Fall and winter are busy seasons for most people—work and family obligations ramp up, plus there’s additional cooking and shopping that need to be done. With that in mind, it’s not surprising that more restaurants are offering catering and takeout options for their customers—and that customers are taking notice and ordering those options.
Whether it’s appetizers or entrees, sampler platters or full meals with beverages, large-format delivery is a great way to boost holiday sales. With that potential for a sales boost, it’s helpful to know what kind of party foods will appeal most to diners. Here’s the breakdown.
According to Technomic’s 2017 Flavor report, 52% of consumers say that their favorite basic flavor is sweet, while 51% say the same about smoky flavors. Barbecue dishes offer the perfect marriage of these two flavors, and there are a range of options that operators can offer to suit these cravings. For instance, restaurants can menu Golden Barbecue Chicken Skewers — chicken and vegetable skewers grilled and lathered with Sweet Baby Ray’s Golden Barbecue & Wing Sauce. When served over couscous or on a bed of lettuce, this sweet and smoky dish is sure to be a winner.
Comfort foods are another way to attract catering orders—especially for families who are looking to satisfy a nostalgic craving. Ray’s Kickin’ Bourbon Grilled Meatloaf made with Sweet Baby Ray’s Kickin’ Bourbon Molasses Wing Sauce & Glaze is a perfect center-of-the-plate option, or for a spin on baked mostaccioli, add Sweet & Spicy Barbecue Sausage and Peppers Mostaccioli to the menu. Featuring spicy sausage, peppers, onions and smoked mozzarella blended with Sweet Baby Ray’s Sweet & Spicy Barbecue sauce, mostaccioli and queso fresco, it’s a new take on a traditional Italian favorite.
Customizable dishesCatering orders from restaurants are especially ideal for large gatherings if the dish is customizable—for instance, salad bars with an array of toppings and dressings, a taco bar with numerous proteins, veggies and cheeses or even dessert bars that let diners pile delicious sauces and sweets onto brownies or cookies. By giving diners the option to create their own meal or dessert, it takes some of the pressure off those placing the order, since pleasing everyone is simpler than ever.
Consumers—particularly young consumers—say they enjoy seasonally appropriate ingredients. In fact, 44% of 18- to 34-year-olds say that seasonal foods are important in their food choices, according to Technomic’s 2017 Retailer Meal Solutions report. Restaurants should offer winter and holiday-themed options—for instance, chocolate-peppermint desserts around the holidays, or cranberry dishes around Thanksgiving. Incorporate seasonal ingredients such as squash, pumpkin, apples, cinnamon and more into dishes across the menu, in appetizers such as butternut squash and halloumi cheese kabobs to hearty chili entrees to tasty pumpkin or apple hand pies for dessert.
Planning a party has never been easier with restaurant catering, and offering restaurant catering has never been easier thanks in part to delicious sauces and glazes from Sweet Baby Ray’s, including:
- Kickin’ Bourbon Wing Sauce & Glaze
- Buffalo Wing Sauce
- Garlic Parmesan Wing Sauce
- Mango Habanero Wing Sauce & Glaze
- Hickory & Brown Sugar Barbecue Sauce
- Sweet Red Chili Wing Sauce
- Korean Barbecue & Wing Sauce
- Citrus Garlic Mojo Wing Sauce
- And many more!
Learn more about how using sauces and glazes from Sweet Baby Ray’s can make offering catering even tastier today by clicking here.
This post is sponsored by Ken's Foods Inc.