Quick-service restauranteurs know how important breading is to customers with that satisfying crunch, that crumbly texture and that tantalizingly rich flavor. Add in your signature flavor profile, and you’ve created a craveable experience that keeps your customers coming back.
Unfortunately, if your operation still relies on hand sifting, they may not make that same dive into deliciousness when they come back. In fact, your flavor inconsistencies may even leave them disappointed.
The downside to hand sifting
Most operations start with hand sifting, which makes sense. After all, restaurants don’t tend to open with a steady stream of customers, and it’s smart to minimize expenses as much as possible when starting out. But as helpful as it is to minimize start-up costs, hand sifting quickly becomes more costly as demand increases, taking its toll on productivity, increasing demand on employees, causing excessive ingredient waste and negatively affecting the flavor consistency of your food.
Proper sifting by hand is time-consuming and tiring. Employees need to spend long stretches of time shaking a sifter to allow usable breading to fall through and be used again. This results in wasted time on the clock, inconsistent results from different employees at different times, excessive ingredient waste due to worker fatigue, and reduced productivity from occupying an employee who could have been preforming other tasks — if you even have any workers to spare during this era of staffing shortages.
That much is easy to see. What might be a little less obvious is why flavors are affected.
It’s all about the blend
Your restaurant has spent a lot of time and effort developing the perfect mix of ingredients that captures your signature flavor, but what happens when that combination is off? The flavor changes, too.
Even if your breading comes premixed, there is always settling that occurs. The ingredients separate naturally over time due to differences in weight and texture, and if they’re not thoroughly sifted, the proportions of spices in your breaded items will change from batch to batch, leaving your customers unsure of what to expect when they come to your restaurant. And when their expectations do not meet reality, your customers are less likely to return or recommend your restaurant to others.
The answer: automatic sifting
Automatic sifters solve every one of the problems created by hand sifting. They save time, accomplishing the job in a fraction of the time it would take to hand sift, save ingredients by quickly extracting dough balls, free employees to accomplish other tasks and thoroughly blend ingredients throughout the mixture.
AyrKing’s Breader Blender Sifter, or BBS, is a perfect example that improves your standard breading procedure by cutting hand-sifting time by up to 80%. The BBS uses a sifter brush as an auger, ejecting unwanted dough balls and blending and mixing seasonings evenly throughout the breading mixture for better flavor consistency. Using AyrKing’s BBS extends the life of your breading, reducing ingredient costs by up to 40%.
Using an automatic sifter like the BBS helps ensure your customers get the customer experience they expect, from delivering the same delicious flavors at every day and shift to freeing up your staff to provide exceptional service and cook food to your high standards.
Good things come with automatic sifters
When you incorporate an automatic sifter into your workflow, you’ll notice an impact on five key areas in your kitchen:
Automatic sifting machines break up dough balls to expose good breading that may have otherwise been thrown away and prevent discarding excessive amounts of breading due to incomplete sifting.
Purchasing an automatic sifting machine is an investment that will quickly pay for itself. If you consider just the amount of dry breading a typical establishment will save and ignore all other benefits, an automatic sifter like AyrKing’s BBS will pay for itself in about 12 months.
Want to know whether hand sifting or automatic sifting is the best choice for your operation? Check out our savings calculator.
Because hand sifting relies on gravity and agitation to separate usable breading from dough balls, heavier particles tend to fall out first and stay on the bottom of the mixture, creating layers. This can be a big problem when spicier pepper or other dominant seasonings get concentrated on just a few items in a batch. Some pieces will end up being very bland while others will be overpowering.
Rather than relying on gravity, the brush on an automatic sifter continuously rotates, thoroughly mixing ingredients and providing a consistently delicious customer experience.
While you might expect another piece of equipment to take up valuable space in your already tight kitchen, this is not the case. Automatic sifters are designed to fit right into your existing workflow. Whether you work from right to left, left to right or have a minimal amount of space available, the BBS’ multiple configurations ensure your new equipment will fit in seamlessly.
Want to find out what BBS is right for you? View our product selection guide.
Automatic sifters help improve food safety by removing dough balls and anything that’s not part of the breading mixture.
Physical labor also takes a toll on operators, and jobs with higher physical demands tend to have a higher rate of employee turnover and accidents. Automatic sifters were designed with operators in mind, with well-thought-out ergonomics to increase operator comfort.
Find out how reducing the effort needed for your breading processes could help increase employee retention.
With only a handful of moving parts that need to be cleaned and maintained, automatic sifters are a breeze to care for.
Because they come into direct contact with food ingredients, the following items need regular cleaning to meet health department regulations and protect the health and safety of your guests:
- Sifter brushes
- Brush cover
- Sifter screen
Your local health department will be able to provide guidelines for required cleaning to comply with local laws.
You will also most likely need to replace your sifter brush once per year. It’s a good idea to purchase a replacement ahead of time and have it on hand so that you can swap it when necessary without being subject to delays due to human error or supply chain issues.
Check out our automatic sifter maintenance tips.
Automatic sifter training tips
Having the best equipment won’t help you if your operators aren’t using it, so it’s important to train your employees and impress them with the reasons why using an automatic sifter is easier and more convenient for them to use. It’s a good idea to track breading usage to give yourself a good idea of how often your BBS is being implemented and help ensure your employees are using it regularly.
We’ve also put together these handy resources to help you train your employees on daily use and maintenance of our products:
Here’s a training video one of our customers created.
Our BBS YouTube playlist has a variety of videos demonstrating how to use our BBS.
Automatic sifting: the better choice
Automatic sifters are a better choice than hand breading for most foodservice establishments. By cutting hand-sifting time by up to 80%, improving flavor consistency and reducing ingredient costs by up to 40%, you can reduce expenses while helping ensure your customers get the dining experience they crave — and that will keep them coming back time and time again.
Ready to make the switch to automatic sifting? Find the right BBS automatic sifter for your operation with this handy model guide.