When your restaurant's freezer malfunctions, eliminating food waste can be a big challenge depending on how long it takes to get the freezer up and running again. Whether it takes hours or days to get the freezer fixed, it's a good idea to have a game plan in place that can be used to minimize food waste, as well as profit losses, while waiting for commercial freezer repairs to be completed. Consider implementing one or more of the following tips and tricks:
Create Some Specials
A great way to make sure that your freezer food doesn't go to waste during repairs is to create a few specials for your menu that features the food you're trying to save. If your freezer is full of berries, feature a few smoothie specials in your breakfast and lunch menu. Frozen meats can be turned into delicious casseroles, soups, and stir-fries for the dinner menu. Offer a significant discount for your specials to encourage high sales volume until you're sold out.
Host an All-You-Can-Eat Event
Another effective way to use up your freezer food so it doesn't get wasted is to host a last minute lunch or dinner all-you-can-eat event that features everything you need to serve up before it thaws. Design three to five dishes and cook them in bulk, then display the food behind a glass counter and offer unlimited servings of the offerings for an affordable base price. This should fill your dining room up with hungry customers quickly and help you get rid of every morsel of freezer food before it goes bad.
Collaborate with Neighbors
If you don't have the time or manpower to create specials and all-you-can-eat events when your freezer breaks, head over to neighbor restaurants and barter with them for some freezer space in their kitchens. In exchange for a small fee or a little free advertising, neighboring restaurants may be willing to lend you a shelf in their freezers so you can save at least part of your food for use until your own freezer is fixed.
Donate to Your Community
If you are left with some food that you know will go bad before you can use it or the freezer gets fixed, you can lend a helping hand to your community and donate the food to your local food bank. Donating food to your community may score you some tax benefits to take advantage of, and is sure to help create some buzz about the caring nature of your business among current and potential restaurant guests.
These methods and techniques should help keep your business profitable while dealing with a dysfunctional kitchen, and will ensure that the food you've invested in does not go to waste unnecessarily.