As restaurants have made the shift to takeout- and delivery-only business models due to the coronavirus pandemic, many operators have gotten creative with their menus, going beyond the basics to ensure every customer can find something they—and the whole family—will like. Innovative practices have included offering family-style meal kits and “take and bake” options. Some are even offering grocery-style orders, wherein customers can order ingredients on their own rather than as a part of a dish—for instance, a dozen eggs, a gallon of milk or a block of cheese. These new offerings are a win-win: They help restaurants offload a surplus of kitchen goods, and they ensure customers have everything they need—especially important in times when grocery store stock can be unreliable.
One way to boost consumers’ enjoyment of takeout and delivery—either as a prepared meal or otherwise—is by incorporating California cheeses in the offerings. There are more than 250 California cheeses available year-round and they have a longer shelf life compared to some other protein-rich ingredients, such as chicken or fish. Beyond those two benefits, though, California dairy products make any dish a little more special. For instance, offering a burrito bowl meal kit with ingredients such as rice, cilantro, black beans, corn and more can get a bump of authenticity from Oaxaca cheese or queso fresco rather than simple cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese.
That’s not to say that cheddar is boring or basic. Where would dishes such as cheeseburgers, grilled cheese sandwiches and more be without it? The same can be said for plenty of other California cheeses, which add indulgent, rich flavor and great taste to just about any dish.
Operators can also offer California cheeses, butter and other dairy products as part of a take-and-bake meal or a meal kit that customers can build at home, or as part of a grocery-style order. While there have been reports of breaks in the supply chain for meats, dairy and cheese products are available and abundant.
For operators wanting to go the meal kit route, offering cheeses such as California brie and camembert are perfect starters for a build-your-own cheese board, while a block of feta cheese goes perfectly with a family-size portion of Greek salad. Cheeses made with California milk offer diners the rich flavors they know and love, providing comfort in this stressful time. By offering these authentic cheeses as part of prepared dishes as well as in other formats, operators can feel confident that they’re giving their diners what they want: great-tasting, authentic foods that make every meal taste that much better.
To learn more about the variety of real California cheeses and dairy products available for restaurants, visit realcaliforniamilk.com/foodservice.
This post is sponsored by California Milk Advisory Board