Posted by Patrick Maness
Fast and affordable. Those are qualities consumers seek in any marketplace.
Enter the self-service food bar, which is being incorporated into more and more foodservice concepts because — surprise, surprise — it's both fast and affordable.
The Positives and Negatives of Self-Service Food Bars
Besides being fast and affordable, self-service food bars offer several other positives that make them attractive to purveyors. First off, they require reduced staff time and allow for food to be prepped before service, instead of after the order is taken. Foodservice bars can also be successful with a wide array of food choices, including salads, sandwiches, soups, tacos, pasta, potatoes and fruit bars, as well as breakfast items, desserts, coffee or condiments. They also benefit from the perception that they offer fresher, heathier fare, something that is always appreciated in today’s crowded marketplace.
Self-service food bars, however, are not without their challenges. Like buffets and other self-service options, food bars have the potential for increased waste and extra consumption. Additional planning and space requirements must be considered when operating a self-service food bar, too. And finally, of course, there is the food-safety issue to consider. If your bar doesn’t include a sneeze guard, don’t even bother setting it up.
Is a Self-Service Food Bar Right for Your Business?
That’s the big question. While we can’t answer it for you, we can give you some things to consider when pondering whether you should create your own food bar.
Over the next four blogs, we’re going to take a closer look at some of the most common discussion points regarding self-service food bars. Read on and you'll find answers to your questions. You'll also be able to determine if a self-service food bar is right for you.
The topics we’ll be covering include:
Planning traffic flow to your food bar. Traditional service requires more labor power on your end, but it also offers you more control, which is something you’ll lose in a self-service food bar model. In this blog we’ll show you how you can overcome these concerns by planning traffic-flow solutions to manage the rush.
Designing a self-serve menu. Food bars can succeed with a variety of fare, but it's still important to pick the right options for your business and clientele. In this blog we'll show you what you need to consider when designing your own self-serving menu to create an offering that’s beneficial and appealing to both you and your customers.
What to consider when employing a self-serve beer kiosk. Some of the most successful self-service food bars have nothing to do with food. Self-serve beer kiosks are an increasingly profitable and popular option, but they come with concerns of their own. This blog will highlight the latest technology in this market so you can understand the advantages and determine if a self-serve beer kiosk is right for you.
Finding the right equipment to curb over-portioning. Remember what we said in the beginning about increased waste and consumption being some of the largest deterrents to self-service food bars? The right equipment can prevent that by curbing over-portioning and protecting higher-cost items. This blog will show what you can do to prevent over-portioning in your business and protect your margins as well.
A self-service food bar provides the perfect mix of speed and affordability for your customers, and it can be profitable for you as well — if you do it correctly. Consider reading these blogs and you’ll be well on your way toward building a kiosk kingdom of your own.