Balancing menu costs with high quality pastry

As chefs and foodservice professionals we are always balancing menu costs with creating inspiring dishes that your customers will love. We often fall back on the tried and true recipes or magical ingredients that we know work.

Pastry is one such magical ingredient as it is versatile and once you have mastered a few dishes can easily be adjusted for seasonality and flavours. Using ready-made frozen pastry makes the process faster and easier but the selection of pastry can make the difference in creating an impressive pastry dish that delivers flavour, texture and repeat customers, at a premium price.

Using high quality pastry really can add value to your dishes… and it might be cheaper than you expected. Here we have broken down the costs of high quality pastry in dessert tarts to show you exactly how much the pastry will cost you, how much money you can generate from one tart and the benefits of using high quality all butter pastry rather than low quality margarine-based pastry. Stick with me, there is a bit of maths involved, however it is required to show you how to drive value using pastry.

Dessert Tart example

If you are making a tart, you will obviously need pastry, but how do you decide which pastry to use? You have the choice of using low quality pastry made from margarine that tastes okay, or higher quality pastry made from butter that tastes amazing and will leave a lasting impression on your customers. It sounds like a no brainer, right? Unfortunately, too many chefs would opt for the cheaper, low quality margarine pastry, as they think it will lower costs in their restaurant and improve their bottom line.

Feedback from our customers kitchens suggest a Carême Tart can command on average $14 for a slice of tart. Pricing reviews across a range of restaurants suggested the same. From a 20cm tart you could expect 8 slices. This means that from one tart it is possible to make $112 dollars revenue if you were to sell 8 slices at $14 dollars per slice.

To create a delicious tart using Carême Vanilla Bean Shortcrust Pastry, the pastry cost would be approximately $3.50 for the tart, which works out to only be 44 cents per serve. If this sounds expensive to you, remember how much money you can generate off just one tart – $112. That means that using high quality Carême Pastry made from butter costs just 3% of the money you can make. This pastry is not only made with real butter but also with real vanilla and real eggs too, which makes it even tastier. With the added taste and improved value to your customers, why would you choose the low-quality pastry?

This concept doesn’t have to just be applied to tarts as pies can work just the same. It is not worth saving 50 cents on pastry when the benefits of using a high quality, all butter pastry far outweigh it. To help balance your menu choices we have created a yield converter, so you can see exactly how much it will cost to use any of Carême’s All Butter Pastry range in a range of different sizes.

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