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Dine-In or Carry-Out?

As family dining operators look to attract more business, it can be tricky to determine where to focus efforts. According to a recent study by the National Restaurant Group dine-in traffic produces higher check averages than take-out orders1, leaving operators with more profit in their pockets. With dine-in traffic on the rise,1 the opportunity is ripe for operators looking to leave lasting impressions on more guests.

What attracts sit-down diners?

Two strategies that get more groups together at family dining establishments: give them what they're hunting for and surprise them. Though these strategies may seem mutually exclusive, the best menus fit somewhere in the middle.

Right now, when groups look for a place to dine out, more are turning to sides2 and shareables3 to enhance their dining experience. When groups get together at a restaurant, they want to share the whole experience—more and more this includes the food. Returning to the way more people used to eat and mimicking the homespun dining experience—guests want to share a meal, not just eat one. Shareable sides not only have great profit potential, they give operators a chance to satisfy expectations and create an environment akin to home.

As far as providing something novel, restaurants are thriving when originality shines through culinary creations. Some classic dishes make sense to offer, but when menus are full of expected standards they will be forgotten. Operators have a chance to get people talking about their menus by providing unique shareable sides featuring innovative and profitable McCain® products they won't find next door. Here's one menu-ready recipe idea with both homestyle appeal and innovative ingredients:

How do operators bring shareable sides to life?

Groups need menu items with broad appeal and outstanding flavor. By using crowd-favorite items like McCain potatoes and appetizers on the menu, operators can ensure fresh, satisfying guest experiences. When guests have a great time sharing at their tables, they are more likely to share that experience with friends.

Provide comprehensive, segment-specific solutions that allow operators to create the destination where guests love to gather by visiting the McCain Idea Feed.

1NRN, Study: Restaurant Dine-in Traffic Rises

22014 Technomic Inc.; Future of FSR: Family & Casual Dining Consumer Trend Report.

3"Innovative, shareable appetizers drive sales," Nation's Restaurant News, 2013.