Sponsored by Blue Bunny
Customers are slowly but surely returning to on-premise dining, yet all signs indicate that increased off-premise consumption is here to stay. As such, nimble operators now need to find menu solutions that accommodate those that choose to dine in as well as diners that still prefer to enjoy their meals at home. When it comes to desserts, one item fits the bill perfectly for both categories: the mighty milkshake.
In case you have any doubts about the power of milkshakes in today's market, the proof is in the data. Milkshake consumption has grown 8.55% over the past year alone.1 Savvy restaurateurs have been turning to milkshakes to create buzz for their brands in recent years thanks to the visual nature of maxed-out milkshakes. Brands like New York City's Black Tap have become mainstays of Instagram feeds with their over-the-top flavors laden with indulgent toppings like churros, whole cake slices and ice cream bars.
Intricate recipes work just fine in-store, but how can operators capitalize on the milkshake craze when it comes to takeout and delivery? Standard milkshakes are easy from a to-go standpoint, but for crazier creations, the answer is at-home meal kits, and studies show that 70% of consumers see at least some benefit to meal delivery kits.2 Looking back at Black Tap, they've adapted to the takeout trend with a pivot to offer their CrazyShake Kit for pickup. The kit features everything a customer needs to put together two of their most popular milkshakes in the comforts of their own home. By creating an option for guests to assemble at home, you let them participate in the fun while still affording them the opportunity to enjoy their favorite treats.
Milkshakes solve a lot of problems for operators. As opposed to more involved desserts, classic milkshakes don't require pastry chefs or other skilled labor to produce. They also involve less prep time than many other sweet treats. As long as you've got the equipment, you can craft scratch-made flavors in under a minute. On top of that, they're imminently portable. While traditional ice cream options may involve separate packaging containers to make them more accessible for takeout or delivery, most milkshakes only require a cup.
Ultimately, milkshakes can help operators prepare for the future of foodservice by simultaneously creating word-of-mouth buzz and addressing on-site and off-premise dining needs. With the blank canvas of milkshakes, restaurants also have the opportunity to put their own unique stamps on the flavor profiles they have to offer. Don't be afraid to be creative in your milkshake innovation and don't be surprised when you see an uptick in sales. Milkshake mania is just waiting for you to join in.