Sponsored by Rich Products Corporation
Labor continues to present an ongoing challenge for restaurant operators. According to the National Restaurant Association’s 2023 State of the Restaurant Industry Report, 87% of operators say they will likely hire additional employees during the next six to 12 months, if qualified applicants are available. It won’t be easy to find these qualified applicants – only 10% of operators say recruiting and retaining employees will be easier in 2023 than in 2022. Meanwhile, another well-publicized challenge persists—92% of operators say their food costs are higher now than in past years.
With less staff in the kitchen, restaurant operators are looking for easier ways to prepare their customers’ favorite menu items. Operators can save immensely on labor and costs with innovative ingredients and streamlined preparation processes that require little skill, time or training.
One process that helps streamline kitchen operations and lower food costs is speed scratch, which involves using ingredients that help save kitchen staff a few steps in prepping and cooking certain foods. This includes anything from pre-sliced meats and pre-made broth to produce that is already peeled, diced or cubed.
According to the State of the Industry Report, a majority of operators across all segments expect to keep their 2023 menus similar to last year. By using speed scratch, restaurants can maintain their current offerings and avoid having to remove any customer favorites from the menu.
The Allure and Challenge of Freshly Baked Bread
A long-standing consumer favorite is freshly baked bread, in its many delicious forms, any time of day. “We have seen 15% sales growth of fresh breads and rolls in the last year,” says Cassandra Kennelly, product manager for Value Added Bakery at Rich Products. “Additionally, 59% of consumers prefer fresh bread over breads with longer shelf lives.”
Kennelly adds that “80% of consumers believe that products baked onsite are better overall.” Few things are more appealing than the smell of freshly baked bread. Bread baked on site also has a lower price point than premade, prepackaged bread.
Fresh bread, however, is labor-intensive to prepare. Among the most difficult steps in the bread-making process is proofing, which refers to the step of waiting for the dough to complete its final rise before baking. Watching dough rise might sound easy, but it’s a complex process that presents several challenges. The dough must develop properly during the proofing stage so that the bread will expand evenly while baking and maintain its shape. Under- or over-proofing can produce bread that is flat or contains too many holes.
Time and labor constraints are not the only challenges proofing presents. The dough needs to be proofed in a proofer—a special piece of equipment that takes up floor space and adds to the operator’s equipment budget.
Skip the Tricky Steps with No Proof Bread and Roll Dough
To solve this industry trend, Rich’s created a breakthrough solution that delivers on the freshness consumers crave without the labor-intensive proofing process. Rich’s No Proof Bread and Roll Dough is the first of its kind and one of the only products on the market that eliminates the tricky and difficult steps of proofing while providing the ultimate in speed scratch convenience.
Here’s how the process works:
- Simply remove the loaves or rolls from the freezer, and thaw on a pan, covered, for 18 to 36 hours in the cooler.
- Alternatively, thaw the dough at room temperature, covered, for two to three hours.
- Brush the tops with egg wash, score with a knife, and sprinkle with seeds, cheese
- The bread is ready to bake. Bake in a rack, convection or deck oven. It’s that simple!
“With No Proof Bread and Roll Dough, you can thaw and slide the dough directly into your oven with no proofing or extra floor time, which eliminates extra training and the need to continually check on product,” Kennelly says. “This allows operators to put their focus elsewhere such as on menu prep, waste elimination, and baking on-demand when a rush hits.”
Rich’s No Proof Bread and Roll Dough elevates menu items during all dayparts – breakfast, lunch, apps, dinner and dessert. The dough is available in dinner roll, sandwich roll, bread, sub and hoagie formats, as well as both white and wheat.
To learn more, visit www.richsusa.com/no-proof-breads-rolls/.