Chef Justin Fredrickson began working at the MGM Grand more than 12 years ago and has been in his current role of Executive Chef of the buffet for nearly four years. MGM Grand first implemented the LeanPath System in its conference services kitchen and expanded to the buffet four years ago by installing a Tracker in the main production kitchen.
Why did you decide to implement the LeanPath System in the Buffet?
“We wanted to see where we could save on food costs and welcomed the idea to bring it to the buffet. It had been very successful in conference.”
How have you used your LeanPath data to drive down waste?
“Right away we spotted an opportunity to change to cook-to-order; that was due to the ValuWaste System. Rather than cooking massive amounts, now we cook more right when we need it. That was the first big thing as far as eliminated waste—that little change has helped save about $8,000 a month in food costs savings.”
What was your goal for the program?
“Our goal was to identify where the waste was coming from and quickly respond. For example, it helped us identify a large amount of trim waste from the carving station. So now we send it to the commissary kitchen where they can make stocks. We found there was too much bacon being produced, so we adjusted par levels and use any left-overs in recipes like country gravy.”
How did the staff respond to the program?
“At first, no one wanted to weigh. But we promoted it as a good thing. Then they started to see the benefit—how it actually decreases the amount of work they do. The staff has become very efficient now that we have a standard in place—you must weigh the waste. [LeanPath] ValuWaste has helped tremendously in how people go about their daily business, and they are proud of what they do. This atmosphere has moved our buffet in the right direction, where we are very profitable.”
What would you say to chefs that aren’t currently tracking food waste?
“Kitchens that aren’t tracking waste are missing out on finding where 2-3% of their food costs are going. When you can zero in on your food waste, you can control your prep, ordering and production. It’s all connected.”
“With the LeanPath System we can react in a really quick matter. There has never been a system in place for chefs to see what’s being thrown away and track why. It’s helped us to become very efficient. The colorful charts and graphs make it easy to see what’s going on daily and weekly. It’s a great thing to have and post—the system is very chef friendly.”
Since implementation of the LeanPath Food Waste Tracking System, the MGM Grand Buffet has reduced pre-consumer food waste by 80%. They are saving between $6,000 and $9,000 a month in food costs due to food waste prevention.
For more about the MGM Grand Buffet's success with LeanPath Food Waste Tracking Systems, click below to read their case study.