Speed-scratch kitchen staples save time and labor

Versatile ingredients perfect for soups, sauces and much more
Photograph: Shutterstock

In today’s busy economy, restaurants are looking for ways to stretch every dollar. One great way to cut down on labor costs without having to sacrifice anything is to use time-saving ingredients in the kitchen rather than make everything from scratch.

According to Technomic’s 2018 Healthy Eating Consumer Trend Report, 67% of consumers say that food described as homemade or housemade is slightly or much more tasty, and 31% of consumers say they’d be more likely to buy and are willing to pay more for items described as such. For restaurants trying to conserve time and labor, starting with a speed-scratch ingredient and then building on it with scratch-made flavors means there’s still opportunity to call something housemade—but the labor is cut in half.

Versatile speed-scratch reductions, for instance, can be used in a range of applications, from pan sauces such as au jus, demi-glace or gravy, to soups such as chicken noodle or French onion. Get inspiration for how to use concentrated reductions for an array of menu items and find out more about how they can benefit restaurants.


From a hearty beef-and-barley soup to a unique, rich Vietnamese pho—not to mention many other options—brown stock reductions provide the savory starting point that restaurants need for an array of soups. Their rich flavors provide a homemade, slow-simmered taste to diners and make it easy to build complexity.

Sauces for protein and pasta dishes

Making pan sauces is one of the easiest and tastiest ways to dress up a protein dish. For instance, chicken Marsala is a well-loved dish that’s largely defined by its flavorful pan sauce. Made with Marsala wine, chicken stock, butter, herbs and mushrooms, the pan sauce is even easier to prepare when using a reduced chicken stock rather than having to create a sauce from scratch and let it reduce. Similarly, au jus can take just seconds to prepare if kitchen staff uses products that offer the speed-scratch convenience that prepared bases do.

Using reduced stocks makes it a snap to create flavorful sauces for pasta dishes. Because the stocks are already reduced, it only takes a little bit of product to add concentrated flavor to sauces.

Enhancing more of the menu

Inspired by farm-to-table philosophies, Minor’s Classical Reductions™ Reduced Stocks are gluten free and made with recognizable ingredients to offer restaurants ease in preparing a wide range of dishes beyond sauces and soups—from simply adding to grain bowls and enhancing vegetables to boosting flavor in a variety of protein dishes.

With the help of reduced stocks, back-of-house efficiency contributes to timely service and a varied, appealing menu, all while cutting the labor costs involved in preparing foods, providing a win-win solution. Kitchen staff can spend less time preparing dishes, and more time ensuring food gets out to tables quickly and efficiently—all while tasting perfect.

This post is sponsored by Nestlé Minor’s