The family-owned Bailey Seafood has been serving fresh fried fish, shrimp, sides and more in Buffalo, NY, for more than 35 years. The busy take-out restaurant has 25 fryers to keep up with the high demand, particularly on weekends.
Hand-breading the restaurant’s popular fish pieces and other fried dishes was a very time-consuming and labor-intensive process and one that often resulted in excess waste and inconsistent results.
The traditional prep process involved breading the fish in large buckets, which created a significant amount of clumps of batter and breading.
Because the restaurant uses a large grain breading, it was often hard to find a sifter that would effectively separate the clumps from the breading. Workers also had to sift the breading by hand — a tedious process that often resulted in large batches of breading just being thrown out, said Michael Kontras, owner of Bailey Seafood.
Additionally, the resulting dishes sometimes had an inconsistent and undesired texture with too much breading clinging to the food.
Bailey Seafood turned to solutions from AyrKing — two Breader Blender Sifters (BBS) and a DrumRoll Automated Breader — in order to streamline food prep, reduce labor, eliminate waste and improve food consistency.
By automatically sifting breading to remove clumps and allowing the operation to get more life out of breading, the BBS has dramatically reduced waste. Bailey Seafood has reduced its breading use by an average of 35%, going from purchasing seven 50-pound bags of breading per week to consuming only four or five bags.
The DrumRoll is used to bread a variety of foods, from the signature fish pieces to shrimp, okra and broccoli.
“The DrumRoll saves us hours and hours of hand breading,” Kontras said. “We can put 35 or 45 pounds of seafood in there at once, and it’s done in one minute.
“In this day and age, people are looking for more efficiency, and it solves a giant problem,” he added.
These AyrKing tools have allowed Kontras to keep producing the same amount of food with two fewer full-time employees. This reduced need has offered a key advantage during the labor shortages that have plagued the restaurant industry and led to other restaurants’ reducing operating hours or otherwise trimming service.
The BBS and DrumRoll from AyrKing are helping Bailey Seafood prepare better food faster, cutting costs and improving service.