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Why the Last Piece of Fish is Everything – And Why You Need Randell Refrigeration

It’s amazing when you stop and think about it: After all is said and done, a restaurant with a 10-pound order of fresh fish really only makes money on the last piece! That is a tough profit margin to hit on an extremely perishable product.

Let me explain a little more. In theory, a restaurant will order its fish supply either daily or every other day, 10 pounds at a time, to keep it as fresh as possible. Let’s say you ordered a couple of nice, beautiful sides of salmon at $8 per pound. Now, let’s assume your restaurant is serving 8-ounce pieces. With normal “waste,” i.e. skin and blood line, that’s a yield of 19 orders.

That puts the final cost of salmon at $4.21 per portion before you add an ounce of butter. The rule of thumb is that 1/3 of income in a restaurant goes to “operating costs,” 1/3 goes to labor and, if you’re on your game, you can run 26-29% (or a little less than 1/3) on food costs.

Stay with me on this: Let’s say that your fish of the day is sold à la carte, priced separately from the sides. You’ll set the price at $16, giving yourself about a 29% food cost, counting the 32 cents of butter sauce. So, if you sold all 19 orders, you would net $298 on the fish, not counting the butter sauce.

Are you still with me? Take out 1/3 for operating costs, 1/3 for labor and 29% for food and you’re left with a grand total of $13 – or less than the price of one order of salmon for table 12.

WOW! That still hurts! How important is the last order of fish then? It is everything to a restaurant. What can be done to increase profitability? Randell FX Series refrigeration is the most advanced commercial refrigeration technology available. The ability to move between -4°F and 40°F is special, but more than that, the ability to sit precisely at 32°F has been unheard of until now! Holding perishable items like fresh fish at 32°F is like putting the fish into HIBERNATION: Not frozen, but suspended at the perfect temperature and protecting that last piece of fish until the restaurant can satisfy another customer – as well as the bottom line!

Chef Steve
Unified Brands Corporate Chef

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