Keeping costs on lobster down

Discussion in 'Professional Chefs' started by shootoo, Aug 4, 2012.

  1. shootoo

    shootoo

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    First of all, we're in Utah so live lobster isn't exactly the best option

    We buy in frozen tails, standard 8oz Aussy tails. Every couple weeks I'll order in a couple boxes of 5oz spiney lobster for a weekend special that we don't freeze. Obviously we can't have it on special constantly

    The problem we're running in to is orders are so sporatic, we waste probably a tail for every one we sell on the 8oz. We'll pull 3 or 4 every couple days to have thawed, sometimes it's not enough and we'll have to that more mid-service, but more often than not we throw a couple away o'er week

    I've thought of a couple things to try to get some cost back, bisque, chowder, veloute, Cajun seafood Alfredo... ect ect. But that would mean we would have lobster on special of some kind 3-4 days a week

    Is that the best option or is there another way?

    We're a steakhouse- 150 weekday 250-300 cover weekend, break down all primal, grind all meats, everything made and prepped in house for the most part
     
  2. michaelga

    michaelga

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    Find something locally grown/raised in Utah... lobster tails are just silly. 

    You might have - fresh farmed trout, or other fish nearby.

    Also don't forget farmed 'game' meats or maybe 'game' birds.

    Being local is now a 'trend' or fad but it used to be just good common sense!

    If you're dead set on lobster, don't forget that things have a 'raw' shelf life and a 'cooked' shelf life.  Thaw the tails and keep as long as reasonable... then cook them all and use them for as long as possible.  If you have lots left still then thaw less and sell at cost to employees to avoid waste and be cost neutral - it also happens to be an employee morale booster. (it is far better to tell a customer you are out of xxx than it is to throw out xxx)

    Seriously though, find some other attraction than lobster.  tbh from my recollection most people in Utah don't like any kind of seafood / shellfish ... 
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2012
  3. michaelga

    michaelga

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    Here's another way to put it ...

    If you served an Ostrich loin salad sandwich and the orders where sporadic to the point of wasting product...

    ... what would you do?

    Cut the Ostrich Loin?  Right

    Cut the Lobster!
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2012
  4. shootoo

    shootoo

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    Just what I was afraid of. The owner is old school, he won't like this, but I guess it must be done

    We serve local walleye that isn't the easiest thing to find on most menus
     
  5. chefedb

    chefedb

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    To make anything out of an 8 ounce tail other then serving it that way is plain crazy. You will never get your $ back. I would only run it 1 or 2 days a week and 8 ounces is far to big. Run a surf and turf  4 ounce lob. and 4 ounce  flat iron steak(it cost you much less. )  I would suggest a menu revision based on local availability. No place can afford an 8 ounce tail going bad to many times.
     
  6. twyst

    twyst

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    This is the answer I was going to suggest as well.    If something doenst sell get it off your menu.   Its hard sometimes because you fall in love with a dish, but it has to be done most of the time.
     
  7. chefboy2160

    chefboy2160

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    +1! Run this as a special on Fri/ Sat and when you are out take it off the board.
     
  8. chefchrism

    chefchrism

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    Think about poaching and freezing tails before they get wasted and save them til you have enough to run a lobster roll special for lunch or lobster cocktail with sauce american.
     
  9. chefedb

    chefedb

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    If any item is as you say that  Sporatic, then it makes no sense having on the menu in first place.
     
  10. chefbuba

    chefbuba

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    Get it off the menu, run as a special if you must have lobster. When it's gone it's gone.
     
  11. berndy

    berndy

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    You will  have to rise the price on the menu to absorb the loss if you decide to keep them on the menu at all .
     
  12. berndy

    berndy

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    I should have asked you first where do you ,as Sous Chef fit in all of this ?

    Is the owner complaining to you about the wasted lobsters ? It seems that he has a money-making business and most likely is well aware of the facts you mentioned.

    Very often we in the back of the house do not see everything that is going on in the front of the house.The owner might have a big investor (Who loves his lobster) and is trying to keep this investor happy ? Or there might be a few other important customers ( Important for the owner / big spenders) the owner feels he needs to keep them coming back  happy by offering them lobster tails on his menu and does not care if the food cost of this only item is out of hand.Or there might be another reason we  will never find out why this owner insists to keep lobster on his menu.
     
  13. chefdave11

    chefdave11 Banned

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    Great points, Berndy.

    If you're only losing a tail a week, you could probably justify keeping it on.

    If you're losing 50% of them...then pull fewer out of the freezer.
     
  14. iceman

    iceman

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    OK. Maybe I'm not getting this right.  Here in Chicagoland I'm giving $94 (reg price) / 20#'s of frozen 8oz lobster tails (they're on sale a lot too).  That's $4.70/pop.  Are you giving all that much more in Utah?  My first thought would be "Lobster Capri Salads"* @ $8-$9 ea. using half of that tail.  The other half would be for "Lobster Risotto", @ the same price, being that risotto seems to be the "flavor of the month" for the last coupla' years.  I'm not sure there is all that much difficulty defrosting frozen tails on-the-fly all so much if needed; +/- 20-minutes in room-temp water has worked for me for a long time. 

    * "Lobster Capri Salad" (per. serv.):

    4oz lob tail meat chopped

    2 plum tomatoes, quartered, seeded and chopped

    equal amt. mozz balls halved (the little kind)

    1/4 each yellow and orange sweet bell peppers, julienned

    1/4 sm red onion thinly sliced

    minced basil

    fresh grind pink salt, rainbow peppercorns and house dressing, table-side
     
  15. chefedb

    chefedb

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    Chef Bubba Best solution yet.
     
  16. nick alexander

    nick alexander

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    Lobster Ravioli 

    dice up the extra , mix with a filling , in house make your pasta 

    you have to freeze it anyway so the pasta seals 

    that buys you an extra day + uses up the extra lobster