Food and franchising go together so well that the food segment is larger and attracts more investors than any other. It’s no wonder then that shifts in the industry warrant much attention. Here are some interesting food industry topics to consider amidst attempts to attract customers and save on food costs in the year ahead:
- Gluten-Free or Not? Many full service restaurants struggle with the labeling of gluten-free items just as much as consumers. Whether labeling entire meals or portions of meals, deciding to list anything gluten-free is appealing to a growing populace in search of food on the go prepared for them without the risk of gluten contamination. How to label gluten-free items depends on their being reliably gluten-free tested items, which may have been prepared elsewhere, or their being simply prepared without gluten containing ingredients.
Consumers seeking to eat without gluten contamination may do so due to serious food allergies or out of other health concerns. Regardless of the reason, restaurants increasingly tread with caution in labeling foods related to gluten due to contamination concerns in a kitchen that simultaneously uses products containing gluten. Restaurants that cannot guarantee an item to be gluten-free, or that do not perform testing (which can be costly), must consider how their menu labeling practices will impact customers who seek a bonafide gluten-free meal.
- Pickles and Preservation. Many wouldn’t think keeping food alive and kicking in a jar could pack such a punch to menu items, but this is just the effect that food preservation is having in various restaurants across the nation. Cost savings benefits for operators result when foods are purchased and preserved during the height of their season, with bulk purchases costing less, and preservation keeping the season’s flavors safely within the produce. All sorts of relishes, toppings for various meat or fish dishes, or salad enhancers can decorate menus in colorful and tasty ways.
Training staff and creating the space to store produce longer to enhance its flavor offers countless benefits. The visual appeal to meals is evident and costs can be decreased while flavor enhanced. Chutneys, jams, sauerkrauts, relishes, butters, sauces—each can boost any menu while adding unique flavors that appeals to customers. Whether storage in jars or in refrigerators is simpler for the particular location and franchise concept, menus can benefit from introducing new ways to enhance customer experience.