Which Casual Restaurants Cook Food from Scratch?

Different restaurants use a variety of formats and techniques in running their kitchens. Most of them are designed to be efficient and cost-effective but some compromise the quality and freshness of food in order to provide fast service and better profits.

This tends to be common practice among casual restaurants who want faster table changes and better visitor satisfaction. Although they can produce food faster, it can also affect their reputation in the long run. Not all visitors will be too interested in paying extra for microwave meals.

However, it should be noted that most restaurants prepare and cook the ingredients in advance to shorten the preparation time after the order is placed. This is common practice, but not all restaurants serve ready-made meals to put in the microwave to make it look fresh. Some fast-casual visitors do this and it's not a bad thing because they promise fast service. But if you're in a casual restaurant or restaurant, such practices are unacceptable.

If you want to avoid microwave meals in restaurants and stick with restaurants that only offer fresh food, we've made a short list of some of the casual dining chains that make their meals from scratch.

Cheddar's Scratch Kitchen

Cheddar's Scratch Kitchen
As the name suggests, Cheddar's Scratch Kitchen promises to make their food from scratch and they deliver it. They actually prepare and cook their own ingredients and food in the store so it is guaranteed to always be fresh.

The idea behind Cheddar Scratch Kitchen is to provide diners with high-quality classic American dishes. To make it happen and still produce food on time, they employ many cooks. In fact, they have twice as many cooks as most chain restaurants. With a larger kitchen staff, they can continue to do food preparation and cooking when orders come in.

Hard Rock Cafe

Hard Rock Cafe
Many who only know Hard Rock Cafe as a kitsch-themed restaurant might be surprised that the chain is serious about their food. Because it is famous as a concert venue and with a large selection of merchandise that was very popular in the 90s, the food may seem like an afterthought. But in reality, that's not the case because they make sure to serve fresh food to their guests.

The quality control of the chains is truly outstanding because they ensure that their dishes taste consistent and are made from the same quality ingredients in every store. Even those located abroad are evaluated according to head office standards so you can be sure to expect the same from their store, wherever it is.

P.F. Chang's

P.F. Chang's
'Farm for the pan' is how they call it in P.F. Chang's. The chain also has a 'kitchen start', guaranteeing that they only serve food prepared and made in their stores. They also promise that they use natural meat and responsibly sourced seafood so that you are more assured with the type of food you put into your system.

According to the restaurant, this is how they celebrate their Asian heritage. By preparing everything from scratch, they can also embrace the original cooking methods that help make their food unique and delicious.

Cheesecake Factory

Cheesecake Factory
How could a Cheesecake Factory cook their food from scratch when they had about 250 items on their menu? Many people don't believe that claim but with so many investigations about their kitchen practices, you'd better believe it's true.

It is said that they start their preparations at 6 am each day so they can have all the items they need for the menu at opening time. They do the cutting and pre-cooking as usual but they also do the cutting and processing of chicken at home. This guarantees the highest freshness, if you ask us.

How did they do it? They have such an efficient process that their kitchen operates like a well-oiled machine. As a result, they can manage large menus without having to freeze and heat food and ingredients.

How do you know if the restaurant food served to you is ready?

Want to know the signs of a restaurant serving ready meals? Here are some points to note:
  • If the food preparation is too fast.
  • If you can't ask for substitutions in a dish.
  • If all the fish dishes on the menu are fried, then the seafood part is most likely ready.

Some say that restaurants with large menus are also very likely to serve ready-made food but as the Cheesecake Factory proves, that's not always the case. It would be better to do some research and assess the appropriate foods to know more about the preparation process of your favorite restaurant.
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