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Consumer Trends

Comfort food classics get a convenient twist

As restaurants continue to struggle with unprecedented labor challenges and short-staffing issues, operators look to ingredients for the help they need when it comes to trimming labor. Prepared recipe components, such as sauces, gravies and more help save time in the kitchen without sacrificing quality. What’s more, they ensure that operators can continue offering diners’ favorite dishes—both on-premises and for delivery and takeout—while maintaining the best taste.

During the pandemic, many consumers turned to comfort foods frequently, and that trend shows no sign of going anywhere anytime soon. For operators, however, creating the components to make tasty comfort food meals, such as macaroni and cheese, chili mac or biscuits and gravy can take a lot of time—and labor. Using prepared ingredients, such as those from CHEF-MATE, makes it fast and easy to prepare customers’ favorite dishes. Need inspiration? Check out these ideas for how to use prepared ingredients in customers’ favorite comfort foods—and how to ensure they taste great when customers order them for off-premise enjoyment.

1) Country ComfortBowl: This tasty breakfast and brunch option offers hearty, savory and familiar flavors. A combination of pot roast beef, sauteed vegetables and crumbled biscuits, all smothered with CHEF-MATE® Country Sausage Gravy, is a perfect reimagining of the comfort food classic of biscuits and gravy. For off-premises eats, package the gravy in a separate container to ensure the dish doesn’t get soggy in transit.

2) Bread-Bowl Chili: Perfect for a weekday lunch or dinner, a comforting bowl of chili is only made better by adding a bread bowl. For onsite consumption, ladle hot CHEF-MATE® Chili Con Carne with Beans into a sourdough bread bowl and top with fresh green onions and shredded cheddar cheese (and other toppings, if desired). For takeout and delivery orders, package the chili separate from the bread bowl and toppings to allow diners to customize their meals and to ensure the bread bowl is in the best condition possible when the customer is ready to enjoy their meal.

3) Mac and Cheese Pizza: Finally, try offering this tasty twist on the always-popular mac and cheese: mac and cheese pizza! Combing two favorite comfort foods, this dish features a pizza crust topped with al dente macaroni noodles and Italian breadcrumb seasoning, then smothered with warm, melty CHEF-MATE® Basic Cheddar Cheese Sauce. For takeout orders, make sure to include reheating instructions—and perhaps an additional side of cheese sauce for dipping!

To learn more about CHEF-MATE® products that make comfort food menus a breeze, click here.

This post is sponsored by Nestlé Professional

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