Every season, the same.
The new menu is pending….Business never ending…and the chefs are not inclined to test short ribs and stews in summer time. The process is arduous.
The chefs create a special. The special is proposed for the new menu. One or two at a time. Because, that’s all you can do without having too much food on hand, and throwing some away. Of course, throwing food away is immoral (sort of) and it goes against good business practices and, it pisses off the owner, and, it compromises profitability and bonus and….menu prices!
So, we choose a dish, and we teach the staff to make it. The chef then solicits feedback from the servers as to how it was received. (Of course, opinions vary.) Chefs speak with the managers about their thoughts. (Of course, opinions vary.) Then comes the owner. (Let’s not go there, but, seriously, you KNOW z has an opinion)
Then, we tweak, and try again. Then the fun begins….
The recipe needs to be recorded.
The ingredients need to be priced, per portion. Per vendor if we are REALLY doing the job well…because one guys short ribs may be $1.00 per pound cheaper than the other guys)
Then, Chef needs to examine the yield. (Because one vendors short ribs might actually be fatter, thereby, creating a more expensive “edible portion”, after the short ribs has been braised for 3 hours)
Once, all ingredients have been accurately costed (the edible portion of short rib, the gravy batch-divided-by-portion, the poatato batch-divided-by-portion, the butter/sour cream/bacon/chive etc, the vegetable and the vegetable compared to the vegetable that the guest will request to substitute (because, as you know, asparagus does not cost the same as kale!), a “Total Plate Cost” is derived.
Then comes pricing. (“What are they charging for the same thing?” ”Will the guests pay $25.00?” ”Should we reduce the portion?”)
Then comes menu placement…and what it will replace. (“But what about Bill and Cindy…they come in every week for that!”)
Then comes…editing, positioning, training, training-food-page-changes, staff discussion, tweaking….printing, re programming…all while chef teaches the new procedures, updates the prep lists, updates the position of line ingredients, the portion checklist, the quality control checklist, the ordering forms, the food cost and recipe files….
Any day now folks.