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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, from a 10-pound order of fresh fish, a restaurant really only makes money on the last piece! That is a tough profit margin 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!

Click here to learn more about the amazing things Randell FX Series commercial refrigeration from Unified Brands can do for your kitchen.

Steve D’Angelo
Unified Brands Corporate Chef

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