Salad prep and holding practices

Still shooting for a June 1st opening and putting some tweaks in our menu. I’m not 100% sure on offering salad (s) on our menu, at least right at first. Are a variety of fresh made salads a mover for you, profitable??? And, mostly since I’m inexperienced in this area, what do your prep and holding procedures look like? Am I safe just prepping up the lettuces in a large plastic bin with a lid that I could store in a fridge, or is there some insiders’ deep dark lettuce handling tricks I need to be initiated into? If it matters, we’d be looking at a std. garden with a some romaine tossed into iceberg for the “pretty” factor and the usual veggies, plus a “chef’s” using my subs meats and cheeses, and maybe some sort of a chicken finger offering for those that just have to have some fats in their greens.

if u are near a Sam’s or Restaurant Depot, I’d opt 4 their pre-bagged salads or Romaine hearts - the hearts last for days & can be chopped on the fly - I’m paying 2.99 for 6-8…

Salad spinners are one key, as well as shocking the greens in ice cold H2O & a very minute amt of bleach (parts per million) - many here will disagree w/the bleach, but in small amts it is acceptable & legal - helps w/browning

Sure do love a good salad. I’ve considered myself a ‘salad connoisseur’ pretty much my whole life and every job I’ve had involved making salads. All of them had different procedures and different ways of preparing and packing it etc. So opening at my store, here’s what I came up with and it works very well for me.

(Obviously leaving out the all the much needed sanitary procedures cause you should know that already, and hope you realize you cannot have ANY sharing between the pizza line and the salad line with toppings. This is ready to eat food so you have to be extra careful and make sure everything is clean and sanitized at all times and steps.)

First thing, you should get a good PLASTIC salad knife. This helps extremely well with the browning problem you get from using steel knives. The trick is to do the least amount of damage to the leaf. I dont think I would ever buy or see a need for a salad spinner.

We throw out a lot of the center of the iceberg and we also always take off the very outer leaf as well. There is ZERO yellow in our salads. Just the real “meat” of the lechuga is what makes a good salad, IMO. Theres also good white and bad white. The deep, dark white (usually by or off of the core in the center) isn’t very good tasting, but the clear, transparent looking white is ok. We throwout any yellow in the Romaine as well if needed.

We use 3 heads per 1 head of Romaine. Cut with the plastic knife, and add to a big strainer/colander. We then rinse it with COLD running water for a good 30 seconds and then drain the excess water. Then we weigh the clean, crisp, very bright, leafy greatness into 8 ounces portions using bags on a roll. Finally, we roll the bags loosely not to squish or crush the lettuce in any way.

When someone orders, we unroll the bag and dump it in a an tin togo container with all the requested toppings. Put the top on, put in paper bag with a silverware package, dressing, and a packet of seasoned croutons.

And thats that. I’m really proud to serve our salads, they’re so beautiful lol.