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How to Get the Most Out of Your Restaurant’s Dairy Product

December 07, 2020

As a restaurant owner, you know how crucial maintaining food costs are to preserving your profits. Perishable products, like dairy, can cut into your bottom line if frequent spoilage occurs. Plus, some specialty items, like dairy alternatives, can be expensive. Are you looking for ways to stretch your dairy budget? Our wholesale dairy supplier shares tips on how to maximize your restaurant's grocery dollars below. 

Can Wholesale Dairy Suppliers Keep Food Costs Down?

Purchasing dairy from a reputable wholesale restaurant supply store is the first step in helping maintain healthy food cost margins. If you've never partnered with one before, choose a company with strong ties to the restaurant community that promises product variety. 

Geared toward professional chefs, restaurant food suppliers offer premium dairy, stored at optimal temperatures. This translates to farm-fresh products for all your menu needs. Because they work with local producers, as well as larger farms, wholesale supply stores offer a wealth of merchandise, like organic milk and gourmet cheese, at competitive price points. 

Which Wholesale Dairy Products are Best for Your Bottom Line?

While all the dairy products at your restaurant supply store are affordable options, there are still ways to further increase your savings. Here are some of the best dairy products to buy and some professional tips to get the most out of your budget:

1. Buy Butter in Bulk

Butter is a staple in every professional kitchen. Chefs use it for baked goods, sauce bases, basting, and more. The beauty of butter, other than its creamy flavor, is its longevity. Due to its high fat content, butter can last for weeks to months if stored properly. That means you can stock up and not have to worry about profit loss from food spoilage. Check out these butter facts to learn more:

  • Unsalted Butter: Sweet butter, also referred to as unsalted butter, is churned with no salt added. Bakers and chefs choose this type of butter for its neutral flavor. Store it for two weeks in the refrigerator or up to five months in the freezer.
  • Salted Butter: Salted butter contains a minimal amount of salt, about 1.6-1.7 percent. However, this small amount goes a long way in preserving the butter. In fact, it can last two months in the walk-in and as long as nine months in the freezer! 
  • European-Style Butter: Also known as cultured butter, this style has less moisture and more fat than typical salted and unsalted butter. While it's often more expensive, the rich flavor and higher fat allow chefs to use less in cooking. This, coupled with its shelf-life, makes European butter budget-friendly. 

2. Get Creative with Cheese

Diners love cheese! In fact, our cheese consumption has tripled in just 30 years, with 60% of that increase coming from the foodservice industry. Chefs know that cheese is a must-have ingredient, but pre-sliced and already grated cheeses can cost you money. Their preparations (sliced and grated) limit how they can be used in recipes, causing you to have to purchase additional products. Buying cheese in bulk styles like blocks and wheels allows you to slice, shred, and cut to your menu specifications. 

For example, a large slab of aged cheddar can be sliced for burgers, shaved for salads, and grated for au gratins. If you really want to stretch your dairy budget, go for cheese with bold flavors like smoked mozzarella or gorgonzola. You'll end up using less while still producing delectable dishes. Have cheese scraps? Instead of throwing them out, use the leftover pieces as a mac and cheese base, go retro and craft house-made cheese balls for the holidays, even add parmesan rinds to sauces and soups for some extra umami. 

Remember that dairy products are perishable, so you want to keep your cheese fresh as long as possible by storing them in breathable coverings

3. Dairy Alternatives

Plant-based menu items and dairy-free offerings are gaining popularity. Incorporating vegan ingredients into your menu can be costly, especially if they aren't high sales items. Luckily, your wholesale food store and restaurant supply stocks a variety of affordable dairy alternatives. A range of nut and plant milks, like almond, oat, and rice come in shelf-stable packaging with long shelf-lives. This allows you to buy in bulk without the concern of food waste. You'll also find vegan cheeses, eggless mayo, and dairy-free whipped toppings. 

Put your spin on vegan products and incorporate some wholesale produce to whip up herbed cashew sauce and vegan aioli. You can also save on lactose-free desserts by making your own coconut milk ice cream

Want to Milk More Savings from Your Restaurant and Bulk Food Supply?

CHEF'STORE offers high-quality products at economical prices to help you achieve your bottom line. With our online ordering platform, you purchase items and track orders, saving you time and money. What's more? We also offer grocery delivery services through our Instacart and Shipt, allowing you to receive supplies when you need them.

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Cheese Consumption In United States Infographic

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