PREMIUMISATION of the menu is trending high right now and it offers a great opportunity to maximise your profit margin. Take the example of the formerly humble hamburger. Once a mere commodity, burgers have now been premiumised to the point that millennials are willing to pay prices for them that would have their grandparents shaking their heads.
Similarly, the presentation of pizza and pasta as gourmet offerings with a focus on fresh seasonal ingredients, innovative presentation and distinctive garnishes was a step away from commoditisation and towards premiumisation.
Premium products used to be aimed at the top end of town, but today’s consumers are looking for quality, memorable eating-out experiences and are willing to pay a premium for them. Even McDonald’s now offers ‘gourmet creations’ at a premium price.
In order to capitalise on this trend, you need to create a value perception – in other words, fulfil, if not exceed the customer’s expectations by delivering on your promise to serve up something special.
Premiumisation is about making sure your food stands apart from the competition and is unique to your business and brand. Whether pizza, pasta or other product, you’ll need to use high quality ingredients and present your meals as a superior offering that’s a cut above what others are doing.
The value perception of your business and brand extends beyond that of the food you
serve. Premium meals and ingredient quality need to be matched by the standard of your customer service and the ambience and presentation of your premises.
It’s about getting the whole offer right – all elements of the eating out and ordering experience need to be in sync, if you want to differentiate yourself based on quality.
The consumer appetite for more premium choices is also linked to a greater awareness of nutrition and environmental sustainability. Premiumisation is therefore also about choosing local quality produce with lower food miles, being aware of food provenance and being able to share that information with customers, and designing recipes with nutrition as well as flavour in mind.
Gluten Free - Why You Need to be Wary
OFFERING GLUTEN FREE pizza and pasta on the menu may seem like a great way to attract additional customers, but it’s not as simple as it seems.
Sure, gluten free pizza bases and gluten free pasta is readily available, but if you want to ensure the meal you’re offering is truly gluten free, there are other factors you need to be wary of.
Wheat, rye, barley and oats all contain gluten, which means it’s also found in all foods and ingredients made from these – like regular wheat flour, bread and cereals.
For people with medically diagnosed gluten intolerance (known as coeliac disease), even a small amount of gluten can make them ill.
“People who medically require a gluten free diet need to know they can eat your food and not get sick,” points out David Sullivan, National Business Development Manager of Coeliac Australia. “Pizza is a good example – we know businesses promote gluten free pizza bases, but the problem comes with shared workspaces and an environment in which gluten-containing ingredients are used. The risk of cross-contamination in some instances is quite high.”
Leftover flour dusting on your workbench can contaminate your gluten free pizza base. And when making gluten free pasta, you can’t re-use the water or the pot that you used to make regular wheat pasta – you’ll need fresh water and a clean pot.
Dusting meats with flour prior to browning them will add gluten to the meat. And many processed meats used for pizza topping have already had gluten added to them in the manufacturing process.
So be sure to check ingredients thoroughly and maintain careful hygiene and preparation procedures. It’s also advisable to point out to customers that while all care is taken, you can’t guarantee a meal will be 100 per cent gluten free.
2019 Emerging Global Foodservice Trends
PLANT-BASED MENU OPTIONS
No longer a niche market, plant-based menu items are moving into the mainstream, driven in part by exciting new plant-based products with great flavour, texture and versatility. As part of this, we’ll likely see the rise of more meat alternatives as showcased at international food trade shows during 2018.
This is a way of tying in food to consumer lifestyles by promoting menu items based around their benefits as mood improvers, better nutritional choices, illness preventives and even Instagrammability!
AUTOMATION REDUCING FACE2FACE CUSTOMER INTERACTION
Ordering by app, delivery by drone or robot – technological innovation is reducing the need for staff to interact with customers in the traditional sense. The increasing adoption of this tech by the convenience end of the market may serve to delineate it more sharply from that of the dining out sector, with customers choosing the latter because they seek an experience rather than just a meal.
PROMOTING VIDEO ON SOCIAL MEDIA
Facebook Live, Instagram Stories and Instagram Live have opened up opportunities to utilise video to promote your food business in new and exciting ways, and the smart foodservice operators are quickly taking advantage of these. Read more about how to go the most out of your Instagram experience on clubperfect.com.au
with Liam McLaughlin
Solving Your Cheese Performance Problems
EVER HAD this problem: when your pizza comes out of the oven, the cheese is burnt, or has gone rubbery? Or even worse, it comes out with pools of oil atop it which have soaked through the toppings and spoilt both the flavour and the presentation?
The likely reason is that your oven is running at an extremely high temperature and the cheese you’re using just can’t cope with that level of heat.
This problem is not uncommon, particularly in the independent pizza market, and often when our Anchor Food Professional sales staff make their first contact with a foodservice operator seeking to introduce them to our products, it’s one of the first issues they’re asked to help solve.
What we find is that many pizzerias and foodservice outlets have older ovens that may have been in constant use for over a decade. Over that time, the thermostat controls may have lost accuracy so the temperature is no longer as controllable as it once was. In those situations, the oven is often cooking pizzas at a very high heat – maybe at 270degC for up to 10 minutes - and many cheeses will burn.
The solution we devised was to develop Perfect Italiano Mozzarella Ultra – a cheese designed to perform even in the hottest cooking environments.
To determine whether Perfect Italiano Ultra can help solve your problem, try this simple test: cook a traditional margherita pizza (tomato base, mozzarella and basil). If your cheese burns straight away, then it can’t withstand your oven temperature and you need to switch to Perfect Italiano Ultra.
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