% sugar
(1 fl oz vanilla ÷ 32 oz ) x 100 = 3% vanilla
If you need a quick reference guide, sites such The Spruce include a .
How Can Preparations and Production Events Help You ?
If all this sounds complicated, don't worry. If you're using a software solution such as MarketMan, there are built-in tools to help you your recipes.
Within MarketMan, you can build preparations; recipes for certain elements of your menu items that the kitchen staff can prepare ahead of time and at . Examples of preparations include pasta sauce, pesto, and house-made salad dressings.
Your BOH staff can use preparations to run production events, assigning that sauce or dressing to a member of the staff, and even printing out the exact measurements needed to the .
Scaling a doesn't have to be hard. And it can help your restaurant reduce food waste and save on food costs. Simply look for a solid restaurant management tool, such as MarketMan to help you quickly and accurately.