Usable material in case of lettuce!!! Help!

Discussion in 'Professional Chefs' started by jpatburke, May 12, 2010.

  1. jpatburke

    jpatburke

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    At home cook
    My name is James and Im looking to start a sandwich shop. I am just putting together numbers now and building a biz plan but Ive hit a wall. I have a local distributor that sells cases or boxes of produce. Without buying and opening them how do I know what the usable yield will be? Below is a list of products. if anyone can give me an average that would be great!!!

    Romaine lettuce

    Baby Spinach

    Cucumbers

    Celery

    Cherry Tomatoes

    Alvacados

    Cilantro

    Lemons

    Limes

    I know all produce is not equal Im just trying to figure out basic costs.

    Thanks
     
  2. chefd65

    chefd65

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    40+ years cooking around. I have been doing mostly catering and management for the last 20 years.
    You do not need to buy a case to figure the yield, but you do need to figure out the application of each item.

    We buy romaine hearts, which come 12 bags of 6 ea. so we take 1 bag- and figure out how many sandwiches we can make (We use the trim for Caesar salad)- you can buy one bag at the market.

    Baby Spinach comes in a 3# box, figure out how much you use and weigh it.

    You see where this is going.

    Things like avocados come in set sizes- the size indicates how many are in the box. You will have to decide if you are using 1/2 or 1/4 per sandwich- ....;

    Your produce dealer is your friend.  Call and get the details of the products you want to buy.

    I visited the warehouse before we set up the order and made decisions of size, and checked the case size.  I am guessing that unless you are making salsa, you will want to buy cilantro in smaller amounts than a case.

    Good luck!
     
  3. chefedb

    chefedb

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    Retired Chef
    Since you are not opened yet and have no idea of your potential volume. In the beginning buy everything at a costco or place like that It is cheaper . When you buy wholesale you have to buy cases if you don't they break the case and charge more . When you yourself buy you can determine quality when they send it, it's their call.Also buying wholesale the shipping charge is added on . There are standard specs example a crate of cal ice burg should weigh 40pounds  a lug of tomatoes should weigh 25 pounds and sized 5x5 or 5x6 or 6x7s  romaine should be 24 heads as should celery. The dept of agriculture will put you on their e mail list if you want.  Attention to purchasing is most important both quality and cost determine how you charge . If you pay less you can charge customer less and they will come back to you before the high priced place. And contrary to what is posted above No purveyor is your real friend they will try and make out of you as much as they can. As Donald Trump says "IT"S BUSINESS