Today’s college and university students demand customization, but they also seek out creative riffs on familiar dishes, making comfort food an area of opportunity for college & university operators.
This is especially true as more restaurants across all sectors add comfort-food favorites such as meatloaf, potato tots and loaded fries to menus.
Operators are already starting to see how a comforting, customizable ingredient such as pierogies meets those needs: Menu mentions of pierogies as an entree are up 9.3% over the last two years, according to Technomic MenuMonitor data.
A product such as Mrs. T’s pierogies is well-suited to the changing face of college food-service. Here are just some of the ways they can make operators’ jobs easier while catering to the on-trend dining needs of guests:
Some 51% of Gen Zers say the ability to customize is important when choosing a limited-service restaurant, and 49% of them say the same about full-service restaurants, according to Technomic’s 2016 Generational Consumer Trend Report. Those numbers are significantly higher than those of other generations.
Mrs. T’s pierogies are a blank canvas for a wide range of build-your-own topping options—everything from meats to cheeses to vegetables and legumes. Serve up customizable pierogy nachos, serve as you would a baked potato bar or offer them plain with a variety of dipping sauces.
2. Add in ethnic flavors
More than half of Gen Zers (59%) say they like trying new flavors from time to time, according to Technomic. And they’re particularly receptive to trying new flavors when they’re presented with well-known, familiar ingredients—such as pierogies. So, menu pierogies in Latin- or Asian-inspired dishes, such as glazed with a sweet-and-spicy Sriracha sauce.
This can be a good way to lure hesitant diners into trying new flavors. Pierogies can also be served baked, fried or sauteed and are well-suited to a wide variety of dishes.
3. Don’t forget breakfast
Breakfast is big on commercial menus, of course. And savory breakfast items are growing in popularity as operators look for new ways to present all-day breakfast. Pierogies marry well with a variety of flavors, making them a good fit at any daypart. Try layering pierogies in a breakfast casserole with eggs, cheese, vegetables and breakfast sausage.
Or, for an innovative breakfast dish, try wrapping pierogies with bacon and sprinkling with brown sugar before baking. This sweet-and-savory combination works as a snack or late-night offering, too.
4. Work with ingredients on hand
Mrs. T’s pierogies also work across different eating occasions, and they’ll mesh well with on-hand ingredients. They make for a hearty, savory breakfast. Pierogies work well in lunchtime soup-sandwich combos and are a welcome addition to dinner menus, whether in ethnic applications or more-traditional offerings. And they’re a craveable choice, with dipping sauces, for late-night study breaks.
5. Vegan and vegetarian
Today’s students increasingly are drawn to plant-based dishes. Mrs. T’s offers fully vegan pierogies. And all of the varieties are vegetarian, ready to be combined with meat-free sauces and toppings to suit consumers looking to eat more produce-forward options.
Contact your foodservice rep to learn more about the many delicious ways to work Mrs. T’s Pierogies into your menu.
This post is sponsored by Mrs. T's Foodservice