Flavor Trends, Strategies and Solutions for Menu Development

By Flavor & The Menu Contributors
January 27, 2021

Heat and eat meals provide an authentic and satisfying way to bring your on-premise dining experience into an at-home setting. These formats also offer the opportunity to scale to more potential consumers and control the dining experience with precise preparation instructions.

The main goal with an off-premise program is ease of execution. If a meal is too elaborate for the average consumer to create, you may lose a customer. Offer complete, easy-to-execute meals for your patrons, and you will see them more frequently.

Being able to have some of their menu faves ready to take and bake­—this adds a ‘grocerant’ element to foodservice offerings in times of COVID and beyond. It also opens the door to selling restaurant favorites in local groceries in order to service customers where they go more frequently.

Take and bakes are the most accessible at-home meal experience for the everyday consumer. They are easy to prepare, limit the need for extra ingredients and are the ultimate time-saving meal. Consumers get to feel like they made a chef-quality meal at home. For operators, bakes represent an opportunity to create larger formatted meals, providing a platform for more pantry ingredients to be used in one dish.

This is a great way for foodservice operators to expand takeout business by prepping “take and bake” meals up to a day ahead freeing up cooking space during crunch time. A big consideration here is packaging; operators should be sure to test the packaging to make sure it travels well cold and can deliver the desired outcome when at-home cooking instructions are followed.