It’s one of the paradoxes of running a restaurant right now: Accommodate the preferences of your guests – but do so with a smaller staff, a slimmed-down menu and an unpredictable supply of ingredients. While that can be challenging for sure, there are simple ways to give guests the range of options they crave without stretching your inventory to its limit. Looking to your spices, sauces, dressings and condiments can help you create many variations on a dish and offer the customization guests are demanding – all without requiring a lot of staff training or consuming valuable real estate in your pantry. Try changing up the seasoning and dipping sauces on your appetizer menu to create a new special, using a popular soup to transform the flavor of a pasta dish, or looking to various combinations of condiments and global spices to add a range of international flavors to your burger menu. Even minor tweaks to a marinade can change the experience of an entrée. Turning to these options can be a labor saver, as well as a tool to save time on staff training. As you look across your inventory, what shelf-stable ingredients could you use to create multiple menu items that are new to your guests?
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