Bacon is one of the most popular items on U.S. menus, with Datassential once reporting that 71 percent of American restaurant menus featured the item. It’s safe to assume the craze has been a profitable one for restaurants, too, as Zippia reports that Americans spend over $5 billion per year on bacon. Yet, many restaurant operators will tell you that bacon is not without operational complexities.
“Cooking bacon in the back-of-house can be a really huge effort,” says Anthony Panichelli, senior brand manager for bacon at Hormel Foodservice. “You have to deal with traying it out, cooking it up, disposing of the grease and storing the bacon before service. That’s a lot of hassle and labor.”
For these exact reasons, HORMEL® BACON 1™ Perfectly Cooked Bacon was launched in 2015. Using a patented, exclusive cook process, Hormel Foodservice was able to help operators give consumers what they were looking for—great, quality bacon, minus the operational complexities.
Consistent, Quality Bacon
For years, operators endured the hassles that came with cooking raw bacon—it wasn’t as if they could take bacon off the menu. However, not every bacon-cooking process produces consistent output. From cook to cook, different procedures may seep into the kitchen. Those inconsistencies are exponential when a brand has multiple storefronts, too.
“With HORMEL® BACON 1™ Perfectly Cooked Bacon, you get perfect slices of quality, consistent bacon in under 30 seconds—every single time,” Panichelli says.
Do Away With Prep
For most restaurants, cooking bacon to order is not feasible. Instead, many par-cook bacon before a daypart and then finish it to order. The idea behind HORMEL® BACON 1™ Perfectly Cooked Bacon is that a restaurant doesn’t need to be taking up time and space doing the first part of that process—which is the most time-consuming and costly aspect of cooking bacon in house.
“Most of our customers made the switch to HORMEL® BACON 1™ Perfectly Cooked Bacon because one of their biggest pain points was labor, or time,” Panichelli says. “You’ve got somebody in the kitchen who has to distribute the bacon across sheet pans. They have to cook it, which occupies the oven. They have to clean all of that, including a grease trap—that’s a ton of time you’re getting back in making the switch. Somebody in your kitchen can be doing something else entirely, keeping you ahead on prep work.”
Additionally, par-cooking bacon and finishing it to order has historically led to inconsistent results, Panichelli says. “That quality will naturally deteriorate—it doesn’t compare to a fresh-cooked slice of HORMEL® BACON 1™ Perfectly Cooked Bacon.”
Stop Wasting Bacon
With food costs inflating at record speeds, food waste is generally viewed as a controllable expense that can help keep costs in check. This is an area where HORMEL® BACON 1™ Perfectly Cooked Bacon can help: by ensuring nearly 100 percent yield when it comes to the ever-popular ingredient.
“No matter how good your system is, you’re going to have bacon waste,” Panichelli says. “Maybe you overcook some, or have broken slices. Or maybe your bacon is sitting there on sheet pans the whole shift and staff is tempted to eat a slice here and there. HORMEL® BACON 1™ Perfectly Cooked Bacon eliminates those challenges.”
Every operator could use more kitchen space. Even larger kitchens in the quick-service space seem to fill up quickly, whether it’s with pre-prepped ingredients being held for service, or dirty pots and pans waiting to be cleaned. HORMEL® BACON 1™ Perfectly Cooked Bacon cuts back on the number of occupied and used sheet pans considerably.
“I have operators that say they’re using 50 percent fewer sheet pans,” Panichelli says. “That means they’re having to clean way less, and it’s just freeing up space for something else.”
Perfectly Cooked Bacon
Panichelli passionately believes that HORMEL® BACON 1™ Perfectly Cooked Bacon is a product that every operator would find useful. That’s why he’s on a mission to make sure that they know about it and what a game-changing product it can be.
“There’s a huge gap to be solved when it comes to raw bacon,” Panichelli says. “If operators knew this product existed and they wouldn’t have to compromise on quality—this is truly the best of both worlds. I never like it when marketers say, ‘this is the only way to do things,’ so I get how I might sound. But I strongly believe this is as perfect a bacon item as there is in the industry.”
For more on HORMEL® BACON 1™ Perfectly Cooked Bacon, visit the Hormel Foodservice website.