Jeff Ware
March 23rd, 2014
Culinary R&D:
The Process of Menu Item Design
Session Agenda
• Research
– When & why do you develop new items
– Finding creativity, inspiration, and motivation
• Develo...
• Started with CBM at 14
• Electrical Engineering/
Computer Science
Background
• Worked at CNN & theatres
Learned other as...
• Founded in 1980 as a hot
dog stand
• Catering spun off into
separate company in 1991
• Peak revenue of $17 Million
• 90 ...
• Largest event $1.3 million
• Focused on food quality
above all else
• Poor facility design
challenges efficiency
• Non C...
You have to sell it to cook it!
OR
Do you have to cook it to sell it?
Research
Both ways are correct
• in·spi·ra·tion
• noun ˌin(t)-spə-ˈrā-shən, -(ˌ)spi-
• Something that makes someone want to do
something or that gives so...
• Refreshing existing menus
• For a specific proposal or RFP
• Holiday/Ethnic/Thematic Events & Menus
• Keeping employees ...
• BEST – Adapting existing items
• Catersource, ICA, NACE, Industry/Peers
• Eating out, Travel, TV
• Internet, Social medi...
• Your employees
– Host brainstorming sessions
– Iron Chef competitions
– 20% Time – Google Idea
• Freedom to create
Resea...
Development
• Defining Specifications & Uses
• Initial testing, dog fooding, adaptation
• Why you need proper recipes
• Kn...
Development
Development
Development
• Defining Specifications & Uses
• Initial testing, dog fooding, adaptation
• Why you need proper recipes
• Kn...
Development
• 424 Vendors
• 3,421 Inventory Items
• 14,225 Recipes
– Largest known database in existence
• 3 FT Staff dedicated to man...
• Consistency in your product
• Selling based on true costs
• Consistency in sales force pricing
• Keep profit margins whe...
• Know your loss
• What is useable
product
• Proper units of
measure floz ≠ oz
Knowing & Tracking Your Costs
 Loss from c...
Units of Measure
OZ
• Chicken
• Mayo
• Flour
 Weight is always better than volume
unless it is a liquid
 Can use weight ...
Inventory Setup
1. Batch
2. Recipe
3. Complete Recipe
4. Menu/Package
Understanding Recipe Construction
1. Batch
2. Recipe
3. Complete Recipe
4. Menu/Package
Understanding Recipe Construction
Cooked Rice
1. Batch
2. Recipe
3. Complete Recipe
4. Menu/Package
Understanding Recipe Construction
Sushi Roll
1. Batch
2. Recipe
3. Complete Recipe
4. Menu/Package
Understanding Recipe Construction
Sushi Roll w/ Sauce
1. Batch
2. Recipe
3. Complete Recipe
4. Menu/Package
Understanding Recipe Construction
Sushi Roll Assortment
• Tap Water
• Fryer Oil
• Packaging
• Skewer
• Garnish
• Loss
Include All Costs
• Food Cost
– 30% Labor
– 30% Overhead
– 30% (or less) Food Cost
– 10% to pay sales commission and profit
Any average food...
• Pastry @ 20%
– So much additional labor
– Passed apps also good at 20%
• Proteins can be up to 50%
– What can your marke...
Consistent
Increase
• Database (designed for recipes) – BEST
– Designed for this use
– Instantly recalculate recipes
– Relational data
– Expen...
• Adjust or change ingredients
• Adjust yield and portion
• Better purchasing
Reduce Costs
Enforce Good Data Collection
Use
Photography
Enforce Good Data Collection
Enforce Good Data Collection
Enforce Good Data Collection
Enforce Good Data Collection
Enforce Good Data Collection
Check Accuracy
 Ingredients + loss = yield
 All costs included
 Ingredients are logged properly
 Ingredients listed in...
Execution
We cooked it
NOW
We can sell it
Execution
• Sales
– Tasting
– Tools
• Moving from testing to production
– Training the station
– Adding to recipe book
– S...
Execution
Execution
• Sales
– Tasting
– Tools
• Moving from testing to production
– Training the station
– Adding to recipe book
– S...
To download a copy of this presentation, go to:
slideshare.net/CateringChicago
Jeff Ware
jware@CateringByMichaels.com | (8...
