Ask Jonathan...

This month’s question..Chips are a big seller but am I doing everything I can to maximise my profit margin?

Whatever type of site you’re catering for, chips are likely to be one of your biggest sellers, if not the biggest, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t ways to increase profit.

The operators I’ve seen doing it most successfully have been focusing on premium presentation, adding toppings, or by introducing a second more premium style of chip.

A change in presentation, such as serving chips in a separate pot lined with paper, can not only add value, enabling you to charge more, but it can also help with portion control and mean less chips are required per portion. Importantly, it’s also simple to deliver – all you need to do is find the right serving option for your business, whether that is a mini plant pot or bucket. I’ve even seen a mini wheel barrow, which looked fantastic.

‘Topped’ chips are bang on trend, easy to prepare and enable you to charge a premium price for very little additional outlay. It’s also a simple way to add variety and excitement to the menu. First found on casual dining menus, such has been the success of the sector that consumers are now expecting to see these kind of options wherever chips are being served. If you’re not sure whether your customers will go for it, start with a simple store cupboard option, such as grated cheese, to gauge feedback before developing the offer.

By far the easiest way to tap into demand for casual dining style is to offer a second more premium chip option at a higher price - thin cut fries or those cut with the skin on, such as McCain Skin-on Fries - are very popular. For something a bit different, McCain Sweet Potato Fries are a tasty alternative.