5 Ways to Make Ends Meat

The market is on fire right now – and not in the delicious, seared steak way… If you feel like things are constantly changing, well, it’s because they are. Thanks to seasonal market fluctuations and inflation, served with a side of drought and rising labor costs – it seems like every day there’s a new issue that impacts the food service industry. We know that restaurant owners are experiencing cost increases on proteins, making margins razor-thin. So, what can you do about it?

Here at Halperns’, we are invested in our customers and truly strive to be partners in your success. So, we took it upon ourselves to put together a list of popular cuts and ways to save a couple of bucks without sacrificing quality.

Change It Up: Your Menu and Your Meats

When the going gets tough, you’ve gotta be a little creative. Below are five suggestions to increase your bottom line during this market craziness – and any other time you may to drive profitability and lower food costs. We also offer menu consultations to help you get the most out of your protein solutions.

  1. Take Advantage of Pre-Portioned Cuts
  2. Yield loss can be as much as 45-55% when processing your own subprimals, whole muscle cuts, and whole fish. Though there may appear to be a higher up-front cost for pre-portioned meat and seafood, the savings and benefits outweigh the difference. Take a look at the number of hours your sous chef spends preparing the proteins, and you’ll see the dollars sitting right in front of you.

    • 100% yield, meaning no food waste
    • Reliable and consistent portion sizing
    • Reduced risk of injury versus portioning in your kitchen
    • Time and labor savings
    • Increased speed to prepare, plate, and serve
    • Reduced risk of contamination in the kitchen
    • Uses less cooler and freezer space
    • More accurate cost control
    • Improved inventory control and management

  3. Altering a Spec or Portion Size
  4. This is probably not the first thing you think of when you need to cut costs. A slight change in presentation can allow you to decrease your portion sizes by an ounce or two, and chances are your customers probably won’t even perceive the change. Utilizing a split bone ribeye in place of a Frenched Cowboy can save significant $$$. An end to end filet vs a center cut can save dollars a pound. Your Halperns rep can offer suggestions.

  5. Seek Seasonal Buying Opportunities and Specials
  6. This is something you probably already do with fish, but what about buying proteins that are in season? It’s all about running specials. What’s the opportunity to buy this week or next? Well, there’s your next special. And, of course, you’ll always want to pair your center of the plate star with side dishes that are also seasonal to ensure peak freshness and availability.

    Not sure what’s in season or the deal this week? We’ve got a couple of insider tips for you.

    • Strip steaks are grilling favorites and see seasonal lows in the fall and winter. Demand increases in the spring and summer for these cuts.
    • Briskets are a great deal as the weather starts to get colder and Texas BBQ season ends.
    • Ribeye prices tend to see a drop after the first of the year.
    • Top butts are a great way to make a margin right now.

  7. Integrate Protein in Pasta Dishes
  8. Try incorporating meat into a pasta dish can add that protein customers are looking for without having to make it the center of the plate. Short rib, cheek meat and shellfish
    can all be great add-ons to pasta. Don’t want to make it yourself? We offer some great show-stopping items, like Wagyu ravioli.

  9. Consider Alternative Options
  10. We never want you to downgrade your cuts, but with price increases, it may become necessary to look at options. Halperns has multiple grades available to fit any price point.

Need More Ideas?

Whether it’s a menu consultation or just talking through your options, we’re happy to help. Our #1 goal is to help our restaurant and food service partners succeed.

Since 2005, Halperns’ has employed skilled craftspeople who carefully prepare each order to our customers’ exacting specifications. We have people who have years of experience in the industry as Chefs, restaurant owners, and executives – and have had experience with market fluctuations. Send an email to your Halperns’ Sales Professional or give us a call to find one in your area. Ask us....we've been there.