Reporter's Notebook

The 5-point war plan for battling commodities

McAlister’s Deli executive chef David Groll likened battling

McAlister's Deli executive chef David Groll

McAlister’s Deli executive chef David Groll likened battling commodity costs today to guerilla warfare.

Indeed, concerns over rising costs continue to plague restaurant operators, and most have said they will work to abate the challenges with increased menu pricing. Some restaurants also plan to focus on menu engineering, whether with differing portion sizes or food items. Almost all agree that fighting commodity increases today is a battlefield.

Just last month, we saw research showing double digit increases in most food items and the estimated effects on various restaurant segments.

As commodities remain front and center for the industry, the veteran chef Groll, who has been at it for 38 years, presented a five-point war plan:

1. Determine your needs: Know your brand and what your chefs, and more importantly, your customers need and want.
2. Stay abreast of current events: Watch the weather and monitor other news that affects commodity pricing
3. Know your supply markets well: Understand your suppliers, distributors and other partners
4. Know your products: Plan ahead for limited-time offers, understand your brand’s research-and-development schedule
5. Manage your logistics: Pay attention to freight, buy and ship locally

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Reporter's Notebook is NRN's newsroom blog, where our editors give their points of view on news happening in the restaurant business.

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