5 Tips for Saving Your Kitchen Time & Labor Costs in a Carry-Out-Heavy Culture

September 14, 2020

5 Tips for Saving Your Kitchen Time & Labor Costs in a Carry-Out-Heavy Culture

This year has brought a lot of new challenges for the food-service industry, and as COVID-19 cases fluctuate, it’s hard to know what the future will hold. We’ve put together a list of 5 simple tips to help save your kitchen resources, time and labor costs in a mandate-restrictive and carry-out heavy culture.

Tip 1: Educate your Customers

These days it is imperative that you have accurate information about your hours and offerings (carry out, delivery, dine in) on your website, social media accounts, any partnering websites (Door Dash, Uber Eats, Open Table, etc.), as well as reflected on your Google listing. Additionally, if your business is not represented on one of these online platforms, it would be beneficial to use down time to work on expanding your online presence. Furthermore, all these platforms are a good place to let your customers know what is expected of them when they are interacting with your staff and within your establishment. Is there a specific place they should go or a number they should call when picking up their order? Do you have a time limit on table seatings? What are the mask expectations and safety procedures? Are your happy hour deals applicable on to-go orders? These are all questions you can answer for your customers without having to spend time picking up the phone.

Tip 2: Stock Up on Disposables

Carry out is still a popular option with many customers. Save on shipping costs and make your ordering an easy one-stop-shop by selecting what you need from our carry out offerings. We’ve got you covered on bags, containers, plastic-ware, cups, deli sheets, napkins, gloves and more. Our products vary from plastic to foam, paper and eco-friendly fiber. Ask your sales rep for a list of all the items we carry.

Tip 3: Value-added Products & Fresh Cuts

These days staffing is kept to a minimum, and each hour and dollar counts. Save on time and labor costs by purchasing pre-cut fresh fruits and veggies. Does your menu require diced onions, spiraled squash, julienned peppers, or simply peeled potatoes? Just add them on to your order already prepped! Ask your sales rep for our Fresh Cuts catalog and browse over 120 items.

Tip 4: Heat & Serve or Plate & Serve Items

Still crunched for time? Standard sides like soups, mac and cheese, chili and pasta don’t need to be made in-house. Our line of Sandridge heat & serve items boast flavors that exceed industry standards. A local company based in Medina, Ohio, they have been in the business of fresh food manufacturing for over 50 years. Another area where you can lean on other culinary professionals is dessert. We highly recommend trying Dayton, Ohio based Killer Brownies. These decadent double-to-triple layered gourmet brownies are just what the doctor ordered! Both of these product lines help you cut down on waste and are especially convenient for socially distanced events, as well as for kitchens with limited space.

View the Sandridge Product Listing. View the Killer Brownie Product Listing.

Tip 5: Grab-n-Go Single-Serve Products

Even tighter on prep time and/or kitchen space? Our grab-n-go Hearn Kirkwood line is perfect for coffee shops, cafes, markets, juice bars and more! Their prepared food items include fresh sandwiches, wraps, parfaits and other snacks, as well as deli counter salad and taco kits. Operating since 1946, everything is prepared in their in-house USDA kitchen, and distributed at the peak of freshness. Ask your sales rep how to get started with this product line today.


Overall, keeping your business afloat these days is all about self-promotion, streamlining processes, and efficient use of resources. Always keep in mind that our sales reps are only a phone call or email away and are more than willing to offer support in any way they can. 


Bonus tip: Don’t forget to take advantage of the current to-go alcohol rule, allowing Ohio businesses with a liquor permit to sell up to 2 alcoholic drinks per meal for takeout or delivery. It may be worthwhile to have a weekly specialty cocktail, or even one for each day of the week, as well as some type of happy hour or BOGO deals. 


Written by Marianna Marchenko