Adapting your menu operations for COVID-19
Best-laid restaurant plans, culinary directions, and revenue streams for 2020 have been radically changed in the past few months.
For some, it is a scary new world, BUT I am sure the Hospitality Industry will not concede defeat. I took the occasion to travel to Italy in June to visit our production sites and suppliers and to gain valuable insight into the Italian food scene which had already found itself adapting to a new reality.
What has been clear since day 1 of the pandemic, is that customers are still hungering for the experiences, the leisure, the convenience or quite simply the basic need of food that the Hospitality Industry can offer. Many food operators have been challenged with exploring new approaches for their business, introducing new concepts such as takeaway and delivery.
In the UK and Europe in general, these two approaches may still represent a large portion of revenue for restaurants, hotels, pubs to help maximise the profitability of overall operations.
Here are some facts to reflect upon during the reopening phase:
Many restaurants, pubs, etc will remain closed
Sadly, some food operators have just thrown in the towel. Are there any in your area that have now closed their doors? Which food items did they serve? Are you able to make these, box them up and deliver? Bar food like wings, ribs, French fries and nachos all deliver well, and are easy to prepare.
Fine dining is all but gone
The high-end culinary restaurants are suffering greatly. Over the past month, however, many intrepid chefs have started with take-away “bento” boxes. These Japanese-style compartmentalized lunch boxes can hold anything. You can easily mimic these using clear lids for just 11 pence. Could an appetizer “Bento Box” of cheese selection, speciality bread, wings, salad, and cold cuts be in your customer’s future? This, of course, applied to all boxed items – like Pizza – which is ideal for room service, and are usually perceived as a “safe” option.
Here some ideas:
+ Truffle Fries and Pesto Stone Baked Focaccia.
Add few dollops of red or green pesto on Stone Baked Foccias (try our Rosemary Focaccia Single Portion) accompanied by Truffle Fries… Did you know that PizzaSi now supplies Italian pesto? We also have a spectacular truffle sauce that can transform your fries into a masterpiece of deliciousness.
+ Charcuterie plates with Smoked Mozzarella-topped sourdough
Baked and sliced into strips, paired with Prosciutto di Parma, Parmigiano, Salami Napoli, Schiacciata Spicy Salami, Pancetta, mozzarella and Grilled Peppers, Artichoke and Mushrooms. Yes, you guessed it, we’ve got them all. From real Italian Charcuteries to Antipasti, Grilled Vegetable and Sun-Dried Tomatoes.
+ Mediterranean Mezze Platter.
Our Stone Baked Puccia breads are amazing topped with hummus or Baba Ghanouj. Surrounding the Hummus with Summer Cucumbers, Eggplant, Spinach, Feta and Tomato accompanied by Olives, Banana Peppers and Jalapeño will make this a great appetizer.
It is estimated that approximately 30 to 60% of all consumers will wait for 3 to 5 weeks before starting to dine out.
This means that they are more likely to stay home and cook. Why not think of a food delivery approach that is fresh and oven-ready, or easy to assemble meal kits like we have implemented with Pizza Bellissima (www.pizzabellissima.co.uk). Additionally, they offer you the opportunity to introduce new products with less labour.
People are not going to the store as much as before
Your customers may not have fresh greens in their fridge, so why not bet on a great selection of fresh salad with your food offer, take away and delivery?
Of course, these are ever-changing facts but we would always recommend looking at your menu and to find opportunities to expand into different areas.
The importance of being “FRESH”
As the population has gotten more sedentary sitting at home, this Summer, there may be more calls for salad sales. Salads with a protein you already have on the menu are a culinary pillar across pubs, restaurant, cafes and fine-dining restaurants too.
• Grilled Chicken or Chicken Wing Caesar.
The possibilities are endless with Chicken Wings, Boneless Wings or IQF grilled Chicken Breasts. It all depends on the flavour you want to present.
• Fresh Tomato and Basil in a Caprese Salad.
Summer is the best time for tomatoes. This stunning salad is best shingled in a round container with a small Spinach salad in the middle. The Green Pesto could be cupped and the whole salad is best with coarse sea salt.
• Fennel Salad.
Thin-sliced Fennel with Red Onion, Lemon and Olive.
• Greek Chicken Salad.
Fresh Spinach, Olives, Tomato and Feta make a great combo with any of your Chicken options.
What’s the Plan Stan?
Introducing new items may increase sales, but what about your bottom line? Food and labour costs are all about survival, which makes this recipe the most important of all.
Here is a real-world work-up for a Chicken Caesar Salad:
+ Romaine – £0.60
+ Croutons – £0.18
+ Chicken – £0.86
+ Dressing – £0.30
+ Parmesan – £0.28
+ Cardboard container – £0.25
+ Lid – £0.09
+ Wrapped fork – £0.08
Total Cost = £2.64
If the salad sells for £6.99 = 38% cost (or) £4.35 Gross Profit
If the salad sells for £7.99 = 33% cost (or) £5.35 Gross Profit
If the salad sells for £8.99 = 29% cost (or) £6.35 Gross Profit
None of these prices are right or wrong. You, your market, and your customers will determine sales.
If you are struggling to deliver a profitable and easy to operate pizza offering, we can help!
PizzaSi is the Pizza Solution for the Hospitality industry; ask our Pizza expert to support by developing
with you a winning pizza offer.
We also have a new range of toppings – we really are your ONE STOP SOLUTION!
Our PizzaSi account managers are on hand to work with you on helping your business go from survive to thrive, we have options that we can offer you that will support your journey back to full operation.
IN PIZZA WE CRUST!
Stefano Laudadio – Co-founder, PizzaSi