US Foods' Jessica Martin Discusses Virtual Food Fanatics Event
UNITED STATES - When we bring together brainpower from across the supply chain, there is no telling what we can accomplish. This is what US Foods endeavored to do in hosting its first-ever virtual Food Fanatics event on April 7. U.S.-based foodservice operators gathered to discuss amplifying kitchen efficiency, incorporating menu items to attract new and returning diners, and so much more. We got the exclusive scoop on the event from Jessica Martin, Senior Brand Manager of Events and Activations.
“The event focused on helping restaurant operators prepare to get back-to-business as COVID-19 restrictions begin to be lifted and restaurants are adjusting and adapting to meet the pent-up consumer demand for dining out and travel, especially with the warmer, summer months ahead,” Jessica explained. “At the event, US Foods provided operators with the opportunity to participate in six highly engaging back-in-business breakout sessions that covered everything from the importance of sustainable products to menu appeal and profitability with speed-scratch tips and techniques.”
Although a wealth of information was shared during the event, Jessica noted her own top three takeaways for restaurant operators:
- The “Move Your Menu Forward” breakout session was designed to help restaurant operators streamline their menus in preparation for increased volume, capacity, and multiple revenue streams.
- The “Staffing for Summer” breakout session went through the specifics of how restaurant operators should prepare for a busy summer with a streamlined and up-skilled staff
- In the “Relief for Restaurants” breakout session, US Foods addressed current legislation that could help operators’ businesses survive and thrive
“As foodservice operators get ready for summer, US Foods continues to provide a wealth of resources and tools, such as consultations with Food Fanatics Chefs and Restaurant Operations Consultants, where they help with everything from menu planning to P&L strategy,” Jessica noted.
Another essential tool for operators is the power of understanding how social media can attract diners back to the dining rooms.
“We encourage operators to get creative with social media to keep their followers interested in potential news by sharing information about recipes, cooking classes, cocktail demos, wine seminars, and charitable efforts,” Jessica expressed. “It’s also important that restaurant operators keep their social media accounts up to date, such as including the latest delivery information. In a post-pandemic world, when restaurants begin to fully open again, the industry will once again rely on social media to re-connect and rebuild rapport with customers.”
Social media can also be a great tool to post photos of the restaurant so that diners who may be hesitant to eat out know exactly what to expect and feel comfortable going to the restaurant.
“We also provide insights on the latest trends and what is resonating with consumers today. For example, we know that since the start of the pandemic, consumers have made dietary and lifestyle changes, with research showing that 31 percent of consumers have said they’re trying to eat less meat and 86 percent of consumers are equally or more concerned about nutritional content,” remarked Jessica.
US Foods offers such plant-forward products and items with a clean-label profile to meet this increasingly popular consumer demand for foods that support wellness. And, as we know, plant-based menu additions get us one step closer to having fresh produce at the center of the plate.
From US Foods’ latest Spring Scoop™, these include:
- Molly’s Kitchen® Plant-Based Breakfast Saus’ge Patty
- Chef’s Line® Mild Taco Flavored Quinoa Crumbles
- Roseli® Premium Gluten-Free 100% Red Lentil Rotini
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