In an era when more diners are choosing to eat off-premises food, much has been made regarding the technologies that will help drive those sales. As full-service brands move further into the pandemic, however, they are finding a need to ensure their ingredients are off-premises ready as well.
One way operators are solving this dilemma is by going all in on unique fry shapes that hold up for longer periods of time than a normal fry. Here’s a look at some of the ways french fry offerings can help a brand create separation during the pandemic, and into the future.
With the wave of off-premises ordering growing rapidly, food offerings, including french fries, must make the adjustment; Serving soggy fries isn’t going to win repeat business. Even when used for in-house operations on the side of a burger or handheld, fries are often the last thing a diner eats. The sidewinder fry from Simplot is specifically designed to have a longer hold time.
“When you order a takeout burger and fries there is going to be a gap in time from when the order is made and the diner eats them,” says Roberto Roman, corporate executive chef with Simplot. “Even when dining in, fries will probably be on the plate for 10 or 15 minutes before you finish them, and you want fries that will hold their crunch and flavor through that process.”
While a plate of regular fries with ketchup might not be worth adding to a menu as a standalone appetizer, a diverse shape with an elevated dipping sauce is. Roman says this is especially true for patrons enjoying a few drinks—something that’s growing increasingly possible as diners return to restaurants and sports return to televisions.
“Bars can really benefit from a unique french fry offering,” Roman says. “When you’re sitting at the bar, you want something that is comforting and has great flavor, and Simplot products can help deliver. Picture the Sidewinders with a signature mustard as an appetizer—that’s attractive to bar patrons.”
While most french fries work well with ketchup, standard cut fries might have trouble absorbing smoother dipping sauces. Twisting shapes provide more surface area for sauces to stick to.
“Take a fry like Sidewinders,” Roman says. “These work really nicely with dips and cheese sauces, and the customer feels like they’re getting something unique. We call them a ‘wow fry’ because it’s something that really ignites a connection.”
Roman says the sidewinder shape can be a solve for operators looking to add something unique to their menu. Better still, sidewinders come in four different flavors, so operators and their customers have some options.
“Sidewinders are the ultimate fun-fry,” Roman says. “They go really well with dips and cheese sauces. They create value because a little goes a long way—the fries will look better because the shape creates volume.”
For more information on how to add fries that will hold up when you need them most, visit Simplot’s website.