Meals to go: how to rethink your menu

Meals to go: how to rethink your menu

With the closure of dining rooms, more and more restaurateurs are turning to takeout to keep their businesses going, but also to provide a bit of comfort to their customers. If you choose this solution make sure the first thing you do is follow a strict hygiene regimen to protect your staff and your customers. The next thing to do is repurpose your menu. 

Bhan Mi

Creating a sensible menu

Start by evaluating what you have in inventory and what your suppliers are able to provide in order to determine your menu offering. Resist the impulse to offer everything on your current menu. You will quickly become overwhelmed, especially if you’re working with a skeleton staff. Instead choose dishes that are easy to prepare and those you can make in large quantities and that keep longer. If you need to, you can add new items to your takeout menu.

Don’t forget that your regular customers are the ones most likely to call you for takeout. To keep them happy, look at your best selling items and pick the ones that travel best. So that the delivery does not compromise the quality of the food, you can also choose to offer ready-to-heat meals, things like lasagna, pies and stews.

Coffe cup

Choose containers suited to the task

Select containers that are right for the dishes you'll be delivering, including gravies, salads and desserts, to avoid spills and customer disappointment. Here are some options with their advantages and downsides.

 

Plus

Minus

Polystyrene (Styrofoam)

·        Good insulator, keeps dishes hot or cold

·       Not recyclable

Polypropylene (plastic)

·        Available in a wide range of shapes and sizes, with or without compartments

·        Recyclable

·        Not a good insulator

·        More expensive

Cardboard, paper and  moulded fibre

·        Many formats available

·        Biodegradable

·        Can soak through

Aluminum

·        Many formats available

·        Sturdy

·        Great for reheating

·        Recyclable

·        Lids don’t seal reliably

·        More expensive

Aim for profitability and efficiency

To maximize profits and minimize prep time, try to simplify your recipes by limiting the number of ingredients or by using the same ingredients in more than one dish.

To increase the value of sales, offer family sizes in addition to individual servings. Also look at offering soups and desserts. You can brighten your customers daily lives by offering themed menus such as brunch (sausage, quiche, fruit and yogurt) or a TV dinner for the whole family (ham mini-roll-ups, nachos and chicken wings, raw veggie brochettes and dip, dessert pizza). Think about treats you might be able to provide customers with at the same time, like sodas or chocolates.  If you are working with a reduced staff, make your life easier by using fully-cooked ingredients. You’ll shrink prep times and costs related to cooking while benefitting from their much longer shelf lives. For instance, our fully cooked chicken breast strips let you prepare meal bowls or tortillas, two dishes that make great takeout. 

Bol repas poulet riz brun

Idea : Chicken and brown rice bowl

A delicious bowl brimming with cooked brown rice, cubed sweet potato, chicken strips, sliced red onion and black beans. For garnish: guacamole, mango-lime vinaigrette, cilantro and lime quarters, to taste.

Tortilla au poulet

Idea : Delicious Tortillas

On your choice of tortilla, spoon some cooked rice, shredded cheese and a blend of chicken strips, black beans and chopped red onion seasoned with chili powder. Roll-up fajitas-style and serve hot, with your choice of condiments.

Creating a sensible menu

Back

Liked what you read?

Subscribe to our food service hub and access exclusive recipes, tools and free market insight on your industry.

  • Custom
    Listing
  • Tips and
    Tricks
  • Calculators and
    specialized tools