'On-the-Go' Diners are Focus of US Foods’ Summer Scoop Lineup
Diners are increasingly on the move and eating on the go, which means they’re thinking more and more about convenience and choosing restaurants that offer easy off-premises solutions. In order for restaurants to cater to the changing needs of diners, they need to think about inventive solutions to expand their off-premises offerings whether that’s through takeout or delivery. US Foods is helping restaurants navigate the needs of today’s busy guests with a lineup of new products.
Last month, US Foods launched its Summer Scoop line, which showcases 21 innovative products designed to help independent restaurant operators keep up with consumers.
“Summer Scoop also highlights the intersection of customer convenience and environmentally conscious practices for restaurant operators,” the company said in a statement. “It delivers on-trend menu offerings, services and disposables to reach new customers and create additional opportunities with regular diners.”
FSR spoke with Stacey Kinkaid, US Foods’ vice president of product development and innovation, to learn about the new products and why it’s important for operators to keep up with the convenience trend.
How are the new products helping restaurant operators keep up with today’s busy diners?
The fast-paced growth of the convenience dining market is reshaping the restaurant industry. As a result, Summer Scoop is delivering on-trend menu offerings, services, and disposables to help restaurants reach prospective customers and create additional opportunities with regular diners.
For example, right now we know that delivery and on-the-go dining are causing major shifts in the restaurant world. That is why we included many labor-saving and innovative items perfect for delivery, including fully cooked and pre-sliced meats, such as the Chef’s Line All Natural Hickory Smoked Diced Pork Belly and the Cross Valley Farms Baby Leaf and Herb Mix.
What are some ways restaurants can adjust their menus to accommodate diners who are not always eating on-premises?
Off-premises dining is one of the hottest industry topics, and the trend is here to stay. With consumers on the go more than ever before, operators need to find new ways to match their active lifestyle while driving sales for their restaurants. Adding grab-and-go items to menus is a great way operators can adjust their menus to accommodate diners.
Summer Scoop features several snack and dessert grab-and-go products. These items help reduce labor and preparation costs, and offer retail solutions that can grow a restaurant operator’s business. Products include the Chef’s Line Lemon Loaf Cake Slice and the Chef’s Line Chocolate Banana Swirled Loaf Cake Slice. Both cakes come pre-sliced and pre-wrapped for grab-and-go usage, and are made with ingredients that comply with the Unpronounceables List initiative, which develops products with simple, more recognizable ingredients. Additionally, the Chef’s Line Buttermilk Biscuit is made with real butter, buttermilk and no artificial flavors, colors or preservatives, and also complies with the US Foods Unpronounceables List initiative.
Why should restaurants be more conscious when choosing to-go packaging? What are the benefits of using sustainable products?
According to the Culinary Visions Panel (2018), 65 percent of customers are concerned with the environmental impact of take-out containers and to-go packaging. With carryout dining and the push for compostable disposables on the rise, Summer Scoop features an assortment of sustainable options, including the Monogram Molded Fiber Bowl, which is BPI certified 100 percent compostable.
The benefits of using sustainable products include reducing waste while offering versatile, sustainable options for operators to help meet consumer demand for eco-friendly products.
All the sustainable options included in Summer Scoop are Serve Good products, which are items that meet rigorous criteria set by US Foods for responsible sourcing or waste reduction.
Where do you think the off-premises/to-go dining trend will go in the future? Do you think restaurants need to offer online ordering/to-go/delivery in order to stay relevant?
The off-premises space and opportunity is vast. It’s also ever-evolving and now is the time to capitalize. It has the power to transform profits, and no other area of the industry is growing as quickly. With technological innovation and tech-savvy consumers driving a lot of the competition in this space, we’ve found that it’s crucial for restaurants to partner with third-party delivery services to stay relevant and competitive in today’s marketplace.
In addition to food items, Summer Scoop also features ChowNow, a part of US Foods’ CHECK Business Tools. ChowNow builds online ordering systems directly into a restaurant’s own website, social media page or branded mobile app, which goes a long way to help restaurants protect their brand. Plus, ChowNow is commission-free, offering restaurants a simple flat rate.