Small Food Biz Operations Should Consider These Services to Stay Ahead

These are challenging times for many but food businesses are either thriving or sinking.  Last month, the upscale-casual eatery Brio Coastal Bar & Kitchen closed one of its southern California locations shortly after the pandemic hit.  Other establishments have offered meals via food delivery apps or converted into a take-out only establishment.

Recently, I learned of an untapped market that may take some of the stress off what to do with excess inventory.  The El Segundo, CA-based Lemonade has begun offering grocery kits, which offer a variety of fresh proteins and sides that feed roughly 2-4 people, in addition to their usual offerings. 

While the price may seem steep to some, the options make grocery shopping a little easier.  For those who don't want to give in to the comfort food temptation, this means having access to natural produce and grains without driving around town.  Then there's the waiting in long lines from the time you enter the supermarket from the time you leave...or lack of sufficient offerings.

Some smaller operations are partnering with local governments to deliver meals and groceries to seniors citizens and the disabled.  While fresh fruits and veggies may be limited during this pandemic, this may also be the time to get creative with leftover perishables.

1. Create canned or dried goods

2. Create casseroles or starchy meals that can be frozen

3. Offer recipes based on your most popular items (also a great place to include a loss leader), unless you want to sell the original recipe

4. Learn how to bottle condiments and sauces

5. Create spice packs for sale via mail or online

There's also a market that's currently underserved.  Many people are looking for ways to enjoy their favorite meals without packing on the pounds.  Then there are those who can't get enough comfort meals.  This thing is likely to be around for a while so if rebranding is possible, then get on board!