Reduction in Prep Time
A major national scratch-casual chain was running into problems. Scratch-prep chains typically enjoy a great advantage in food quality—they have higher volumes and have culinary teams at each unit using fresh ingredients to prep food every day. It’s a great model until the units start to proliferate.
At about 50 units, the cracks started to show, and the food no longer tasted the same nationally. One chef’s teaspoon wasn’t the same as another’s, and the same was true with reductions and other culinary processes. Moreover, most chefs were altering recipes to their own tastes, which isn’t great for consistency or training. At the same time, the chain couldn’t turn to expensive ready-to-use (RTU) sauces because their whole model and strategy is built on fresh food preparation at the unit.
The Culinary team at Midas Foods was called in to assess the situation. They reviewed the internal scratch procedures and pantry list and worked with the chain’s culinary team. They jointly determined which fresh ingredients were needed and which could be incorporated into a proprietary, custom speed-scratch blend. Then Midas matched the existing 10-15 ingredient, multi-step sauces with a custom dry mix base that required only water.
The finished items were proprietary to the chain, pre-tested, pre-measured, and were true to the original recipes (unlike the wide variations from the scratch procedures). The prep went from 20-30 minutes to under 2-3 minutes, the consistency was perfect, and the costs were the same or lower than scratch.