Salads To Go

I know this topic is probably a no go. But my questions is, is there a way to prepare salads already made up for customers on the go, without the lettuce getting nasty? Im trying to premake up a few individual antipastos for customers on the go who do not have time to wait 5 minutes for it to get made up fresh

The key to keeping the lettuce from turning bad is to keep it very cold. You should be able to get a few days out of it if the temperature is right.

I made a couple of salads up yesterday, my cooler temp is between 37-39 degrees, but what I noticed today was that the topping I put on it were wet in turn made the lettuce nasty. I put salami, ham, mozz cheese, & olives & I had them in styrofoam containers. I already keep chopped lettuce in my cooler for salads, & that seems to hold a good couple days, but after putting the items on the lettuce, well I just had to through them out, they did not hold very well.

I am only guessing here…but look at the big chains that do salads…like Olive Garden. They are in plastic air-tight containers. I know air is not a friend to lettuce so maybe your container is part of the issue? :?:

Mike, that could be it, I will make 1 up today & actually wrap in plastic wrap tightly & see what it looks like later tonite or tomorrow.

don’t put the lettuce in. put all your toppings in the container. When they order it flip the container upside down so the the meat and cheese go into the top of the container— throw the lettuce in and turn it right side up.

I’ve noticed that the overall quality of Iceberg lettuce is really poor recently in that it just does not keep very well. We normally do a two-day build on our pre-prepped salads without much waste, but we’re seeing a lot of browning for the past month or two. Might need some extra TLC and just-in-time prep until the source changes.

Penelope. I will try that as well. thanks for all the help guys. greatly appreciated

Brad. Seeing that you are in one state over from me, the weather might have played a factor in the crops, do you purchase by the case? I found that going to my local grocery store & purchasing lettuce, I dont get that browning, I by lettuce, tomato, gr. pepper about every 2-3 days as needed, so its fresh and dont sit in the walkin for long periods of time

We get all the supplies for our salads from the grocery store. Even a half case of lettuce is too much for us to get through in time, so we buy a few heads and the carrots/celery/cabbage/radishes as needed. Most often, it’s cheaper buying this way than by the case! Probably because the vendors have to factor in that spoilage into their costs.

Tomatoes, green peppers, onions and such we do get from our suppliers by the case and prep up 3-4 days worth at a time. Those veggies seem a bit more durable/forgiving.

Brad do you have any local produce markets that would deliver partial cases or mixed orders at a discount because of your repeat business? I know this is less likely in smaller towns or rural areas…but it never hurts to sit down and just ask…even with the local grocery stores. Maybe they would give you a small discount by using them for your regular needs. Worse case they say no.

yeah I agree buying from the local store is cheaper. I’ve been doing this for about 3 yrs now & works out great, especially when in season I go to the local farmers market, I get great deals there as well.