Reasons Why Numbers Are Important In The Food Industry.
Ever since I was young, math was my least favorite subject. Like, seriously my least favorite to the point that I wouldn't even pay attention to what the teacher would be doing because I was just lost. There was just something that didn't click with me, whether it was the subject itself or the way it was taught. To sum it up, me and math were like a deer staring at headlights.
I didn't really care much about it because I would excel at the other subjects with flying colors. And our grading system in Haiti was more about points and average then by letters.
By the time I had reached probably my sophomore or senior year in high school, I had already made up my mind to go into either culinary school or hospitality school. And for some dumbfounded reason, I had this notion that math won't be a necessity. Right!? I mean who needs math when you're cooking and all? I'll be ok. WRONG!!! WRONG!!! WRONG!!! Turns out that Math plays an important role in the food service industry that you'd be surprised unless you're involved in it.
Attending the Culinary Arts Program gave me a huge wake-up call. I took almost 7 different classes involving numbers in some shape or form. Cooking involves science, and math is a form of science. And in cooking you definitely need a level of precision. Yes you mostly cook by your senses, feel, taste, etc. But do you know that even then, everything you're doing still involves math? And as a pro, and if you're planning on managing an operation, it is even more important that you keep that in mind. Let me break it down real quick.
. Measurements: recipes are not written in stone, but there is a good reason why they exist. You have to be on point when it comes to making sure that your dishes are well balanced. Nothing messes up a dish more than overpowering flavors. So when creating your menu, you have to keep record of your measurements so that your recipes come out the same each time. Consistency!
. Portion control: depending on your business model, you need to determine how much food you're serving your patrons. You don't want to serve too much and mess up your bottom line, or too small and not meet the needs of your clientele. Remember the experiences and reasons are different. You need to weigh, control, count, know your shrinkage, etc...
. Accounting: your biggest and most important asset or liability. You need to know how to balance the books, schedule staffing and predict labor costs, plan your expenses vs your revenues. You're in business to make money, not to blow it. So if you're not good at that part, make sure that someone from your team is or hire a pro.
All in all, math has always been part of the food industry. We might not have payed attention before, or not know its importance, but there's no doubt that it plays a major part. And for those of you just like me who hated math back in the days, just accept the fact that there's no way around it and embrace it. I did, so can you.