COVID-19 has proven to be a game-changer in all foodservice operations. The way people think about food sourcing is changing, and, now more than ever, people appreciate and want transparency with their food.
These days, grab and go isn’t just for convenience stores. From grocery stores to universities, many successful operations utilize a grab and go system with storing and displaying their food. By offering grab and go, retailers can easily see what the customer or diner is wanting to consume, and turn that portability into a profit.
Benefits of Grab and Go Equipment
Not only is grab and go a more affordable option compared to a full service program, if installed first, the stocking concept really puts guest needs front and center, and allows operators to easily re-stock, and have a flexible menu offering based on desire.
Grab and go allows for advanced preparation and minimal maintenance staffing. From an operations standpoint, having grab and go menu options is not a large footprint commitment, and with both cold and hot holding options available, you are not limited to soggy sandwiches or pre-packaged foods anymore. Salads, yogurts and fruits, smoothies, and even soups are popular items that operators place in grab and go. People craving healthier and fresher menu options tend to gravitate to grab and go displays, because that is typically where the fresher and healthier menu options reside.
Grab and go cases are a more affordable option to initially purchase, staff, and operate. They are also the new wave of the future in foodservice in a post COVID-19 world. Delivery and takeout are a standard in all restaurants across the country. If they weren’t offering those options before, they probably have started. Grab and go captures that takeout business, and puts it directly into the hands of the consumer. Diners appreciate the fact that they are in charge and own the process completely. Trust is low in a pandemic world, and grab and go offers more transparency compared to full service.
Impulse POS purchases also play a large factor in your establishment offering grab and go. People congregating at the register, standing in line (albeit distanced/spaced) and having children present all play a large role in impulse purchases. When those foods are fresh, and displayed properly and attractively, they will typically be chosen over a pre-packaged or processed snack food. Contactless delivery has also been changed thanks to grab and go. The less points of human contact, the safer the consumer feels about making a purchase in your foodservice operation. It’s also safer for your staff, and cuts unnecessary interaction or potential infection rates.
Grab and Go: Perfect For Every Type of Foodservice Operation
Almost every type of foodservice operation can benefit from using grab and go in their establishments.
Bakeries: Keep the bread and/or pastries warm, while also displaying them in an attractive way. Those lovely decorated cakes can also stay fresher longer in a cold merchandiser, while also making them accessible to patrons.
Beverage: It’s impossible to visit any store these days without seeing a beverage grab and go container at the register, and it’s for good reason. Impulse beverage purchases are a great way to boost sales, as well as delight consumers.
Breweries: Does your brewery can beer? Add a cold merchandiser so that people can reach in and grab their favorite craft beer in a 6 pack to go.
Universities: Offer healthier snacks such as yogurt parfaits, or fresh soup at the on campus coffee shop, or even a small pop-up next to the library.
K-12 Schools: Offer milk or beverages in an open-air merchandiser that puts freedom directly into tiny hands, and encourages them to make a healthy choice while also fostering independence.
Casinos: Casinos are a place that consumers can quickly lose track of time, and can leave people yearning for food at any hour.
Restaurants: Display those beautiful desserts or pastries, or give guests the option to choose anything to take home with them.
Health Clubs: Things like smoothies or healthy treats go a long way in a health club. Patrons are encouraged to stick around, congregate, and build a social community if there are food and/or beverages involved.
Coffee Shops: The busy mom may grab an organic juice box for her child from a cold merchandiser near the register. Or perhaps the impulsive food purchase would be appealing if it was available to grab and go without the production of waiting for anything to be prepared.
Convenience stores: Those truck drivers and road trippers deserve better than pre-packed processed foods. Healthier options can live in a grab and go merchandiser, without the need for additional staffing or restaurant skills.
Healthcare: Having a merchandiser available for food for healthcare professionals or guests to quickly obtain is key. Speed is a necessity in the healthcare world.
Hotels: Guests could be arriving at all times of the day and night, and may not feel comfortable venturing out to obtain snacks or food. Having a grab and go section and offering food at all times is another way to make those guests feel at-home in your hotel or resort.
Grab and Go Solutions from Pro-Pacific
Alto-Shaam’s food merchandisers were designed with food quality and preservation as top priority. The Halo Heat Technology retains moisture longer, and keeps food fresher for longer periods of time. When you minimize the moisture in food merchandisers, the food tastes and looks better, and ultimately profits increase because food waste decreases. (Goodbye gross, soggy sandwiches!)
Alto-Shaam has many options available, sure to fit your situation or need. And, when wall space is lacking, the mobile Island Takeout Merchandiser may be the solution you’re looking for. Not only can it effectively merchandise hot packaged foods to go, but it also allows cross promotion of other products on integrated side shelving.
If you’re looking to get started with grab and go and want to invest in a better merchandiser based on customer demand, we would love to connect and match the perfect system to your unique operation. Meet with a member of our team during a free virtual foodservice equipment consultation. We'll be happy to answer your specific questions and go more in depth with the equipment solutions available. All from the comfort of your own home.