Catering is becoming a bigger part of many restaurants’ business these days. According to data from the International Foodservice Manufacturers Association (IFMA) and Datassential, foodservice catering is projected to continue to grow over the next year (whereas other foodservice segments such as midscale and casual dining are on the decline). Catering orders (especially large or last-minute orders) can add stress and strain on an operation. And as a variety of new ordering and delivery options evolve, demand is only going up. However, with some simple tricks, catering can be made more efficient and can become a profitable part of your business’s offerings.
Most operators simply cannot include their full restaurant menu on the catering menu because certain items are either too time or labor-intensive or may not hold well. But you can avoid the temptation of eliminating important familiar side dish options that customers love and seek out, and still offer a well-rounded catering menu.
For example, using speed-scratch mashed potatoes can help reduce labor, cost and time – yielding delicious mashed potatoes in just 60 seconds, but with the texture and taste of handmade mashed potatoes (no peeling, chopping, boiling, or mashing!). Compare that to around 25 minutes for refrigerated or frozen mashed and over an hour of prep time for scratch mashed. This allows operators to focus on prepping the other parts of the meal so that everything comes together smoothly and in less time. And including a warm comfort dish like mashed potatoes on the catering menu is always a sure win.
If you’re hesitant to use speed-scratch mashed potatoes on your menu, keep in mind that the days of institutional-style instant mashed potatoes are long gone. Today, there are delicious options that offer the natural taste and texture of scratch mashed potatoes and meet the operational needs of today’s kitchen. Look for products that use REAL Certified 100% Idaho Potatoes to ensure quality and authentic field-fresh flavor. Some products even come lightly buttered and seasoned and contain real lumps and peels for a true home-made experience that would make your grandmother proud.
If you’re catering business is growing, but challenging your operation, you may want to take a second look at instant mashed potatoes as a smart solution for saving time and labor costs, while still offering customers the rich and creamy mashed potato experience they are seeking.
Simple never tasted so good!
Content courtesy of Idahoan Foods