The month of October is National Pasta Month, and nothing says comfort like pasta! Pasta is featured on 38.4% of U.S. restaurant menus. That means, the majority of you (yes, we’re talking to you Chef) have yet to add this versatile item to your operation. It’s one of America’s most loved foods — on par with cheeseburgers and chocolate chip cookies. A trend that will never die. An appetite that will never go away.
There are many menu items that provide comfort, but nothing beats going to a restaurant and ordering a bowl of your favorite pasta. But with less customers dining in and more customers ordering takeout and delivery, ensuring your pasta is cooked correctly and packaged well for travel can mean the difference of a customer returning. Even if your customers are vegan, vegetarian or have other dietary restrictions, pasta is universal and Barilla has the pastas to help serve them.
Check out these ways your operation can celebrate National Pasta Month, boost profits and ensure your customers come back for more of this popular yet underutilized menu item.
Take It To-Go! Pasta for Delivery and Takeout
An impressive 85% of consumers report they love or like pasta. With so many diners looking to enjoy their favorite meals from the comfort of their homes, try incorporating pasta into your delivery and to-go menu.
With its ability to travel well matched with the demand for off-premise food, adding pasta to your menu can increase revenue and attract new customers.
Take lasagna or baked ziti for example – they’re meals that travel well from a restaurant to a customer’s table. Plus, they are easy to heat up and always taste good the next day!
Or, consider creating a different type of dining experience for your guests to enjoy at home. Give your customers a restaurant quality meal they can take home and cook themselves by creating a unique meal kit to-go. It can be a comforting, easy to make menu item that provides them with a sense of accomplishment while keeping that restaurant taste.
Whether you add a prepared pasta dish or an interactive meal-kit to your menu, be sure to focus on how you package for delivery. Not all pasta performs the same for delivery and take out – make sure to test your items first.
Try separating the pasta and the sauce into separate to-go containers so the pasta does not get soggy and soak up all the sauce before your customer takes their first bite.
Find additional tips on how to optimize and prepare your pasta menu for the best delivery/takeout customer experience with this guide from Barilla.
Need recipe ideas? These takeout approved recipes are sure to be a hit!
Food to the Next Level: Innovative Pasta Promotions
If you don’t have pasta on your menu yet, you’re in luck! National Pasta Month is the perfect time to add a fan-favorite dish to your menu.
Kick-start your innovation with a new pasta promotion. This could be a new signature dish for your restaurant, or a limited time offering.
Before placing any new orders, take a look at what you have on hand that could be utilized into this new dish.
Have ingredients that are set to expire soon or too much of one and need to sell off? Create a healthy option and a hearty option with these ingredients that customers can indulge in. Did you order too much shrimp or lobster? Create a unique seafood pasta promotion where customers can add for their favorite dock-side delicacy to their pasta at an extra charge for added profits!
Take comfort food to a new level by incorporating menu trends into your new pasta promotion with fun shaped pasta like Cavatappi/Cellentani. As one of the fastest-growing pastas over the past four years, this thick and dense style of noodle can hold more of thicker sauces – ensuring every bite is filled with flavor.
Once your pasta promotion is ready, let your diners know by announcing it on your website or social media channels. Emphasizing its limited time offering could be a great way to increase foot traffic. Or, promoting the dish as a new signature menu could encourage new diners to try your restaurant out.
Follow the Pasta!
National Pasta Month is a time that operators and customers alike can celebrate!
Whether you’re an operator in pursuit of pasta perfection, or just a fan of food looking to get your next meal, Barilla has created engaging tools and resources to help you find your pasta-bilities.
With an interactive Pasta Locator Map, customers can search for restaurants near them that serve the high-quality Barilla past they love. As an operator, you can sign up for this portal to ensure your restaurant is listed for hungry diners to find.
Additionally, as a foodservice operator, you can visit Barilla’s Pasta Portal to get exclusive access to free promotional materials and menu ideas. Not only is this great for National Pasta Month but can also give you ideas on how to incorporate a comfort food like pasta into your menus as the colder months approach.
Join this month long-celebration with Barilla. Register your restaurant and take advantage of these great resources.
Save on Pasta with Dining Alliance
Are you interested in participating in National Pasta Month, or adding pasta to your menu in general? Dining Alliance can help you access the high-quality Barilla pasta your guests know and love at competitive pricing. GPOs such as Dining Alliance exist in order to help independent restaurants like you succeed. It’s that simple. Plus, did we mention it’s free to join? Contact us today to learn more!