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Considering a Hot Food Program?

Many food service operations already have a strong and loyal customer base. These customers can be enticed into trying something new…hot food.     

From the outset, it’s also critical to decide how you want to serve your customers hot food –– grab and go or made to order –– because that will affect the type of items offered, the cooking and holding methods used, and the equipment that needs to be purchased. At the beginner level, most experts recommend a grab and go hot food program until execution is flawless.

“Keep it simple. Get bored with the basics first,” one Hot To Crew expert said, noting that grab and go is ideal because it requires “minimal touch” and is a great way to begin to incorporate a foodservice culture into your store.

Also “examine the state of your store with a critical eye on cleanliness,” said Donna Hood Crecca of foodservice consultancy Technomic Inc., another member of the How To Crew. “Restaurant [level] cleanliness is crucial, as it fosters consumer confidence that this an establishment from which they can purchase hot foods.”

The Lunch Daypart

Consider the lunch daypart and investigate what sells in your local area. A high-quality chicken patty, such as Broaster’s Chicken Breast Fillet is an easy sandwich to execute.

Easy sides and snack items to add to the menu might include onion rings, potato wedges and slices or mozzarella sticks which are ready to cook and feature easy merchandising and rotation.       

  Single-store owners who have advanced foodservice programs should utilize limited-time offers to drive trials of Broaster Express items and differentiate their menus. Ultimately, the goal is to develop a foodservice program with some unique items that drive traffic to your store.

The Right Equipment

As is true with all foodservice programs ― hot and cold ― consistent execution is vitally important. Putting the right systems in place, focusing on training and buying the proper equipment ― and using and maintaining it correctly ― will all support strong in-store execution.

When it’s time to select equipment, one of the most important considerations is functional intent. In other words, how will your product be cooked and held? Do you need moist holding equipment (for hot sandwich components), or dry holding equipment for fried foods so they remain crispy? Will you need both?

Because the menu drives everything from ingredient procurement and inventory to equipment selection –– be entirely sure about the scope of your menu and how you plan to execute before purchasing any equipment. With space consideration in most food service operations so critical, it’s also important to find space-efficient equipment that is versatile and can be used across many menu items.


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“Broaster Company products now represent more than 1/3 of my business and overall business has increased over 30%. Customers are driving over 30 miles to enjoy my Genuine Broaster Chicken and I am receiving party orders of 50 to 100 pieces… this is a super simple program that is making me money!”

Ginger, Owner Sportsman Tavern; Onaga, KS

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