Labor, inflation, and generating foot traffic continue to be the main headwinds facing foodservice operators. Different restaurants have responded to these challenges in different ways, says Dan Burrows, consulting chef for MegaMex Foods.
“I’ve seen pared down hours, pared down menus,” Burrows says. “Some operators are raising prices and accepting that diners are just going to eat out less in the current climate. But I think most of all, in the quick-service space, people are saying, ‘Let’s focus on getting back to our core identity so we can make sure that when people come to us, they get what they want.”
One area where operators are focusing in order to streamline operations and maintain profitability is choosing SKUs wisely. Consider avocados, Burrows says, where a product like WHOLLY® AVOCADO provides a real opportunity for operators to save on labor while controlling food costs and offering guests the consistent experience they are seeking.
One of the biggest operational advantages of making the switch to WHOLLY® AVOCADO is the prep that disappears overnight. Because WHOLLY® AVOCADO products come pitted and hand-scooped, restaurants save about 30 minutes per case that was once spent prepping avocados.
“Sometimes an operator will say, ‘Well, I have the employee here anyway,’” Burrows says. “As if they don’t have something else that employee could be doing during that 30-minute window. The whole point is that you can have that employee doing something else and avoid giving employees so many hours that they are working overtime.”
WHOLLY® AVOCADO products also grants operators a product with nearly 100 percent yield and 0 percent food waste. The product is picked at peak ripeness and packaged via high pressure processing in order to clean the fruit and trap its freshness into the packaging until it is opened.
“Think about going into a grocery store,” Burrows says. “Avocados are the most scrutinized product in the entire store. You’ve got people picking them up and feeling them to see if they are too hard, or too soft. Well, chefs have those same issues, right? This product guarantees you’re getting a nice, fresh avocado every time.”
WHOLLY® AVOCADO products can also enhance a restaurant’s food safety practices. To fully contextualize this, Burrows encourages operators to consider the traditional process of prepping avocados and how it compares to getting a scooped, pitted version of them.
“Most people don’t wash an avocado before they cut it,” Burrows says. “So now you’re taking that knife and putting it into the side of the avocado. You’re hitting that pit, twisting it around. You’re probably not washing your knife between doing all of this, either, so now you’ve opened up the possibility of cross contamination.”
Because WHOLLY® AVOCADO products are picked at peak ripeness, consistency across all offerings is heightened, Burrows says.
“Think about the entire goal of most quick-service chains, whether they have 20 locations or 20,000,” Burrows says. “They want that burger on their menu to taste the same whether it’s in Minnesota, or China. We give operators that solution just by the fact that you’re getting ripe avocado each time you come in. It’s all about consistency.”
WHOLLY® AVOCADO products are one of the many offerings from MegaMex that was made with the operator in mind. The line of products offers operators operational ease, in addition to a product that can drive sales and consumer loyalty.
“Especially in times like this, the labor you’re saving, the consistency you’re getting, all of these things are so important,” Burrows says. “There are so many things you can do with this product because it’s something you can rely on. You can use that time you save elsewhere, to worry about other things.”
For more on scooped, pitted avocados, visit the WHOLLY® AVOCADO brand website .