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Reducing back-of-house costs without cutting back on quality, taste or variety

Photograph: Shutterstock

Recent months have thrown the restaurant industry for a loop, necessitating changes to on- and off-premise service as well as to the menu itself. As dining rooms reopen and orders for takeout and delivery remain high, operators need strategies to reduce labor and cut costs while continuing to provide excellent food and superior service—and for many restaurants, this means simplifying the menu.

Diners still want to see a variety of options on the menu, however, and signature items remain an important way for operators to stand out amid competitors. Fortunately, simplifying the menu doesn’t have to mean cutting out specialty offerings and distinctive flavors. Just by customizing premade mayonnaises, dressings and sauces as base building blocks and utilizing versatile ingredients, operators can create an array of customized menu items while paring down the number of ingredients in stock and keeping back-of-house prep minimal.

Fortunately, Stratas Foods is a one-stop-shop for customizable sauce solutions. Here are some examples of how operators can easily add their signature spin on some favorite sauces:

·       Barbecue sauce: Stratas’ Admiration® barbecue sauce provides the sweet-and-spicy flavor consumers know and love, and it makes the perfect base for a signature sauce for dipping and basting. Add minced fresh ginger for an unexpected kick or a drizzle of honey for a sweet boost. Pour in some bourbon or whiskey for a bourbon/whiskey barbecue sauce or add cola for a cola-barbecue sauce. An extra kick of heat from mixing in some ghost pepper makes the perfect sauce for a slow smoked pulled pork sandwich.

·       Tartar sauce: Tartar sauce is a must-have for seafood lovers, bringing a zesty, sweet-and-sour lightness to fried fish sandwiches, fried oysters, crab cakes and fish sticks. Consider using Admiration® tartar sauce from Stratas as a base to create trending signature sauces. Fold in some Aleppo pepper flakes to top off a crispy crab cake po-boy or sandwich; a splash of malt vinegar to make a malt vinegar tartar for crispy fish and chips; chipotle pepper for a tangy, smoky chipotle tartar; a few splashes of sriracha sauce for spice; or even sun-dried tomatoes and fresh basil for an Italian-inspired flair.

·       Cocktail sauce: For other seafood offerings such as popcorn shrimp, oysters, clams and fish, opt for Stratas’ sweet-and-spicy cocktail sauce. Stir in a dollop of mayonnaise to add creamy richness to this sauce, or squeeze in fresh lime juice and add a few dashes of sriracha for an extra-bold flavor. Sprinkle in a little togarashi or a few splashes of gochujang sauce for a Korean spin, or kick it up with Cholula Sauce. A combination of cocktail sauce, hot sauce, vodka and celery seed makes for an irresistible Bloody Mary cocktail sauce.

Reducing costs and minimizing labor is currently a high priority for many operators, but that doesn’t have to mean cutting corners on flavor and variety. With everything from butter flavored oil, to dressings, to mayonnaise and sauces —plus a line-up of premade sauces that are delicious as-is or customized with quick add-ins—Stratas products provide an easy way for restaurants to menu signature sauces without adding costs or using additional labor to make them.

To learn more about how Stratas Foods products can simplify prep in the kitchen and maximize profits while helping operators offer a range of delicious items on the menu, visit www.stratasfoods.com.

This post is sponsored by Stratas Foods