No matter how successful restaurant you are and how efficient your supply chain may be, your food will be not as fresh as at your grandma’s kitchen. And, the answer probably lies in equations where restaurants have to understand what they want to do to achieve something big.
Managing the supply chain
In restaurant industry supply chain plays a crucial role because all the raw materials that the segment use is very crucial to temperature and the time it takes to travel. At the same time it has also got a very limited shelf life. One need to focus that the ingredients are stored at the right temperature and for the right amount of time and used within that limited period which is there. Every single ingredient has its importance. Many a times restaurant operators think that the particular ingredient can be kept at room temperature but they are supposed t be at a different temperature. “We ensure that everything that comes in once, it reaches the hotel on time at the right temperature and is stored at the right condition and used as early as possible so that there is quick rotation of the ingredients and it gets consumed within the shortest period of time,” shares Chef Alok Anand, Executive Chef, JW Marriott Kolkata, adding that Marriott as a policy curate ingredients which is local and sustainable and it should leave very minimum carbon footprints. “Our menu is planned is such a way that 70-80 per cent items are local. Usually in restaurants we tend to put things which look fancy, sounds fancy and the ones which are exotic. But if those ingredients are not available locally it adds to the cost, the wastages are high. And, hence, the production cost increases and the margin decreases,” adds Anand.
Standardisation of the ingredient is an important factor in restaurant business and its where top restaurants fail because they tend to lose focus on consistency. A biryani which is cooked in Kolkata will be of different taste to that of the one served in Hyderabad and for that matter Lucknow because of the regional flavours and quality of ingredients grown in these areas. “The first point is your recipe. It has to be frozen, documented and people have to be trained on that recipe. Secondly, the ingredient that a restaurant is using need to be consistent throughout. If you are using a particular grade of tomato at one location, you will have to use the same grade and same quality across all other locations otherwise your end dish is going to end up different,” points Chef Sumant Vikas, Corporate Chef, Cremica Food Industries. Everything needs to be consistent. And, that’s where the company like Cremica come who work as an intermediary ingredient suppliers to chain of restaurants and international chain. So, by depending on these convenience products restaurants can actually standardised their backend.
According to industry experts, the very fundamental of good food is aroma and freshness. “We source raw materials from places where it is done best bringing the same to our factory where a stringent quality test is done. The freshness remains same for an year making sure that we supply these products to hotels within 3 months to maintain the freshness of the foods. We don’t do any customisation but there is product differentiation in every region depending on the local aromas and flavours,” adds Sourav Guha Bakshi, V.P -Sales East, DS Group.