How to Determine Fish Menu Costs Through Yield Testing

How to Determine Fish Menu Costs Through Yield Testing

AJAR Hospitality

How to Determine Fish Menu Costs Through Yield Testing – Hello Ajarian! Yield testing is about how many serves are able to be obtained from a set amount of product. It is also important for ensuring profit margins are acceptable. These are some factors which impact the yield testing:


Before doing yield testing, we should consider the fish size. Fish from the wild are notoriously unpredictable to the marketplace. They can all be different sizes. These are types of fish portion in the market:

  • Whole fish – if whole fish are on the menu then what needs to be sourced are fish that are all the same size.
  • Fillet – single fillets are fine but still need fish all the same size.
  • Supremes – portion of a fillet of fish at a specific weight. Easier to do but then how are the off cuts going to be utilised.
  • Filleting and skinning

Some fish species are quite large and lend themselves to being portioned:

  • Cutlets are the cheapest form of portioning but sizes change as the fish is cut
  • Supremes are portioned from the fillet; skin on or skin off
  • Goujons are strips of fish fillets; easy to portion control sizes
  • Goujonettes; thinner and smaller than Goujons; finger food portions.
  • Skin or no skin

Skin can be removed as it can be tough and chewy. Fish can be grilled skin down to crisp the skin and add crunch to texture of the dish; customer then decides if they wish to consume the skin.

Portion weights

In some cultures it is acceptable to see the fish being extracted from the live tank display and serving the fish 20 minutes later at the table.

Larger fillets are easiest to portion to specific weights:

  • Entrée size 80 gr -100 gr
  • Main course size 150 gr -180 gr.

Off cuts need to be utilised or discarded. If discarded then wastage needs to be measured and cost of wastage applied to number of portions.

Staff skills

Less processing required equals fewer skills required in the kitchen. If fish are purchased ready portioned for cooking then the skill level of the cooks does not have to be as accomplished.

The biggest problem with this is that if fish are not able to be sourced cleaned and portioned and the cook is then expected to have this skill then quality will be diminished due to level of skill.

When there is plenty of business and work available then people can be streamlined into fewer jobs or menu items. Skill sets may need to be maintained. Opportunity keeps skill levels need to be maintained.

Nurturing You to Grow!

Written by: Alan Hickman, Garry Blackburn

Subject Matter: Prepare and cook seafood

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