Eggs Up Grill in Spartanburg, South Carolina is known for its creative, made-to-order breakfast plates: Imagine stacks of fluffy waffles and pancakes, elevated egg dishes such as Coastal Crab Cakes Benedict, and delightful twists on Southern classics like the Banana Pudding French Toast and Shrimp and Grits Omelet. Named FSR magazine’s 2022 Breakout Brand of the Year, the concept is getting noticed for its successes. When it sought to expand service to the lunch daypart, it put a lot of thought into how menu items would interact and be received, both on the page and on the kitchen line.
“Stepping outside such an easy-to-embrace core menu can be a challenge,” says Dustin Ellis, director of product development at Eggs Up Grill. “In order to thrive, we needed to bridge the gap from breakfast/brunch into a distinct and unmistakable lunch occasion. My challenge was not only to help develop a new occasion for our guests, but also to keep the overall impact to the kitchen manageable.”
Guests also weighed in on new menu items. When the restaurant conducted polls to gauge interest in specific additions to the menu, customers specifically requested macaroni and cheese—which, as any home cook can attest, can be a time- and labor-intensive endeavor.
“When we set out to find the right mac and cheese for our brand, we looked at several options,” Ellis says. “The Stouffer’s product was the only one that matched our passion for quality: It has great flavor and creaminess, there’s plenty of sauce so it holds well, and it’s great for dine-in, takeout, or delivery.”
Stouffer’s® White Cheddar Macaroni and Cheese offers restaurant operators a contemporary take on a classic dish. It comes in a convenient pouch format and can handle extended hold times, so its scratch-made taste and visual appeal last longer. Made with high-quality ingredients such as nine-month-aged white New York Sharp Cheddar and al dente cavatappi pasta, it has no preservatives or artificial colors or flavors. Notably for restaurants looking to expand their menus like Eggs Up Grill, it is a versatile product that can be served as a side dish, child’s entree, or customized as a signature entrée item.
For example, Eggs Up Grill serves Stouffer’s® White Cheddar Mac and Cheese two ways on its lunch menu. The Cali Mac & Cheese Bowl incorporates grilled chicken and sautéed spinach topped with seasoned diced tomatoes, fresh avocado, and chives; while the Smokehouse Mac & Cheese Bowl features savory smoked pork, bacon crumbles, sautéed onion, and grilled tomato slices. Both are served with garlic toast for a bit of crunch.
These dishes helped Eggs Up Grill anchor the lunch daypart menu, particularly during a time when takeout and delivery exploded.
“Off-premise sales skyrocketed over the past 18 months, bringing a need for food that travels well,” Ellis says. “Big flavors, decadence, craveability, and superior performance for takeout are a winning combination that ultimately leads to a superior guest experience.”