Portion Control is the procedure followed that defines the quantity to be utilized in preparing a dish and then serving it. Standard portions also mean consistency in the taste, quality, and quantity of food, which eventually results in customer satisfaction. Controlling portions becomes crucial for the success of any restaurant as it has a considerable impact on Food Costs. It is not something that can be introduced at the service point, it must start when orders are placed for supplies. Monitoring portion control could be done by direct supervision by sales analysis and by comparing the requisitions of each department with issues.
The amount of food allowed depends on the three following considerations:
The type of customer or establishment:
There will obviously be a difference in the size of portions served such as to those working in heavy industry or to female clerical workers. In a restaurant offering a three-course table d’hote menu for Rs.x including salmon, the size of the portion would naturally be smaller than in a luxury restaurant charging Rs. x for the salmon on A la carte menu.
The quality of the food:
The better quality food usually yields a greater number of the portion than poor quality food; low quality stewing beef often needs so much trimming that it is difficult to get six portions to the kilo, and time and labor involved also losses money. On the other hand, good quality stewing beef will often give eight portions to the kilogram with much less time and labor required for preparation.
The buying price of the food:
This should correspond to the quality of the food if the person responsible for buying has bought wisely. A good buyer will ensure that the price paid for any item of food is equivalent to the quality – in other words, a good price should mean good quality, which should mean a good yield, and so help to establish a sound portion control. If, on the other hand, the inefficient buyer has paid a high price for indifferent quality food then it will be difficult to get a fair number of portions, and the selling price necessary to make the required profit will be too high.
Portion control should be closely linked with the buying of the food; without a good knowledge of the food bought it is difficult to state fairly how many portions should be obtained from it. To evolve a sound system of portion control each establishment (or type of establishment) needs individual consideration. A golden rule should be ‘a fair portion for a fair price’.
Convenient portioned items are available, such as individual sachets of sugar, jams, sauce, salt, pepper; individual cartons of milk, cream and individual butter and margarine positions.
The necessity for portion control:
Standard purchase specification: While making purchase specifications one should consider the availability of commodities, their categories, size of packing, etc.
Receiving control: while receiving the commodities one should tally the received quantity and quality with the ordered quantity and quality.
Storage accommodation: while storing the commodities one should ensure that whether they are stored at proper storage temperature or not.
Standard recipe: while preparing the foods one should follow the standard recipe which is practiced to meet the standard of the establishment.
Right food to the right customer: while preparing and serving the food one should ensure that where the right food to be served to the right customer or not.
Three simple reasons WHY you need to control portions:
1. To Control Your Food Costs
Let’s say your kitchen runs at a 30 percent food cost across the board. Then your chefs over portion by 10 percent, you will raise your overall food cost to 33 percent. You’re losing money, and in the long run, it can equate to a lot of money! Even a slight (but consistent) over-portion can create an imbalance and affect your margins.
2. To Reduce Your Waste
If your portions are too big, and leftover food is being sent back by the customer at the end of the meal, this is pure waste and profit in the bin. Using portion control helps eliminate this problem.
3. To Maintain Consistency
Consider when you go to your favorite fast-food chain. One of the reasons they are so successful is they manage to make their products incredibly consistent. This means customers know exactly what they will get, and the managers know exactly how much it will cost to make. Using this same theory in your venue not only means you will have very satisfied customers who know what to expect when they re-order their favorite menu item, but it will also keep food costs consistent and predictable.
Tips to Control Portion Size
Here are some tried and tested ways to exercise portion control in the kitchen
- Standardized Recipes
- Right Plating
- Right Measurement
- Staff Training
- Buying Right