In the May 2016 issue of, Lorri Mealey writes about Portion Control, “Portion control is an important factor in keeping a restaurant profitable. One of the reasons chain restaurants are so profitable is the fact that they have menu portions under control. Also, given that more and more consumers are watching their health by watching their portion sizes restaurant owners need to watch the portion sizes coming out of the kitchen. Portion control is also important for keeping menu items consistent for every shift.”

What is portion control? Every item on your menu should have a controlled portion size in order to keep food costs in check. Ms. Mealey explains why it is important to implement a portion control practice in your business, “it’s important to keep portion sizes in check in order to maintain correct food cost and overall restaurant profits.”

Here is a simple food cost example. You offer a plate of seafood jambalaya for $10.00. You based the price on 115 gm/serving per plate. That equals 9 cents per gram. Say five times each day, during the lunch and dinner rush, your kitchen staff uses the wrong ladle and overfills a plate by 10 grams. That equals $4.50 a day uncharged. Not a huge loss, however, if it happens every day, that adds up to over $1600 a year.

By controlling portions, you not only keep your food costs in line, you also ensure that customers will receive consistency when they order their favorite meal. Good portion control depends on implementing specific systems and procedures like having written plating instructions. In addition, you can display a photo of each plate of food as a visual reminder but also to help new kitchen and wait staff recognize what correct portions look like.

When purchasing meat and seafood, ask your Albion Farms & Fisheries representative to help set up a proper portion control procedure for your establishment. They can also recommend the pairings and combinations that go together on a plate in addition to the size of servings. Ordering pre-determined portions means that your presentations will always look the same, plated foods will complement each other and your cost per plate will be under your control.

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