Benefits of Speed-Scratch

Building Your Bridge to Speed-Scratch Success

Every operation would love to always be able to offer their customers a homemade, made from scratch meal. Unfortunately, scratch meals take time, and if there’s one thing every operator knows – it’s that time is the one ingredient that’s always in short supply. The good news is that the experts at Affinity Group are here with some great speed-scratch cooking tips that you can use to deliver homemade flavor without extra labor.

Speed-Scratch 101

Speed-scratch simply means using ready-made, or convenience products in combination with fresh ingredients to create a meal more quickly. This allows you to make scratch made meals without the time and labor involved. Read on to see all the ways speed-scratch cooking can help you both save time AND add the delicious flavor of a home cooked meal to your menu quickly and easily.

It’s About Time

In the food biz, time is money so the greatest advantage of speed-scratch cooking is improved time management. Using speed-scratch ingredients can help double your kitchen staff’s output. Some speed-scratch items, like flavor concentrates, allow you to add slow-cooked taste in half the time it would normally take to add more depth to a meal.

While many prepared items can save you time, it’s important not to overuse them. Speed-scratch cooking works best when it is used to enhance a meal. If you’re overly reliant on microwaving or reheating frozen, prepared meals, your customers will certainly notice.

Benefits of Speed-Scratch - Pork Osso Bucco Recipe
Make it Memorable

Simple touches are an easy way to add value to a dish, and create the kind of unique, signature meals that your customers will keep coming back for. Examples include adding roasted garlic flavor concentrate to mayonnaise for an artisan aioli, or blend tomato pesto flavor concentrate into a vinaigrette to add a subtle umami note.

Speed-scratch products will allow you to create unique dishes that would have been very difficult or impossible to create by hand. The best part is that the perceived value of these ingredients will also allow you to charge more for these menu items, which can offset the cost of the products.


Benefits of Speed-Scratch - Crab Tator Tots Recipe
Work Smarter Not Harder

Speed-scratch items allow operators to create custom meals without the added labor. Adding seeds and seasonings to ready-to-bake items or finishing off ready-made produce with your own combination of herbs and spices is a simple yet effective way to create a signature dish.

When it comes to time and labor-intensive foods, like fresh baked bread and certain sauces, it only makes sense to work with a prepared product. This is especially true if these items aren’t a part of your core menu. However, the biggest concern is that some speed-scratch items unfortunately come at a higher cost, and although you’ll save time on labor, you’ll need to consider whether the labor savings outweigh the additional cost.


Benefits of Speed-Scratch - Everything Bagel and smoked Salmon Dip Recipe
The Value of Versatility

Prepared items can be extremely versatile. A table-ready roasted chicken can be served as an entrée, but that same chicken can be shredded for sandwiches or tossed with pasta. Versatile ingredients are an asset to any restaurant kitchen.

When speed-scratch foods are utilized in different ways to create additional menu items, it allows operators the opportunity to save big on additional food costs and labor. This can be applied to condiments, dressings, sauces and flavor concentrates.


Benefits of Speed-Scratch - Chicken Jalapeno Pot Pie Recipe
Dependably Delicious

If you want to develop a loyal customer base, you have to deliver meals that are consistently delicious. If your chicken is moist and tender one day and dry the next, customers will notice. It can be a challenge to ensure that each dish on your menu tastes the same each time it leaves the kitchen.

Speed-scratch foods can help with this issue by ensuring your flavors are consistent every time. In many cases, suppliers offer consistency in both flavor and reliability. It’s not always easy to find that same level of consistency with fresh food suppliers.


Benefits of Speed-Scratch - Strawberry Key Lime French Toast Recipe
Quality You Can Count On

Some restaurant operators are apprehensive about using prepared or speed-scratch items because they’re afraid it will diminish the quality of their food. However, there are many suppliers that offer the highest-quality products that will only enhance the flavor of your dishes.

Of course, high-quality prepared items may come at a higher price. But in many cases, the labor, time and food savings make it worth the cost, particularly if it helps you to create a unique flavor that leads to a signature dish on your menu.


Benefits of Speed-Scratch - Mushroom Scallops over Potatoes with Chipotle Strawberries Recipe

There are of course thousands of other ways that speed-scratch cooking can benefit an operation. From time and labor-saving opportunities to creating signature flavors, speed-scratch ingredients provide enhanced productivity to busy kitchen professionals.  Always remember that when you’re searching for solutions that both boost profits AND keep your customers coming back for more, the experts at Affinity Group are here to help you Build Your Bridge to Local Sales Success.