Why Understanding the Produce Management Process Matters

Have you considered utilizing a produce management program for your restaurant?

If you haven’t yet, now’s the time to start considering one.

Produce management programs offer a wide variety of benefits to multi-unit restaurants. One major benefit a restaurant receives by joining a produce management program is full visibility throughout the produce process.

You may be wondering why understanding the produce management process matters, or how your operation could benefit from such visibility.

To fully understand the importance, let’s start by looking at where the produce comes from.

Produce Management: From Seed to Fork

While it may sound simple, growing and harvesting produce for use in the foodservice industry is a complex process.

Unlike leisure time gardening, commercial production of produce requires consideration of several key factors. Things like producing to scale, factoring in transportation logistics, and building out allotted time before consumption are all steps in the produce management process that growers need to consider.

This is important to know because, these factors directly impact the product you end up buying for your restaurant.

As a result of the mass production behind commercial growing, the produce received in restaurants does not always look the way most people expect it to. This does not impact the quality of the product. However, being familiar with the process helps restaurants better understand what is and is not within spec, and what is acceptable for their application.

Additionally, the process for harvesting produce varies depending upon the commodity. Some items are planted and harvested mechanically, while others require human hands.

For example, let’s look at a staple item like tomatoes. Growers harvest tomatoes by pulling fruit at a proper ripened state while pruning the bush. Once harvested, individuals sort the tomatoes by characteristics like size, shape, and color.

Which takes us to our next point…

Finding the Right Produce for You

By understanding the process of how produce is grown and harvested, you will have a better understanding of spec variance among items.

Let’s look back at our tomato example. Growers harvest the fruit and sort by size, shape, and color. When restaurants understand this process, it provides a great opportunity for them to get involved in choosing the right produce specifications for their needs.

By utilizing a produce management program and having visibility into the produce process, restaurants can be more involved with choosing the right items for them.

What does this mean?

Working with produce experts ensures each item that comes through your doors meets the exact needs of your restaurant.

Working with a produce management program and having visibility into the process can help you source quality ingredients that are just right for your restaurant’s need. But, did you know it can also help emphasize food safety?

Risk Management

When you work with a produce management program, you have the confidence of knowing each product that comes through your doors meets high quality and spec standards for your restaurant.

This is beneficial for multiple reasons. First, you can ensure your guests are getting the best quality foods. Next, it’s incredibly important in instances of product recalls and foodborne illnesses.

Despite best efforts, foodborne illness is a real threat to restaurant stability.

When news of an outbreak or product recall hits, many restaurants choose to proactively discard any items that could be potentially be affected.

This discard of product can cost restaurants big.

When working with a produce management program and having such visibility, you can receive confirmation in a matter of minutes on whether your produce is affected by any outbreaks or recalls.

This is a huge plus for several reasons. Not only can you avoid discarding stock unnecessarily, but you can also pass that comfort onto your guests. They can have comfort knowing the produce they’re eating is not from the affected areas.

Produce Management is a Best Practice

If you haven’t considered joining a produce management program, now is the time to seriously consider it.

Across the foodservice industry, more and more restaurants are partnering with produce management experts to help identify and source the right products to their operations. It’s truly a best practice that you will want to incorporate into your operation.

The information mentioned above touches only on some of the great benefits that your restaurant could receive from joining. If you are interested in utilizing a produce management program for your restaurant, connect with us to learn more! Our produce experts at Consolidated Concepts would love to speak with you.

Additionally, Consolidated Concepts is able to help multi-unit operations find other cost saving opportunities. Contact us today, we’d love to meet you!