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From Restaurant to Grocerant, Survival Strategy (Part 2)

Mar 25, 2020

RTS Culinary Consultant Becky Foulk watched our recent grocerant video and wanted to add a couple ideas. Take it away chef:

Something else to consider is creating a menu of grocery-style prepared foods that customers order once or twice a week and pick up or — call ahead and have delivered two or three days later.

This type of program compares to the holiday programs in the grocery-store business: You know what you need to make, which foods you need to order, and which (and how many) employees you’ll need to produce and pack the orders.

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Grocerant omnibus template featuring menu items for pickup and delivery. 

 

This is the way smart grocers (and now you) control shrinkage and staffing levels. What’s more, depending on your creativity, you can utilize products already on hand or, perhaps, can purchase from vendors now offering specials deals.

Meals Ready to Go

These ready-to-go menu items can take several forms:  fully cooked meals from your menu, oven-ready dishes, or a meal kits. Be sure to include with each of them an ingredient list, reheating instructions (if necessary) and clearly marked “consume by or freeze” dates.

Most importantly, bear in mind that your cooks need to carefully watch and control cooking temperatures. Understanding how to chill hot food quickly is crucial; so is knowing how to keep food cold while packing and bagging orders. If no one on your staff fully understands holding temperatures, chilling foods and the like, look online for credible information. Keep instant-read thermometers handy if you do not already.

Meanwhile, the Easter and Passover holidays are almost here.  Start marketing meal ideas now to accommodate customers in your area. It will be much easier to have preorders of holiday meals than to hope customers decide which to order them at the last minute.

Finally, consider creating a special cocktail program. It’s a great way to set your prepared foods program apart at dinner time. I’m thinking of something that features a special drink – maybe quarts of margaritas (but with a creative twist) – that nonetheless appeals  to a great many adults.

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