Snack Food & Wholesale Bakery recently was able to speak to Cely Moreno-Mosier, senior director of marketing, PepsiCo Foodservice, and Jeff Crivello, CEO, Famous Dave's, about COVID-19 challenges.
Liz Parker: How has PepsiCo/Frito-Lay/Lay’s been helping operators during COVID-19?
Cely Moreno-Mosier: The pandemic has presented our partners with many new challenges. Operators are striving to recreate the dining experience at home as delivery and pickup continue to accelerate.
We’re committed to supporting our partner operators by creating revenue opportunities driven by key insights and restart tools. We help drive purchase with programs that highlight product offerings that create joy and a sense of normalcy for consumers.
Sixty-five percent of operators have said that “food not traveling well” has substantial or moderate impact on their business, according to Datassential/IFMA CPP. And it’s no secret that some foods, particularly fried sides, typically don’t travel well.
A PepsiCo Foodservice study in July found that nearly one in four consumers are open to substituting chips for fries. As this pandemic continues to remain unpredictable, consumers are turning to the quality and comfort of brands they trust like Lay’s to create reliably pleasurable experiences.
And what is good for the consumer is good for the operator. Packaged chips are an easy solution for the kitchen because the product is not directly handled by employees, requires no back-of-house preparation and is tamper-proof.
Lay’s potato chips help operators streamline to-go menu options quickly with an option consumers already welcome into their homes.
On a larger scale, we collaborated with the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF) and other industry leaders in March to create a Restaurant Employee Relief Fund (RERF) for U.S. restaurant workers financially impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. PepsiCo and The PepsiCo Foundation have committed $4 million to aiding U.S. restaurant workers financially impacted by the COVID-19 crisis.
We are also proud to have partnered with amazing programs like The Great American Takeout to support struggling restaurants nationwide. Together, in May, we hosted a digital “Dinner & A Movie” night to support operators and their employees and raise awareness for the foodservice industry. After ordering takeout, fans could tune in for a YouTube Premiere screening of the award-winning documentary “A Fine Line,” followed by a live panel discussion with celebrity chefs and restaurateurs from the film.
PepsiCo also developed a full digital hub with resources available to our operator partners, including restart tools, growth-driving insights and assets, and more. Operators can access this hub by visiting https://pepsicopartners.com/navigation/covid19response.
LP: How are operators now streamlining their menus for delivery?
CMM: A trend we’ve seen is that restaurant owners and operators have made their menus smaller and more efficient for simpler kitchen preparation. For those relying heavily on delivery and takeout, alternative menu options to fried sides are taking off because fried sides typically don’t travel well. As a solution, we are seeing operators adding Lay’s potato chips to their delivery menus as a reliable alternative that always arrives crisp from a brand that consumers love.
For many, delivery and takeout are new ventures. For others, it has required them to reconsider menu offerings to factor in cost savings or how to best recreate the dining experience at home. Regardless of where operators fall on this spectrum, offering chips from an established brand like Lay’s as a side is an easy add-on for customers to purchase. It’s a taste they trust and love, so why not add it onto their takeout or delivery order?
Jeff Crivello: The pandemic has presented all operators with the opportunity to examine our delivery and takeout options. Consumers expect the same quality with their food to-go, just as if they dined in-store. Adding Lay’s potato chips as a side option on our catering menu allows us to provide our guests a product that they know and love, crisp no matter the distance traveled.