2007 Portability Study: Portability on the menu

Portability continues to be a big part of most foodservice operators’ business, according to the 2007 FoodService Director Study on Portability.

“The menu is still upscale, but the items are things that can be prepared quickly,” says Foley.

Enhancing portability was on the minds of executives of Eurest Dining Services, a division of Compass Group, when they took a coffee bar and converted it to a full-fledged cafeteria. Caffe Ritazza debuted last year on the ground floor of the SunTrust bank in Orlando, Fla., and features entrées, specialty sandwiches and salads, soups and desserts. Dan Cramer, first vice president and corporate dining manager for SunTrust, called the conversion “the best utilization of space,” and a way to provide customers with a wide variety of items that can be picked up quickly and eaten in or taken away.

Operators say that when it comes to take-out foods, just about anything that can be put in a container can, and is, taken away from the cafeteria. Fresh-made tends to be more popular than pre-packaged, according to the survey, with entrees off the serving line accounting for 21% of the total take-out business, on average, and deli sandwiches making up another 15%. Pre-wrapped sandwiches represent another 15%, while ready-to-go entrees in refrigerated cases are less than 5% of the total.

Lunch foods tend to make up a bigger part of the take-away business than breakfast foods, as only 11% of portable business is in either breakfast to order or pre-packaged breakfast foods. Interestingly, although long-term care facilities do not do much grab-and-go business, those that do see 44% of their business from fresh-made entrees (31%) and sandwiches (13%).

The desire for portability causes operators to consider making popular foods more portable. One example is Aramark’s Corporate Services group, which has created an interesting twist on the panini. According to Scott Keats, director of culinary development for the division, the company simply took panini ingredients and placed them on a smaller ciabatta roll and is marketing it as a “minini.”

Promoting portability plays a relatively minor role in the take-away equation, with fewer than 19% saying they are looking at such ideas as couponing, discounting or e-mail promotions as business builders. College operators are most likely to use promotional gimmicks (30%) and elementary and secondary schools least likely (8%).

More From FoodService Director

Sponsored Content
savory yogurt parfait

From Dannon Foodservice.

What consumers eat and, most importantly, when they’re eating it has changed significantly in recent years, signaling opportunity for operators able to capitalize on this evolution.

For example, some 83% of consumers said they were daily snackers in 2016, according to Technomic’s Snacking Occasion Consumer Trend Report . That’s up from 76% just two years earlier. Snacking is growing across many channels from retail prepared foods to bakery and coffee cafes, fast-food locations and more.

Busy lifestyles, smaller households with greater meal...

Industry News & Opinion

Labor secretary nominee Andy Puzder has officially bowed out of consideration for the cabinet position, according to the Associated Press .

Puzder, CEO of CKE Restaurants—the parent company of Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr.—was tired of being under fire for hiring an undocumented immigrant as a nanny and being accused 26 years ago of physically abusing his wife, an unnamed source told CBS News . The agency reported that Puzder was unlikely to show for the start of his confirmation hearings tomorrow.

Puzder has also been attacked by organized labor for comments suggesting that...

Industry News & Opinion

Risley Dining Room at Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y., has just become 100 percent gluten-free, 14850.com reports.

For the past two years, the university has slowly phased out gluten in the dining hall’s menu by eliminating it in its stir fries, biscuits and brownies.

Instead of offering gluten-free versions of typical college fare, including pizza and pasta, the dining service team aimed for more sophisticated restaurant-style items.

Along with being gluten-free, Risley is also peanut free and tree-nut free.

The dining room is the second college eatery...

Industry News & Opinion

James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Va., recently hosted a weeklong program called Weigh the Waste, which aimed to show students how much food gets wasted in dining halls, The Breeze reports.

Throughout the week, students placed food they were about to throw away on a scale located near the trash bins at one of their dining halls. At the end of the week, the school tallied the waste and saw that 817 pounds of food had been wasted.

School officials hope that the annual program, which it’s hosted since 2015, will remind dining hall patrons to only take as much food as...

FSD Resources