Metz Culinary Management, an FM Top 50 company that operates in multiple market segments, has launched a number of initiatives recently to better serve customers in today’s coronavirus-restricted environment. They include Chef Fresh, a new brand that provides a series of grab-and-go selections with healthy profiles that are made fresh to provide an alternative to counter-served food.
Meanwhile, at a number of its operating sites, the company has treated customers to pop-up pantries featuring fall favorites. For example, at Erie County Medical Center, the salad bar was transformed into a pop-up pantry featuring favorite locally grown fall fruits and vegetables, as well as locally made apple cider, juices and freshly prepared snacks, that hospital staff and guests could purchase. At Misericordia University in Pennsylvania, students could enjoy apple cider donuts freshly baked at a local orchard, and students at Maryville College in Tennessee had a taste of the season as well with housemade maple glazed and cinnamon and sugar donuts.
For the longer term, however, the Chef Fresh program offers a solution for customers seeking convenient but high-quality and fresh meal options in a quick and contactless mode of purchase.
“After in-person visits to many of our clients to examine the various grab-and-go dining programs we offer, we felt it was time to raise the bar and rebrand our grab-and-go concept,” says Metz COO Greg Polk. “I challenged our marketing and culinary teams for a new way to brand and market grab and go, as well as some innovative menu development.”
In addition to convenience, the Chef Fresh line also offers social distancing between provider and customer and enables customers to go in, grab what they want to eat, and get out quickly, easily, and with minimal contact
“It was fortuitous that we launched the new Chef Fresh grab-and-go concept as the coronavirus spurred the need for contactless dining options,” Polk offers. “We completed the branding and menu development last year with plans for a complete launch this year and the timing couldn’t be better.”
Included in the line are offerings such as:
- Shaker salads featuring healthy ingredients such as Mediterranean lentil and white quinoa or Southwest black bean and ruby wild blend;
- Bowls such as Vegetarian power bowl and a pineapple strawberry coconut chia bowl;
- Sandwiches such as BLT and pesto chicken and smoked turkey and bacon on a pretzel roll;
- Healthy snack choices like housemade trail or money mix, as well as hummus and vegetables; and
- Housemade desserts such as egg custard pie, strawberry cream pie and apple, blueberry and raspberry scones.
The Chef Fresh meals come in branded, transparent packaging—including eco-friendly alternatives—that showcases the quality of the food and with nutritional information labels. They are merchandised in open-air coolers fitted with branded decals and specially designed signage.