Updating the menu to adapt to carryout needs

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As foodservice facilities in healthcare and higher education strive to meet the needs of busy consumers, one strategy remains an easy way to reach more diners—offer carryout. In stressful times, or when consumers are just strapped for time, being able to order carryout can be a lifeline. Being able to order their favorite foods, in these instances, is a bonus. For operators pivoting to off-premise orders, or for those who want to attract more carryout or delivery business, adjusting the menu to include customer favorites, including great proteins, and familiar family-style offerings can be a boon to success.

Off-premise continues to thrive

According to Technomic’s May 1, 2020 edition of Coronavirus: The Foodservice View, only about one-third of consumers (32%) said they would feel comfortable going out to eat immediately after social distancing restrictions were lifted. What’s more, in a survey released in late July by consulting firm AlixPartners, 80% of consumers were ordering meals for off-premise consumption, an increase from 69% in the firm’s April survey. In short, continuing to offer a variety of off-premise eats is crucial for continued success in foodservice.

Diners’ favorite proteins, all day long

According to Technomic’s 2019 Center of the Plate: Beef and Pork Consumer Trend Report, 50% of consumers eat pork at least once a week at home or at a foodservice location. Familiar, favorite proteins such as pork products can be a winning menu idea for operators. Operators can consider crowd-pleasing proteins such as pork tenderloin or pork roast for dinner entrees, quality deli meats for lunch items and wholesome breakfast meats including breakfast sausage and bacon. Meals can also feature these meats as an ingredient rather than the star of the show—think bacon-topped macaroni and cheese, or sausage-egg-and-cheese breakfast tacos, to-go. By offering these popular proteins for carryout, operators can ensure their customers can find something they love for off-premise eating.

Convenient, family-style eats

Many restaurants have pivoted to offering family-style meal options, perfect for feeding a group without having to make a complicated, detailed order. Meal kits such as a build-your-own deli sandwich kit are made easy with products from Smithfield Foods, and a family-sized dinner of smoked sausage or spiral-cut ham with two sides and a dessert is perfect for picking up on the way home from a busy day at work.

By eliminating the need for patrons to purchase individual meals for everyone in the family, operators offer added convenience to consumers without having to change the types of products they stock in the kitchens.

To learn more about Smithfield protein products and why they’re perfect for carryout, visit

This post is sponsored by Smithfield Culinary

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