The Top 2020 Foodservice Trend That’s a Challenge for Fried Foods

One of the glaring changes (and bright spots) for restaurants in 2020 has been the exponential growth in takeout. According to market research firm Technomics and as summarized in a recent article in The Washington Post, there has been a spike in off-premise dining in the second quarter of this year.

This should not come as a surprise. With so many restaurants closed to in-person dining in the first half of the year, one of the pivots the entire restaurant industry has made is to takeout and delivery. In particular, Friday and Saturday nights have been extremely lucrative with the frequency of off-premise dining doubling compared to other nights of the week.

The report was based on data collected from 27,000 chain restaurant locations. According to respondents, Friday and Saturday night takeout and delivery services are totaling nearly a quarter of all sales, which is double compared to the same types of service from 2019.

So what does this mean for fried food?

Let’s be honest. Fried food is at its best when it’s hot, when it’s fresh, or when it’s right out of the fryer. When foods like French fries or tater tots are cooked for to-go orders, they can lose quality as they sit in cardboard containers without any heat source.

At the same time, consumers want speed and efficiency. In today’s era of COVID, they do not want to stand around inside the restaurant waiting for their meals to be packed up, much less cooked. That’s the point of takeout. It’s easy. It’s fast. And it reduces the time required and the potential for exposure.

So how can you provide both? How can restaurants still serve great, high-quality, crispy fried foods without forcing customers to wait for food to be cooked as they’re picked up? The answer is to cook those fried foods and then hold them using systems that preserve the qualities of those foods.

Have you considered a crisp n’ hold?

Crisp n’ hold units are food warmers that are designed to hold fried foods in their crispiest forms just after they’re fried. Using active air that circulates through the food, temperatures are quickly dropped to holding levels to reduce moisture and to stop the cooking process. This means crispier foods that aren’t overcooked, as moisture and oil is wicked away from the product.

When you consider two foods likely to be served in today’s era of takeout (especially as football season approaches), chicken wings and French fries are two logical options. And when a crisp n’ hold unit is compared to other holding options like heat lamps, there really is no comparison.

While heat lamps can hold wings for 15 to 20 minutes, a Pitco Crisp N’ Hold unit can hold them in more ideal conditions for up to 45 minutes. French fries? Compare 10 to 15 minutes for heating lamps to 20 to 40 for a Crisp N’ Hold.

Get more information on Crisp N’ Hold from Pitco. Schedule a consultation with one of our local fryer experts.

New call-to-action

Topics: Foods & Trends, Fried Food