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The Top Benefits of Incorporating Frozen Foods into Your Restaurant Menu

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September 15, 2023

As a restaurant owner, you know preserving profits while giving guests incredible food is a top priority. However, with supply chain hiccups and labor shortages owning a restaurant can present some challenges. Luckily, there is a simple way to help mitigate issues and give customers what they crave: incorporating frozen foods into your menu.

Should You Use Frozen Foods in Your Restaurant?

Sometimes frozen foods are given a bad rap and are overlooked for their fresh counterparts. There can be a stigma among chefs that fresh is best. However, there are several ways frozen ingredients are just as good—and in some cases even better—than fresh versions. The trick is knowing what ways frozen foods can benefit your menu.

Frozen Foods Help Mitigate Food Waste

Food waste is a huge issue globally. It contributes to greenhouse gasses, impacts food security, and negatively affects the entire food chain. For restaurants, it also drives up food costs and cuts into profits. In fact, restaurants waste between 4 and 10 percent of overall food purchases. Food waste stems from fresh products going bad before getting used, which happens in restaurants. Trimmings from produce and meats also lead to waste. 

On the other hand, frozen food has a much longer shelf life, meaning less chance of food waste. Plus, meats, fish, vegetables, and fruits come pre-trimmed and cut so that you can take full advantage of their flavor without the added loss. All you need to do is pull ingredients as you need them to ensure product longevity.

Frozen Foods Preserve Flavor and Nutrients

Speaking of flavor, frozen foods are harvested at their peak, then frozen to seal in their natural flavors. Fruits and vegetables are especially great frozen, as they often go from field to freezer. Meats and seafood also benefit from the cold treatment. In the case of proteins—and specialty fish—they are often frozen or chilled, then thawed multiple times for transport before making it to restaurants. Getting them frozen means you get them at their best. 

Healthy eating is important to consumers. So, as a restaurant owner, you might ask yourself, “Can frozen food be healthy?” The answer is yes! Some frozen ingredients retain their nutritional value longer than when they are fresh. Berries, carrots, and spinach are prime examples of frozen produce that hold onto their vitamins and minerals when frozen.

Frozen Foods Help Improve Operations

Supply chain issues and labor shortages are common challenges that restaurants face. According to a report conducted by the American Frozen Food Institute, restaurant operators are turning to frozen foods to help combat labor shortages and supply chain disruptions. 

Because most frozen foods come ready to cook or consume, owners don’t have to rely on as much prep cook labor. Establishments can also stock up on frozen versions of popular menu ingredients to ensure product availability even when a supply chain is interrupted.

What Frozen Foods are Best for Your Restaurant?

Choosing the right frozen foods for your establishments will depend on your menu and overall operations. For example, if you operate a brewery and serve classic pub grub, purchasing frozen french fries, gourmet burger patties, and chicken wings would be highly beneficial. Take a look at your menu and see where incorporating frozen foods can help.

A Breakdown of Common Frozen Foods Restaurants Use

83% of restaurants purchase frozen vegetables.

55% of restaurants purchase frozen seafood.

According to the AFFI report, these are the most common frozen items businesses purchase:

  • Vegetables: 83 percent
  • Potato products: 78 percent
  • Fruit: 76 percent
  • Appetizers: 78 percent
  • Seafood: 55 percent

When selecting frozen foods for your restaurant, think about how they can enhance your menu, reduce labor, and produce great meals.

Shop High-Quality Frozen Foods at US Foods CHEF'STORE

CHEF'STORE stocks restaurant-quality frozen foods to enhance your menu and streamline operations. You'll find it all in our massive freezer section, from seafood to appetizers, vegetables to burgers, and everything in between.

Visit one of our many wholesale food store locations near you and discover why we are the industry's go-to for exceptional ingredients and restaurant supplies.

The information materials and opinions contained in this blog/website are for general information purposes only, are not intended to constitute legal or other professional advice and should not be relied on or treated as a substitute for specific advice relevant to particular circumstances. We make no warranties, representations, or undertakings about any of the content of this blog/website (including, without limitation, as to the quality, accuracy, completeness or fitness for any particular purpose of such content).

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