Back to business has not meant back to normal in many regards, with one way systems, sanitising stations and track and trace now part of the new-look eating out experience.
Bucking the trend and offering a taste of something that little bit special, however, is the gourmet burger bun, with new research by Lantmännen Unibake’s Americana brand, showing that Gourmet Burgers are leading the menu for consumers, and our love of the burger remains as strong as it was pre lockdown.
The new Americana research, released today, shows that post-lock down, burgers have retained their position as one of the top three most regularly ordered menu items at dinner time. As many as one third of consumers cited the burger as the meal they were most looking forward to when heading out to eat.
What’s more, the research showed that despite finances being tighter, a standard burger does not quite cut the mustard when it comes to eating out of home, with 70% of consumers choosing a more premium burger option and 34% of customers believing a more expensive burger will deliver enhanced flavour.
This is good news for the industry as it works to recoup lost revenue, as almost 60% of consumers are willing to pay to upgrade their burger, with the bun being a premium cue they would look for in a more gourmet offering. Furthermore, consumers agree that a brioche bun is the one they would most like the burger housed in, next time they eat out.
Comfort food, indulgence and the treat factor have all emerged as driving forces when it comes to consumer menu choices, and operators are encouraged to keep firm favourites on the menu as consumers return to outlets. Traditional fillings remain popular, the beef patty, for example, topped the list of desired patties and fillings, with 67% of consumers craving the item post-lockdown.
Paulina Gorska, Marketing Manager at Lantmännen Unibake UK, comments: “’With the ‘Eat Out To Help Out’ scheme encouraging more consumers to venture out in support of their local out of home venues, we want to support operators in ensuring their offering hits the mark.
“For us, it’s back to business and we take confidence in the resilience shown by consumers in their willingness to support the industry, with as many as 63% of consumers having eaten out within the first month of re-opening. In return for their support, it’s important that operators are able to deliver on expectations. To do this effectively in the current climate, menu rationalisation and reducing some of the complexities in the kitchen are routes that many operators have taken.
“Supplied frozen and defrosted in two hours Lantmännen Unibake UK’s Americana gourmet range can not only help operators add instant appeal to their burger offering and respond to current consumer demands, but can support operators to simplify kitchen operations and avoid food wastage during the industry’s most challenging times.
“Firm favourites, indulgent and premium offerings should all be top of mind as the industry bounces back. When it comes to burgers, 58% of diners are willing to pay between £1 and £5 more for a Gourmet experience. This further reinforces the positive difference this much-loved menu item can make on customer satisfaction and revenue levels at what is a hugely important time for this and indeed every sector.”
The Americana thaw and serve range includes the Americana Brioche Bun, Americana Glazed Bun, Americana Grill Marked Bun, Americana Kaiser Cut Bun and Americana Gluten Free Gourmet Bun.
For more hints and tips on how to upgrade your burger menu you can download Americana’s Gourmet Burgers: It All Stacks Up toolkit at www.americana.co.uk.