Getting the Most from Gourmet and Traditional

The foodservice industry is as affected by trends as much as it is seasonality, with new ingredients coming and going depending on what’s available at the time, and which way the tide of consumer interest seems to be flowing.

Whilst it’s good to experiment with the ingredients you use and the menus you’re serving from time to time, there are some items – like chips - that customers expect to be available consistently. Whether we’re talking pubs, restaurants, schools or healthcare, customers across sectors expect venues to have chip options, year in and year out.

 They don’t just want any chip either, and customers have a firm idea of what makes the “perfect” chip. In a recent survey by Wirral Sensory, 82% of respondents said that good chips should be crisp on the outside, whilst for 87% of people it’s essential that the perfect chip stays hot in temperature while on the plate. In contrast, over 70% of respondents said that bad chips would be those that went cold quickly, and had noticeable defects, such as black marks. Our own research shows that chips even serve as a benchmark for a meal, meaning that the product you choose to serve can make either make or break a customers’ whole dining experience.

We’re well aware of the high standards expected when it comes to chips here at McCain, which is why with our new Staycrisp Gourmet and Traditional ranges we strived to create products that stand head and shoulders above the rest. Made with the best of the British crop, and created with care and craft from field to fork, our Gourmet and Traditional chips can guarantee customer satisfaction all year round.

If you’re thinking about investing in a chip that’s a cut above the rest, and want a product that guarantees premium quality and consistency 365 days a year, we’ve put together a short cross sector guide on how our new Staycrisp Gourmet and Traditional ranges can help you get the best out of the food you serve.

Craft Beer meets Craft Chips

With the craft beer “revolution" creating a new generation of savvier, more discerning drinkers, the great British pub has undergone a bit of a transformation of late. Although lager still remains popular, it’s now increasingly common to find pubs carrying their own tailored beer selections, with hyper-regional international styles rubbing shoulders with traditional local ales.

Pints in a pub

Whilst customers now expect pubs to know their stouts from their saisons, when it comes to food traditional options are still king, with 75% of diners expecting a chip option. However, that doesn’t mean any old chip will do, and when eating customers likely want foods that mirror the provenance of the beer they’re drinking. After all the, rise of craft beer has largely been led by a younger, more discerning spectrum of customers, who when eating out place value on venues that can shout about stocking artisanal, local, or sustainable produce.

Made in partnership with British growers using specially selected varieties, our Gourmet and Traditional chips fit the bill perfectly, allowing you to shout fully about the craft, quality, and local credentials of every aspect of what you serve to customers. This isn’t just relevant for pubs either, and with 42,000 dining venues in the UK stocking some form of craft beer, taking equal pride in the provenance of your chips as that of your beer makes sense.

Hotter, Crispier, and Free From

Over the past few years gluten has gone from being a fringe issue to a mainstream concern, with 1% of the population diagnosed with Coeliac disease, and an additional 8% now actively choosing to avoid gluten. Although venues are now legally required to clearly label any potential allergens, the catering industry has been relatively slow in providing alternative options to customers, with Coeliac UK estimating that operators lose out on around £100m a year by failing to providing free-from options.

Whilst it might seem like a given that chips are free-from, that isn’t always the case, and if the product you’re serving isn’t gluten friendly then you may risk losing business from customers who are unable to eat your chips. This is especially true of the casual dining sector, where a large wedge of business likely comes from a younger customers; a demographic that global studies show is a key market for products like gluten free chips.

When we were formulating our Menu Signatures Staycrisp Gourmet and Traditional chips, we knew it was essential to make sure that gluten wouldn’t be part of the mix. That means that when you include them on a menu, you can be sure you’re getting a chip that’s suitable for all your customers, not just a fraction. By making it known that you’re serving gluten free chips like Gourmet and Traditional, you don’t just make existing customers feel more comfortable in the foods you’re serving. You also serve to attract new custom from diners specifically seeking out free-from friendly places to eat, showing them that you care about your customers as much as you do the food you serve.

Year Round Quality and Consistency

Hospital caterers 

Menu Signatures Staycrisp Gourmet Chunky

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With chips covering a third of the plate, and a key part of the menu for many customers, it’s important to find a solution that can be relied on year round. Whilst serving chips made from scratch can seem like an attractive option, for many busy kitchens it just isn’t sustainable, with staffing, equipment and seasonal changes making it difficult to guarantee excellent results and consistent costs.

That’s why with our Gourmet and Traditional chips, we wanted to make sure to create that stands out for not just customers, but operators too. By using only the best of the potato crop, we can guarantee that our chips reduce issues with seasonal defects, allowing you to serve the same quality product all year round. We also made sure that however our chips are cooked, whether you’re using an oven, regen oven, or fryer, the results are similarly consistent.

Menu Signatures Staycrisp Traditional Thick

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This makes them perfect not just for pubs, restaurants, and casual venues, but for healthcare caterers looking for a versatile product that guarantee patient satisfaction. Hospital patients are just as much a customer as someone sitting in a restaurant or pub, and it’s important for healthcare caterers to provide options that don’t just tick a box back of house, but mirror the quality of food they eat at home. After all, it’s hard to overstate how important food is to patients on the road to recovery, and getting these seemingly small details right can make a huge difference.

This is also important for schools, where alongside a need to find a product that delivers reliability from package to plate, caterers need something that stands out. After all, whilst the number of times chips can be served is now restricted, for many students they remain a firm favourite, and when chips are on the menu - for example, Fish and Chip Friday – it’s likely you’ll need to prepare for a few more customers. That’s why we think that if you’re serving chips less often, it’s worth investing a little and serving the best. After all, if you can impress students on Friday, they’re more likely to return during the week, boosting uptake and helping your service to thrive and become more sustainable in future.

If you’d like to find out more about the care and craft behind our new Staycrisp Gourmet and Traditional products, click here to find product information, recipes, and testimonials from our customers. Or, get in touch to find out how McCain can help you make the most of the food you’re serving.