The labor pressures that are affecting all of foodservice have squeezed the healthcare segment particularly hard. Entry-level positions in healthcare foodservice kitchens are often filled by workers who have minimal skills and experience. Labor challenges, combined with the high volumes at many healthcare venues, have created a need for prepared ingredients that can be used to create a variety of great-tasting dishes consistently. These prepared ingredients, along with a few other strategies, can help foodservice operators offer great foods while saving on labor. Here are a few tips for easing the labor crunch and saving time without sacrificing taste.
1. Use versatile ingredients
One of the keys to success in working with prepared ingredients is the ability to incorporate them into multiple dishes. This streamlines inventory storage needs and reduces costs by facilitating buying in larger volumes. For example, RoastWorks® Flame-Roasted Fuji Apples from Simplot can be used in a variety of sandwiches or salads, made into a glaze for roast turkey or incorporated into a fruit compote to top braised pork. They can be used in a variety of desserts, such as Fuji apple taquitos or bread pudding, or simply added to a bowl of ice cream with a little honey. Of course, they also offer the added benefit of heat-and-serve convenience.
2. Create specials on the fly
Having partially prepared items on hand makes it easy to create innovative and flavorful dishes that add variety to the menu. A Meatless Monday special, for example, could feature roasted sweet potato tacos made with Simplot RoastWorks® Roasted Sweet Potatoes. Just heat the sweet potatoes and serve on tortillas with Simplot Harvest Fresh™ Diced Avocado, some shredded cabbage and diced peppers. Or create an anytime breakfast special using Simplot RoastWorks® Roasted Redskin Potato and Vegetable Blend to make a flavorful breakfast burrito. Just combine the potato and vegetable blend with some crumbled chorizo, scrambled eggs and a shredded Mexican cheese blend, then roll up in a flour tortilla and serve with salsa.
3. Repurpose leftovers
Minimizing food waste has become increasingly important in today’s foodservice landscape. As a result, there are a lot of quick and easy ways to turn leftovers into new dishes. Consider using leftover bread to make a roasted vegetable strata, for example. Slice day-old bread into cubes, place them in a greased baking dish and top with Simplot RoastWorks® Roasted Mediterranean Vegetable Blend, Flame-Roasted Pepper & Onion Blend, cheddar cheese and beaten eggs, then bake and garnish with parsley. Likewise, leftover pulled pork, beef or chicken could be easily made into a pot pie with some heat-and-eat vegetables and potatoes.
4. Menu no-prep sides
Keep some ready-made sides on hand to accompany whatever entrees are on the menu. Consider having a variety of heat-and-serve items that have a made-from-scratch appeal, including potatoes and veggie mixes. A roasted potato medley or flame-roasted corn, for example, stand on their own as delicious, on-trend side dishes that can accompany a variety of entrees. Eliminate the washing, peeling and dicing with flavorful Simplot RoastWorks® products that have scratch-made appeal on their own, as well as when combined into creative recipes. Visit simplotfoods.com/foodservice-brands/simplot-roastworks to learn more.