Restaurant Operations 101
All classes are held at the Dover Chamber of Commerce Building, 550 Central Ave. Dover, NH - 603.742.2218 Classes begin at 9:00 AM. Cost is $120 per registrant. Cost includes $20 Course Manual. Payment is required two weeks before class to ensure a course book manual. See class description page tab on the left for more details. New class schedule arriving soon!
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Classes at the DALC are held at The McConnell Community Center
61 Locust Street Dover, NH 03820 / (603) - 742-1030
« Current News »
The third quarter was not a good one for publicly traded restaurants. Same-store sales were weak. And profitability fell, as food costs did not fall enough to offset higher wages, according to a third-quarter Benchmarking Update from the consulting firm BDO. Average same-store sales fell 0.1 percent in the quarter, according to BDO, which analyzes reports from publicly traded restaurants to produce the update.
Leading the industry was the pizza segment, where same-store sales averaged 4.7 percent in the quarter, led by the 13-percent same-store sales increase at Domino’s Pizza Inc. — the best performance of the quarter by far.
On the other end was the fast-casual segment, where average same-store sales fell 1.3 percent. But that, too, included an outlier in Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc., where same-store sales declined 21.9 percent. Take out Chipotle, and the segment’s average same-store sales increased 0.9 percent.
That’s better, but it likely included a traffic decline, and it was particularly weak given that fast-casual chains are in growth mode and should be generating stronger results. Quick-service same-store sales averaged 1 percent in the quarter, but every other segment recorded declines, including a 0.9-percent drop in casual dining and a 0.2-percent average decline at upscale-casual restaurants.
Weak sales caused problems with labor costs as restaurants lost leverage in the quarter. Increasing wage rates, thanks to competition for labor and rising minimum wages, led to inflated labor costs. Labor costs were 30.1 percent of sales, up from 29.3 percent in the same period a year ago.
The biggest problem was at fast-casual chains, where same-store sales were weakest and where companies have been more aggressive at increasing wages. Labor costs as a percent of sales were 28.4 percent, rising 1.5 percent from the same period a year ago. Fast-casual chains, traditionally known for labor efficiency, were not as efficient in the third quarter as their quick-service cousins, where labor costs were 27.7 percent of sales, a 0.5-percent increase from the same period a year ago.
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« Facts of Interest »
Chorizo, Spain’s ubiquitous sausage is usually made of chopped pork, sweet or hot paprika, crushed red peppers and garlic. It is available in two forms: a soft variety made for cooking and a cured, hard variety that is sliced and served as a tapas. Spanish Chorizo differs significantly from the plumper, juicier, Mexican Chorizo, which is made of freshly ground pork, and a chili spice blend, and the Portuguese Chourico, which contains less paprika and more garlic and includes wine. In America, Spanish Chorizo is popular in areas with a large Hispanic population. It has caught the attention of top chefs and often is used as a bold flavor counterpoint, especially in fusion cuisine.
Kitchen cooking TIPS AND TRICKS
Use a chef’s knife (with a triangular blade) in a rocking motion, pivoting the handle end up and down without lifting the point of the knife from the board.
Use a slight sawing motion when you slice. Your knife will feel sharper.
Serrated knives should be long, so you can get a good sawing motion without crushing.
Whenever possible, cut away from you not toward you.
Always curl in the fingertips of the hand holding the food, like claws. This not only protects your fingertips, but allows you to use your knuckles as a cutting guide.
For precision, use the index finger sitting on the food to align the knife. Keep the side of the blade lightly in contact with the front edge of your index finger as you make each cut.
If you are cutting on a diagonal, move your fingers on a diagonal also.
When chopping with a cleaver move your arm not your wrist, you’ll have more force.