Speed-Scratch, Our Favorite Hack

March 1, 2020

You know speed-scratch saves time/labor costs and ensures consistency. Now discover more ways to put this smart strategy to work for you. 

In today’s foodservice economy, using speed-scratch offers many advantages. Combining high-quality prepared or semi-prepared convenience food products with fresh and housemade ingredients is a smart strategy to save both time and labor. It also:

  • Allows for more menu variety
  • Addresses labor shortfalls and training issues
  • Ensures consistency
  • Offers food safety benefits
  • Eases purchasing challenges (such as sourcing ethnic ingredients)
  • Permits customization
  • Frees up kitchen staff to be more creative

Replace High-Labor Prep Work

One of the most valuable uses for speed-scratch and value-added products is reclaiming labor that’s otherwise used for basic kitchen prep, such as:

  • Peeling and cleaning vegetables such as potatoes and carrots
  • Making stocks and sauces
  • Cooking off meats like roast turkey breast, bacon, or barbecued ribs
  • Assembling salad dressings
  • Baking bread and desserts
  • Preparing deli salads
  • Cracking and cooking eggs

Add a Signature Touch

Using speed-scratch allows the kitchen to offer diners premium dishes with higher price points without putting undue pressure on back-of-the-house staff.

  • Create a selection of signature sauces—à la carte or included—for steaks, fish, and other proteins by customizing basic sauces
  • Deepen the flavor of meats or introduce global accents for braising, grilling, or roasting with a marinade or rub
  • Upgrade cheese sauce into queso or fondue with inclusions like roasted corn or chipotles in adobo, beer or spirits, salsa, or a second kind of cheese
  • Fold shredded cheese, crisp bacon, sautéed onions or shallots, chopped dried fruit, chocolate chips, fresh herbs, everything spice, or pepitas into baking mixes
  • Turn seasoned rice-blend mix into fried rice or a pilaf with the addition of finely cut fresh vegetables, cubed meat or seafood, nuts, kimchi, beaten egg, or a cooked ancient grain
  • Build out a serve-yourself salad or food bar with prepared items

Create New Menu Items

  • Offer a shareable board of prepared charcuterie and cheeses, accessorized with crackers and breads, fresh or dried fruit, quick pickles, and mustard or other condiments
  • Use precut raw tuna or cooked shrimp to create an on-trend poke bowl or main course salad
  • Repurpose cooked proteins such as brisket, roasted chicken, or prime rib into premium sandwiches with gravy, au jus, flavorful glazes, or signature condiments
  • Build an à la carte bread service with specialty butter made with a flavor concentrate or a prepared dip like hummus or pesto
  • Launch a pizza/focaccia/flatbread program using a prepared dough or crust product, cheese blends, and toppings
  • Add an omelet program with ready-to-menu omelets and fillings

The information provided is based on a general industry overview, and is not specific to your business operation. Each business is unique and decisions related to your business should be made after consultation with appropriate experts.

  • For step-by-step speed-scratch sauce ideas, watch this video.
  • In addition, check out these handy Plus-One guides for more ideas on how to use Minor’s® sauces, flavor concentrates, and bases, as well as Maggi® Seasoning and Stouffer’s® Alfredo Sauce
  • With the official launch of Minor’s four-year, multimillion-dollar Ready to Flavor initiative, the brand’s bases, flavor concentrates, and sauces can now be safely used in both hot and cold applications, without the added step of cooking. 
Preparation of glazed chicken wings

Use Speed Scratch For Fast Flavor

Get the flavor of scratch in a fraction of the time with our speed-scratch tips and hacks. Find out which fully prepared and ready-to-use components will work for you.