Culinary R&D
Culinary R&D
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The Process of Menu Item Design

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Culinary R&D

  1. 1. Jeff Ware March 23rd, 2014 Culinary R&D: The Process of Menu Item Design
  2. 2. Session Agenda • Research – When & why do you develop new items – Finding creativity, inspiration, and motivation • Development – Why you need proper recipes – Knowing & tracking your costs – Understanding recipe construction & documentation • Execution – Sales – Moving from testing to production – Staff Education
  3. 3. • Started with CBM at 14 • Electrical Engineering/ Computer Science Background • Worked at CNN & theatres Learned other aspects of live events • Fell in love with food thanks to this job My Story
  4. 4. • Founded in 1980 as a hot dog stand • Catering spun off into separate company in 1991 • Peak revenue of $17 Million • 90 FT & 130 PT Employees • 45% Full Service / 35% On Premise / 20% Delivery CBM 101
  5. 5. • Largest event $1.3 million • Focused on food quality above all else • Poor facility design challenges efficiency • Non Chicago address is a marketing struggle CBM 101
  6. 6. You have to sell it to cook it! OR Do you have to cook it to sell it? Research Both ways are correct
  7. 7. • in·spi·ra·tion • noun ˌin(t)-spə-ˈrā-shən, -(ˌ)spi- • Something that makes someone want to do something or that gives someone an idea about what to do or create : a force or influence that inspires someone • A person, place, experience, etc., that makes someone want to do or create something • A good idea Research
  8. 8. • Refreshing existing menus • For a specific proposal or RFP • Holiday/Ethnic/Thematic Events & Menus • Keeping employees engaged • Staying current with industry & trends • Creating items to accommodate different price points • Dietary restrictions & allergens Research When & Why
  9. 9. • BEST – Adapting existing items • Catersource, ICA, NACE, Industry/Peers • Eating out, Travel, TV • Internet, Social media • Clients • Cook books (still better than web) Research Where do you get ideas
  10. 10. • Your employees – Host brainstorming sessions – Iron Chef competitions – 20% Time – Google Idea • Freedom to create Research Where do you get ideas
  11. 11. Development • Defining Specifications & Uses • Initial testing, dog fooding, adaptation • Why you need proper recipes • Knowing & tracking your costs • Understanding recipe construction – Batch vs. recipe vs. complete recipe vs. menu/pkg – Standards and consistency
  12. 12. Development
  13. 13. Development
  14. 14. Development • Defining Specifications & Uses • Initial testing, dog fooding, adaptation • Why you need proper recipes • Knowing & tracking your costs • Understanding recipe construction – Batch vs. recipe vs. complete recipe vs. menu/pkg – Standards and consistency
  15. 15. Development
  16. 16. • 424 Vendors • 3,421 Inventory Items • 14,225 Recipes – Largest known database in existence • 3 FT Staff dedicated to managing the database • 75,882 photos (432 GB) Recipes @ CBM
  17. 17. • Consistency in your product • Selling based on true costs • Consistency in sales force pricing • Keep profit margins where they need to be • Smart purchasing decisions • Historical data = forecasting trends – Caterers are selling for the future Why you need proper recipes
  18. 18. • Know your loss • What is useable product • Proper units of measure floz ≠ oz Knowing & Tracking Your Costs  Loss from cleaning  Loss from cooking/reduction  ‘Useable Product’ loss Brisket – Start with 100# received 1. Lose 38% in cleaning – now 62# 2. Lose 39% in cooking – now 37.82# saleable 3. Lose 12% in scrap/trim from slicing
  19. 19. Units of Measure OZ • Chicken • Mayo • Flour  Weight is always better than volume unless it is a liquid  Can use weight to confirm yield FLOZ • Water • Vodka • Chopped Herbs
  20. 20. Inventory Setup
  21. 21. 1. Batch 2. Recipe 3. Complete Recipe 4. Menu/Package Understanding Recipe Construction
  22. 22. 1. Batch 2. Recipe 3. Complete Recipe 4. Menu/Package Understanding Recipe Construction Cooked Rice
  23. 23. 1. Batch 2. Recipe 3. Complete Recipe 4. Menu/Package Understanding Recipe Construction Sushi Roll
  24. 24. 1. Batch 2. Recipe 3. Complete Recipe 4. Menu/Package Understanding Recipe Construction Sushi Roll w/ Sauce
  25. 25. 1. Batch 2. Recipe 3. Complete Recipe 4. Menu/Package Understanding Recipe Construction Sushi Roll Assortment
  26. 26. • Tap Water • Fryer Oil • Packaging • Skewer • Garnish • Loss Include All Costs
  27. 27. • Food Cost – 30% Labor – 30% Overhead – 30% (or less) Food Cost – 10% to pay sales commission and profit Any average food cost 20%-30% is ok Chipotle is at 33.5% Pricing Party
  28. 28. • Pastry @ 20% – So much additional labor – Passed apps also good at 20% • Proteins can be up to 50% – What can your market bear • Cheap items @ lower FC% (8%-16%) – Potatoes, rice, beans • Anything bought & resold @ 50% • Packaging @ 50% Pricing Party
  29. 29. Consistent Increase
  30. 30. • Database (designed for recipes) – BEST – Designed for this use – Instantly recalculate recipes – Relational data – Expensive start up cost • Database (not designed for recipes) – OK – Relational Data – Lacks functionality – Takes a lot of time to setup • Other – POOR – Low start up cost – Very expensive in the long run – Data is flat – not linked throughout Ways to do it
  31. 31. • Adjust or change ingredients • Adjust yield and portion • Better purchasing Reduce Costs
  32. 32. Enforce Good Data Collection
  33. 33. Use Photography Enforce Good Data Collection
  34. 34. Enforce Good Data Collection
  35. 35. Enforce Good Data Collection
  36. 36. Enforce Good Data Collection
  37. 37. Enforce Good Data Collection
  38. 38. Check Accuracy  Ingredients + loss = yield  All costs included  Ingredients are logged properly  Ingredients listed in order of use  Method written so a person with no experience could do  Use standards – Medium Dice, Brunoise, etc
  39. 39. Execution We cooked it NOW We can sell it
  40. 40. Execution • Sales – Tasting – Tools • Moving from testing to production – Training the station – Adding to recipe book – Supervision during 1st production • Staff Education – FOH/event staff – Warehouse/packing staff
  41. 41. Execution
  42. 42. Execution • Sales – Tasting – Tools • Moving from testing to production – Training the station – Adding to recipe book – Supervision during 1st production • Staff Education – FOH/event staff – Warehouse/packing staff
  43. 43. To download a copy of this presentation, go to: slideshare.net/CateringChicago Jeff Ware jware@CateringByMichaels.com | (847) 966-6555 Questions?
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