It goes without saying that we are going through unprecedented times and the Hospitality Industry has been hit hard following the closure of all bars, restaurants and café’s at the end of March, due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Government support has undoubtedly been welcomed in these extremely uncertain times, but for some hospitality businesses that alone won’t secure their future. It is for this reason we have seen the exceptional ability by a large number of operations to very quickly change their business model, in order to quite simply survive. The most common are for restaurants to change their offering to a delivery service so that their loyal customers can still experience restaurant quality meals at home during isolation. But diversifying from a dine-in business to a take-away or even in some cases mail order, businesses need to be careful that they fully consider all areas of transferring to this kind of operation.
KEEP YOUR CUSTOMERS SAFE
The Food Standards Agency has some helpful advice on businesses looking to explore these opportunities and draws focus on areas such as packaging, labelling and importantly food hygiene which may in some cases differ from that adhered to in a typical dine in restaurant environment.
HOME DELIVERY THE SOUS VIDE WAY
Chris Holland SousVideTool’s Chef Director, explains how Sous Vide Cooking can be the perfect solution to restaurants looking to explore the food delivery option yet at the same time keeping you and your customers safe in the eyes of legislation.
“Due to the shelf life that can be achieved once food has been cooked Sous Vide, it’s a perfect method for food preparation when offering a ‘restaurant food at home’ concept. A prime example would be to sear off a Sirloin Steak just so its caramelised all over and then place in a vacuum pouch. Place in your water bath for 1hr at 55°C. Once cooked take it out the bath and shock it with ice water whilst maintaining the steak in the vacuum pouch. Once delivered – all the customer then has to do is place it in a good quality cast iron pan and sear it either side for a minute and then baste with butter for a further 30 seconds. The steak will be every bit as good coming out of your customers oven as it would be coming off your restaurants grill.”
Even if the customer doesn’t want to consume the meal the same day, providing the meat has been pre-seared and is vacuum sealed it will remain safe to consume for up to 7 days chilled in a fridge.
STAYING IN TOUCH WITH YOUR LOYAL CUSTOMERS
We feel it’s important that during these challenging times that operators still look to maintain their connection with customers to help maintain a solid foundation of a customer base once restrictions are lifted. A large number of chefs have taken to social media to share recipes, hints and tips etc for cooking while at home which demonstrates a great feeling of community and sharing. But can you take it one step further and offer to your customers something that supports that home kitchen smartphone Instagram video? For example stocks, sauces and other provisions that could fill a gap in the supply chain. All of these ideas are perfect for cooking Sous Vide and then supplied in vacuum pouches for your customers to enjoy. It maybe that what you offer isn’t a typical core offering from your menu but your customers will welcome a little bit of your restaurant in their home no matter how simple. After all, this could be the foundation of a great additional revenue stream once your restaurant kitchen is back up and running.
While some restaurants may have felt they have no ability to diversify and therefore completely close, this presents an issue with food waste and this extends to not just fresh produce but also dry goods. Vacuum sealing can extend the shelf life and cut down on food waste and expense. Some additional time now making sure your dry stores are suitably vacuumed packed, could reduce unnecessary cost once your restaurant reopens. For further info read our previous blog on the benefits of Vacuum Packing.
WE ARE HERE TO HELP
How the Hospitality industry will look once this pandemic has been tackled remains to be seen but the businesses looking to tirelessly maintain their loyal customer base and are finding ways to adjust and flex to their newfound needs and tastes will be the ones best positioned to succeed and we are confident that Sous Vide can play its part.
If you have any questions about how Sous Vide cooking and how it can be used to support your business then our expert team are available to help. https://www.sousvidetools.com/contacts
ADDITIONAL HELP & GUIDANCE
Sous Vide Tools is accredited by Campden BRI which advices the FSA on all legislation regarding SousVide cooking. To Find out more https://www.sousvidetools.com/toolshed/what-does-working-with-campden-bri-really-mean/
UK Hospitality as a great deal of information on their website regarding the support that is available to the Hospitality Industry as a result of the Covid-19 Pandemic. https://www.ukhospitality.org.uk/
Hospitality Action with the support of a generous donations have set up an emergency Covid-10 Appeal which is aimed at providing financial assistance to people currently working in the Hospitality Industry. To Find our more https://www.hospitalityaction.org.uk/
Financial Support from the UK Government for Businesses: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/financial-support-for-businesses-during-coronavirus-covid-19