Quality – An Essential Ingredient
There’s no doubt about it. Quality is an essential ingredient to success in any company.
No matter what field you are in, without good quality, your customers will stop buying from you, complain, and give negative reports to people they know.
Bad news travels fast, and negative publicity from your customers will be sure to drive away any chance of gaining their friends and family as new loyal customers of your business.
The Right Person
In our business, quality begins with the interaction between the team member and the guest. It has been said many times before, but it is worth repeating and remembering.
You never get a second chance to make a first impression.
For us, the first impression a guest has is either face-to-face contact with a team member inside, at our walk-up window, or through their voice over the drive-thru speaker. A pleasing tone and a knowledge of how to help guests navigate the myriad of choices they can make while looking at our menu go a long way in helping guests feel welcome and cared for.
It is much easier to hire a person who already has strong interpersonal skills and teach them the ins and outs of doing their job than to hire someone with field experience who is awkward in their dealings with your customers.
Hire for heart, and train for skill.
The Right Equipment
You cannot make great-tasting lattes, cappuccinos, scones, cinnamon rolls, muffins, or frozen custard without high-quality equipment. Commercial restaurant equipment is extremely expensive, but in most cases, you get what you pay for.
There is no way to unburn a scone that has been overbaked by a hot spot in your oven.
A high-quality shot of espresso freshly pulled is the foundation of a great latte or cappuccino.
Low-Quality equipment will only lead to expensive repairs or constant replacement costs. Non commercial-grade equipment in most cases will not be up to the task of constant use in a restaurant setting and will need replacing very often as well.
We have a Baker’s Pride full-size electric convection oven. We did make a couple of service calls while everything was still under warranty. These calls didn’t cost us anything. As it turns out, they had a problem with the fan motors, but that is all resolved now. The one we have is very similar to this Vulcan model. I have used Vulcan ovens in my prior restaurant experience and they have always been reliable.
We use a Nuova Simonelli Aurelia II like this one. This machine has been 100% dependable and I couldn’t recommend it more highly. You cannot go wrong with a Nuova Simonelli.
“Ross” (our frozen custard machine)
We affectionately call our machine “Ross” after his nameplate. Our machine is a three-barrel unit. I’m not sure if they make these anymore, but it is very similar to this two-barrel unit. “Ross” was re-installed in our building, the building which was his original home. Since the reinstallation, we have had only one minor electrical issue, which was not even part of the reinstall. Needless to say, “Ross” is a workhorse and can more than handle the job.
Using the right equipment for your task will cost more on the front end, but is an investment in your future – one that you will be glad you made.
Generally, ingredients have more flexibility to influence your profit margin while maintaining a high level of quality. In many cases, the generic brand of an ingredient is just as good as, or occaisionally even a better fit than a more expensive, name-brand ingredient.
There is no room for cutting corners when it comes to substitutions, however, so make sure you are using what you have found to produce fantastic results for you in the past.
In other words, don’t try to substitute milk for heavy whipping cream in your quiche recipe – you may save some money, but you will not be pleased with the results.
Ingredient-Testing is Fun!
The only way to know if a store-brand ingredient will provide the same quality in your recipe as a name brand ingredient is to make a batch of whatever item you are testing and taste it. If you can do this with a side-by-side comparison, even better!
Our Bakeristas love working on days when we are testing new recipes. Let’s just say that everyone is well fed on these days! (We lovingly refer to our Baristas who bake as “Bakeristas”.)
Consistently producing great-tasting, high-quality food and drinks goes a long way to keep our customers coming back for more over and over again. This is made much easier with Walmart Online Grocery. That’s right, we place our order just as you would for your home, and pick it up. We don’t even have to go inside!
There is no substitute for great quality if you want your business to flourish, so spend the money when it is essential to keep the quality high and look for other ways to save.
Visit our Sourdough Cuppa Joe website to see our menu, and come try something!