While it’s nearly impossible to be completely waste-free, eliminating how much waste comes from an establishment can be lowered.
One restaurant off Strip in Las Vegas works diligently to cross over ingredients from kitchen to bar in order to eliminate the need to have a separate order for bar grocery. Ryan Hauret, assistant manager, tells us more about Sparrow + Wolf and what they do to help reduce waste within the ever-changing bar world.
Chef Brian Howard’s Sparrow + Wolf is an American cookery influenced by his travels, his classic training, and midwestern roots. Their focus is balancing old and new as well as cooking in synergy with the seasons. Located in Chinatown, they continue to be influenced by their surroundings. The beverage menu is constantly changing with the seasons so there is always something fresh to try.
They have a “pull-from-the-pantry” mentality, which basically means they keep their focus on the synergy between the front and back of the house. They have less inventory, lower waste produce, and a focal point on creating cocktails that pair directly with their food.
This method allows them to buy less while also finding innovative ways to use a single ingredient.
They maximize their profits by closing the loop between bar and kitchen. It’s simple, “the less you are throwing away, the more you use, the more you make. By being conscious of what we throw out or reinvent either in the kitchen or bar, you save money, which in turn maximizes the uses for waste,” Hauret says.
Sparrow + Wolf pairs their food with cocktails because of how fun and creative it is. “We work with big flavors on both menus, so we are very cognizant of how well they play together. And sometimes it is very surprising what works well, or what contrasts well.”
Tips for Bartenders & Chefs to Balance Food & Drinks Menu
- Collaboration! The bar team and chefs should be on the same page. “If your teams aren’t on the same page, your menus will read that way.”
- Urge your bar team to prep in the kitchen with the BOH team. A natural bond will form, which will help keep equilibrium between menus.
- Educate your teams. Challenging both BOH and FOH to learn about the other avoids disharmony between menus.
Some of Sparrow + Wolf’s current popular drinks are the Dirty Martinez, made with Roku gin, sencha-infused Dolin Blanc, Sakura syrup, yamamomo and shiso bitters; the Mandalorian with Kavalan Whisky Distillery Select, oolong demerara, teapot bitters and boba; and the El Zapatero made with Source One Vodka, citrus tarragon shrub, currants, huckleberry and Oloroso Sherry. Guest favorite dishes include the lamb neck that is braised for 30 hours and their dry-aged porterhouse that is miso-rubbed and wood-grilled, and served with American banchan that rotates daily.