Portion control may be defined as the amount or size of a portion of food which is served to each customer. The purpose is to satisfy customer’s demand and to control food costs within set down specifications. If the portion is too small,then the customer feels cheated at not getting value for money and will not return to the establishment. If the portion is too big, then the food cost will be greater than the planned price, thus affecting profits. Thus, portion control is important not only in the control of costs but also in creating and maintaining guest or customer satisfaction and goodwill.Planning the size of portions to be served depends on type of establishment, menu and customer, quality of food and the prices changed .
There are several systems of serving food to customers. The prepared food should reach the customers in the most appealing manner and several aspects have to be taken care of before the food reaches the customer. One such aspect is portion control, which is extremely important. This is because portion control has a cumulative effect on food production and service. Standardized recipes require effective portion control. It is possible by using standard measuring utensils such as ladles, scoops and other equipment. Portion control means giving a definite quantity of good food, well processed and properly served in the right atmosphere for a definite price to ensure a definite margin of profit in return for the money, time, labour and interest that have been expended.
Methods of portion control:
☆Standard sized pans permit portions to be cut or served as needed.
☆Ladles that are labeled in ounces may be used to serve soups, gravies, stews and sauces. The most frequently used sizes of ladles are 2 oz (1/4 cup), 4 oz (1/2 cup), 6 oz (3/4 cup) and 8 oz (1 cup). (I ounce = 30 ml)
☆Serving spoons (solid or perforated) are used for portioning. It is better to measure or weigh food to get an approximate serving. ☆Scoops can be used to portion out items like drop cookies, muffins, meat patties, vegetables, salads and sandwich fillings.
☆Portion scales can be used for meat or vegetable portions. Weighed samples can be used as an of the approximate measure. ☆Cutting markers are used for pies, casseroles and other entrees.
☆Meat and egg slicers help in cutting equal sliced portions. ☆Individual cups, glasses, gelatin molds, soufflé cups and custard cups are good portion control utensils. ☆Individually weighed, measured and packed items like sandwiches provide efficient portion control.
Portion control is an essential element of food cost and quality control. It reduces food waste, ensures a of the consistent and quality product, the expedites food preparation and the service, and has a big impact on food cost.