Posted by Patrick Maness
When it comes to the financial benefits of self-service food stands and kiosks, it's all a matter of give and take. Employing a self-service kiosk option in your business offers you the chance to reduce your expenses by trimming manpower costs. That's the positive. But at the same time, those savings can be lost quickly if the business does not set appropriate portion-control guidelines. That's the negative. So where's the neutral ground?
To protect your profits and preserve the benefits that self-service offers, you need portion control — and this blog can help. Follow the four tips offered here and your business will be able to enjoy all the positives of self-service while reducing the unnecessary loss.
1. Positioning is important. When setting up your self-service area, pay special attention to the placement of your fare. Your least expensive items should be placed first and within easiest reach of customers. The second ring of your stand should consist of your more moderately priced items, and the final — and most difficult to reach — items in the back should be those where you incur the highest cost.
2. The bowl you use matters. Placing the right items in the right bowl can help preserve your margins. Place inexpensive items in larger bowls with lower rims for easier access. Save the more expensive items for the smaller bowls with higher lips. Remember, you're not trying to discourage your guests from enjoying these items, but you do want to reduce waste and over portioning.
3. Use high-quality tools. The right tool in your self-service station can help you control portioning. Use larger-sized scoops on more inexpensive items and smaller scoops or ladles on more expensive items. Make sure these items are always clean and placed back in the proper position. This helps control portions and prevent cross contamination.
4. Keep a watchful eye on your food kiosk. Self-service food kiosks don't require the manpower of other foodservice models, but that doesn't mean you can ignore them completely. Monitoring your food kiosk allows you to keep it clean and replace items that are running low. It also helps you prevent loss due to customers being wasteful with product or straining soups to draw out the hearty portions.
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