Trends, menu inspiration, company news, and more!
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FALL 2015 EDITION

The Most Important Spice: Variety
Answer the consumer call for more choices when dining out

Across generations and day parts consumers are clamoring for variety on the menu. From Millennials looking to express themselves through food choices to aging Boomers dedicated to meeting health and wellness goals, being able to efficiently offer your customers a wide variety of dishes is more important than ever. In a recent look at lunch trends by Technomic, researchers found customers looking for more variety, with only 21% of those surveyed indicating that they tend to eat the same food for lunch every day. Of course, increased variety can sometimes lead to increased menu size, and that might not necessarily always be a good thing. Consumers are looking for creativity, but can sometimes be overwhelmed by too many options or by selections that seem beyond the scope of an outlet’s strength. Even industry powerhouse McDonald’s is pursuing a “menu rationalization:” reducing the number of items offered so they can focus on their strengths. One easy way to increase variety and creativity without overwhelming customers is by allowing customers to choose their own stir-ins to customize classic dishes, a concept with particular appeal for Millennials. Best of all, this approach limits the amount of prep time and space needed to offer up variety to your guests, so you don’t have to sacrifice operational efficiency to take advantage of this trend. Check out our Menu Inspirations for some great ideas on creating compelling variety using just a single Reser’s product!

Consistency on Variety
63%
The percentage of consumers who say it’s important that a restaurant offer a wide variety of menu items during the week. 

 
40%
The percentage of consumers that consider menu variety to be extremely or very important to them when choosing a quick service restaurant.
SOURCE: “Lunch Consumer Trend Report," Technomic 2014
SOURCE: “QSRs and America's Changing Tastes," Sullivan Higdon & Sink FoodThink 2014
Stir-Ins to Savor: Mac & Cheese

Get creative with ingredients you’ve already got in your pantry to serve up fresh, craveable dishes! Here are two examples to get your ideas stirring:

Bacon Burger Mac & Cheese

  • Ground Beef
  • Grilled Onions
  • Crumbled Bacon
...for a fun, inside-out twist on a classic flavor, from one comfort favorite to another! 

Mediterranean Mac & Cheese
  • Feta Cheese
  • Kalamata Olives
  • Cherry Tomatoes
...for a burst of bright, acidic flavors that balance perfectly with our rich and creamy Mac & Cheese. 
From the Kitchen
Our chefs are cooking up even more new and delicious ways to customize our products.

Here are just a few inspirations we've enjoyed recently:
VIEW MORE RECIPES
College & University
Enrolling Local Foods

With more and more of their students engaged on food and environmental issues, College and University dining operations are increasingly adding locally produced foods to the menu. In the 2015 C&U Census by Food Service Director, 94% of colleges reported buying at least some of their food products locally to meet student demand. Local foods were one of the topics in focus at the 21st annual Chef Culinary Conference at the University of Massachusetts, where participants discussed the role of “food as content,” with students wanting to make choices about what they eat and have a say in what is offered. Local foods may be a hit with students, but they present their own unique challenges in terms of cost and logistics. Produce continues to top the list of local foods found in C&U kitchens, but rather than creating entire dishes from local products some operators are delivering on this trend by purchasing smaller amounts of perishable local produce to add to ready-made products like Reser’s Potato Salad as an easy solution to putting local on the menu. 

Click here for more foodservice trends.

INSPIRED IDEAS
Fresh flavor—without the labor cost


Scheduling the labor necessary for producing tasty and nutritious food for patients, staff and the public is a daily challenge in the healthcare segment.
 
To help accomplish more without exceeding labor budgets, some operators have found success with prepared foods that save time and prep work. Salads and side dishes that are easily customized with fresh ingredients can be especially useful across all menu parts. 
 
At Park Ridge Health, a 103-bed hospital in ...
 Read More >>
Q&A: You Ask, We Answer
Question: Why do my potatoes taste different at the end of a season's crop?
Answer: As potatoes age, they dehydrate and respirate, particularly if they have not been well ventilated. The respiration process causes the starches to turn to sugars and this can cause different reactions in different preparation processes. For example when frying, potatoes will fry darker as the sugars react to the heat, while in potato salads, aged potatoes actually absorb flavors more readily, making for an even more delicious side.  
CLICK HERE to send us your foodservice questions and your answer could be featured in future newsletters!
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